It’s never the president’s fault. And oil companies are always the easy target.
In President Obama’s narrow vision, any problem for him is always somebody else’s fault. Rising gas prices? The oil companies are to blame.
In his free-market-distrusting mindset, he sounded his belief April 22 that these companies should be making less profit and paying more taxes. On April 26, he called for an end to all oil company tax breaks.
A few days earlier, it was oil speculators who were to blame for high gas prices. In his radio address, April 23, in an apparent state of confused frustration, Obama said: “The truth is there’s no silver bullet that can bring down gas prices right away.” He added, “Instead of subsidizing yesterday’s energy sources, we need to invest in tomorrow’s.” That means, of course, wastefully subsidized green energy.
On April 21, the White House announced a task force menacingly called the Oil and Gas Price Fraud Working Group. It is supposed to investigate “fraud and manipulation” in oil markets that could affect gas prices. On that day, he said at a Nevada town hall meeting, “Four billion dollars of your money are (sic) going to these [oil] companies at a time when they’re making record profits and you’re paying near record prices at the pump…It has got to stop!” he commanded.
Obama also promised, “We will be vigilant in monitoring the oil and gas markets for any wrongdoing so that consumers can be confident they are not paying higher prices as a result of illegal activity.” The president’s ever-ready public protector from others’ misdeeds, though not his own, Attorney General Eric Holder, quickly issued a statement vowing that he would take “quick action.”
Holder has put together a team of pseudo-detectives to scratch for any evidence — he dearly hopes to find — of fraud or illegal manipulation that might affect gas prices. This comes at a time when crude oil prices continued to move upward and gasoline prices at the pump climbed toward $4.00 a gallon nationwide.
“Rapidly rising gasoline prices are pinching the pockets of consumers across the country,” said Holder, revealing his nose for news that no one else knew.
Obama also has boldly declared: “Any claim that my Administration is responsible for gas prices because we’ve, quote unquote, ‘shut down’ oil production—any claim like that is simply untrue. It might make a useful sound bite, but it doesn’t track with reality.”
Reality, however, smacked Obama in the face: the Environmental Protection Agency revealed April 25 it is shutting down a Shell Oil Company drilling project off the coast of Alaska after the company has spent five years and $4 billion of its money in preparation for drilling.
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