Oil Drilling, Gas Prices, and Renewable Energy. Oh my!

An interesting debate is forming about energy. According to Huffington Post, Newt Gingrich is blaming President Obama for high gas prices, and pledges to lower gas prices to $2.50 per gallon by drilling here and drilling now.

Obviously Gingrich didn’t read Fox News’ article detailing President Obama’s plans to put in an oil pipeline from Oklahoma to the Gulf coast of Texas. In fact, the article quoted Obama saying “We’re drilling all over the place.”

Both the Fox News and Huffington Post stories say the president has no control over gas prices. And, both stories mention that the Obama administration has increased domestic energy production. Huffington Post quotes an interview from NPR’s “Morning Edition” where host Steve Inskeep “pointed out that domestic energy production has increased under Obama.” He told Gingrich “The Energy Information Administration, U.S. government figures, suggest that oil production actually has been going up every year during President Obama’s administration. Oil production — domestic oil production — has been going up. Reliance on foreign oil has been going down, and the trends were the opposite under the previous administration.”

So why is it that Republicans still want to blame the president for high energy costs in this country? “Republicans view rising gas prices as emblematic of Obama’s energy record and  hope to tag him with the blame even though no president has much control over prices at the pump,” according to the Fox News article. And yet, Huffington Post says the Obama administration has cut net imports by 10 percent, or one million barrels per day, according to a White House report.

Is it smart for Republicans to attack Obama for rising gas prices, even when both sides say he has no control? Is it smart for Newt Gingrich, whose campaign’s momentum is dwindling, to promise such low gas prices?

Neither story mentions what Democrats’ views are towards Obama drilling within the United States. Didn’t Obama make promises of promoting clean energy? The Fox News story does mention that Obama plans to raise “fuel efficiency standards to 55 miles per gallon for new vehicles by 2025 as an important step in conserving  oil and saving consumers at the gas pump.” He has also invested in solar energy in California. So his promise to “end our dependence on foreign oil,” as he said numerous times throughout his 2008 campaign, seems to be working out.

If both a “liberal” and “conservative” news source praise the Obama administration for his expansion of domestic oil production, how can Republican candidates use that against him?




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