A prominent GOP senator on energy issues accused President Barack Obama Thursday morning of having set an “explicit policy goal” of making energy prices more costly for Americans.
“My message today is simply this: higher gas prices - indeed, higher prices for the energy we use - are an explicit policy goal of the Obama administration,” said Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla), ranking member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. “Let me put it another way: the Obama administration is attacking affordable energy.”
Inhofe’s comments come as crude oil futures traded up on anxiety over unrest in the Middle East and broke the triple-digit mark in recent weeks. As of Thursday, light crude was trading at over $101 per barrel.
“We have, in fact, 163 billion barrels of recoverable oil - nearly six times higher than what President Obama and the Democrats like to claim,” Inhofe continued. “Let's think about 163 billion barrels for a moment: that is enough to maintain our current levels of production and replace our imports from the Persian Gulf for more than 50 years.”
The senator, who regularly rails against the Obama administration’s support of so-called “cap-and-trade” legislation, said such policies are about starving the country of energy supply.
“You see, the cap-and-trade agenda is also about energy austerity,” Inhofe said on the Senate floor. “The hope is that if we restrict enough supply, the price will increase, and we can then simply shift to less costly alternatives. Yet this is wishful thinking.”
“If you think $4.00 is too much for a gallon of regular, fasten your seat belts.”
Inhofe made the speech in support of the Energy Tax Prevention Act, legislation designed to bar the Environmental Protection Agency from moving to regulate carbon dioxide emissions under the Clean Air Act, which Republicans claim is outside the agency’s purview. After he introduced the bill last week, it quickly picked up 42 more co-sponsors, including Democrat Joe Manchin (W.Va.).