Mitt Romney is falsely claiming that President Obama’s all-of-the-above approach to energy independence is somehow a mission to increase gas prices, saying that “[The Obama administration is] on a mission to drive up the price of gasoline.”
The President is working to move the United States towards energy independence and to help alleviate the pain at the pump through his approach to increase domestic production, move toward clean energy alternatives, and increase fuel efficiency for U.S. cars. On the other hand, a look at Romney’s record as governor reveals that, just a few years ago, Romney made high gas prices appear as “a welcome reality.”
The New Republic reports:
Befitting his profile as a moderate Republican who cared about the environment, Governor Romney responded to price spikes by describing them as the natural result of global market pressures and by calling for increases in fuel efficiency—the same approach that he now derides Obama for taking as president.
At moments, Romney went so far as to make high gas prices out to be a welcome reality for the foreseeable future, one that people needed to learn to live with. When lieutenant governor Kerry Healey, a fellow Republican, called for suspending the state’s 23.5 cent gas tax during a price spike in May 2006, Romney rejected the idea, saying it would only further drive up gasoline consumption. “I don’t think that now is the time, and I’m not sure there will be the right time, for us to encourage the use of more gasoline,” Romney said, according to the Quincy Patriot Ledger’s report at the time. “I’m very much in favor of people recognizing that these high gasoline prices are probably here to stay.”
Romney even increased a gas tax in Massachusetts by 400 percent, a hike translated into higher gas prices for Bay State motorists.
While Romney once viewed clean energy as the future—“an industry that is going to be explosive in its growth in the next decade”—he now criticizes the importance of pursuing clean energy in favor of a plan to “aggressively develop our oil, our gas, our coal.” He has marched so far to the right in pursuit of this nomination, he has abandoned any serious comprehensive energy plan that will effectively address energy prices now and in the future.