Chu Has No Clue

by Myron Ebell on March 26, 2012

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Energy Secretary Steven Chu has appeared somewhat out of touch with reality since his first day on the job in 2009, but in the past two weeks he has moved entirely into a fantasy world of his own creation.   Earlier this month, the Nobel prize-winning Dr. Chu testified before the House Oversight and Government Affairs Committee and gave himself a grade of A-minus for his first three years as Secretary of Energy.  Last week at another House hearing he gave himself a little higher grade for his handling of gasoline prices.

Secretary Chu told Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.):  “The tools we have at our disposal are limited, but I would say I would give myself a little higher in that since I became secretary of energy, I’ve been doing everything I can to get long-term solutions.”

In the real world, Secretary Chu and his merry band at the Energy Department have pursued polices designed to raise gasoline and other energy prices.  This is intentional and not the result of their incompetence.  Dr. Chu said in 2008 before President Obama nominated him that gas prices needed to rise gradually to European levels.  That is, seven to ten dollars a gallon, most of which is tax.  One reason for much higher gas taxes is that is the only way to make the alternative fuels and technologies that Secretary Chu has been promoting cheaper than gasoline.

Secretary Chu defended his 2008 statement until two weeks ago, when he grudgingly conceded that it is no longer operative.  Testifying before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on 13th March, Chu said, “I no longer share that view.  Of course we don’t want the price of gasoline to go up. We want it to go down.”

His locution that he no longer shares that view is odd.  He didn’t share that view; that was his view.

Of course, Secretary Chu may have been implying that he and President Obama share the view that the gas tax would ideally be at least five dollars a gallon.  They both want gas prices to go down now because President Obama wants to be re-elected.

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