Tags: chu | energy | gas | prices

Energy Secy Chu Flip-Flops on Call for Higher Gas Prices

Wednesday, 14 Mar 2012 11:59 AM

By Marti Lotman

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Even as skyrocketing gas prices become the Achilles’ heel for President Barack Obama, Energy Secretary Steven Chu has recanted his argument for higher prices to encourage Americans to use more renewable resources.

Chu acknowledged at a Senate hearing on Tuesday that he did tell The Wall Street Journal in September 2008 that rising U.S. gas prices would help Americans move away from the use of fossil fuels, reports Fox News.

“Are you saying that you no longer share the view that we need to figure out how to boost gasoline prices in America?” Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, asked Chu during the hearing.

Chu responded: “I no longer share that view.”

Lee pressed him: “But you did then, but you don’t know?”

Chu replied that his original comments were made before Obama won the election and before Chu became energy secretary.

“When I became secretary of energy, I represented the U.S. government and I think that right now in this economic — very slow return — that we need to have, these prices well could affect the comeback of our economy and we’re very worried about that,” Chu said. “And so, of course, we don’t want the price of gasoline to go up. We want it to go down.”

White House spokesman Jay Carney attempted to justify Chu’s backpedaling, saying that Obama didn’t tell Chu to clarify his position and emphasizing instead that Chu made the comments before joining the Obama administration.

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