Chu: I give myself another A on gas prices

posted at 12:45 pm on March 20, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

That report card from the Department of Energy is starting to look pretty darned good, eh?  Three weeks ago, Energy Secretary Steven Chu gave himself an A-minus for his stewardship of taxpayer money, and shortly afterward, the GAO gave the DoE an 85% fail rate in handling the Loan Guarantee Program.  Chu came back to Capitol Hill today to discuss energy policy and stood by his self-assigned A-minus, and gave himself an even better grade on controlling gas prices:

Energy Secretary Steven Chu told a House panel Tuesday that he’d give himself top marks when asked to grade his policies’ effects on energy prices. Rep. Darrell Issa, the chairman of the House committee on Oversight and Government Reform, asked President Obama’s top energy official if he’d grade himself with an “A minus” on “controlling the cost of gasoline at the pump.”

Chu responded by saying he’d give himself a better grade than that.

“The tools we have at our disposal are limited, but I would I 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,” Chu said.

Talk about grade inflation.  ABC News reported last night that gas prices have hit an all-time high for the month of March, although ABC claims that it may have peaked:

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

The average price of a gallon of regular is now $3.87, the highest recorded price in March. The average price is up nearly 4 cents from a week ago, and over 30 cents from a year ago, according to the Department of Energy, as more drivers face gas prices of $4 a gallon or more across the country.

Last week, the average gas price was $3.83 a gallon, the previous record according to data going back to 1990.

What led to the conclusion that prices may start coming down? One refinery has restarted production, and Saudi Arabia might make up for lost production in crude if Iran stops exporting oil.  Those are mighty slender reeds on which to rest hope for a spring decline in gas prices.

If you’re wondering what the Obama administration record on gas prices really is, here’s the trend on average weekly national prices per gallon from the EIA:

The only way that looks like an A is if you intend to drive prices higher — say, to European levels.  But that’s not policy … anymore … trust him on that.


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Of course he gives himself an A. Gas prices are going up, just like he said he wants them to do. He is acheiving his goal. People with any common sense just don’t agree with his goal.

No matter, how much we drill or shale or pretend that coal to liquid oil is viable (as Kermit explained in Jazz’s thread, its not) we are going to be subject to the whims of the global futures market. This is global capitalism, we can like it or leave it.

libfreeordie on March 20, 2012 at 12:50 PM

Only party true. Yes, the price of gas is subject to the global market, and when it comes to oil it is particularly subject to the futures market. But, you are ignoring what drives the futures market. The biggest factor in that is surety and volume of future supply. If we actually started exploring and drilling for the oil we have in North America now (even if that oil won’t hit the pumps for another ten years), the futures market would be more assured of the stability and volume of future supply, therby driving the price per barrel down now.

If you recognize the factor that the futures market plays, as you clearly note in your post, then have you asked yourself what is driving the futures market up right now? It seems like you have not. It’s the same thing that always drives up the price in a futures market… projections of availability of future supply relative to expected demand. So right now the futures speculators must be seeing evidence for a lack of supply relative to demand. So if that is driving prices up, then would not the opposite drive prices down? If we assured the market of future supply by expanding drilling, the assurance of supply to more closely meet demand would naturally drive prices back down.

Of course, they won’t go back down to less than $2/gallon, because we have the Fed printing money like it’s going out of style to ensure that we don’t default on our massive debt. That will naturally drive down the value of each dollar, which in turn drives up the prices of all goods.

The biggest problem I see with this administration’s economic policies (besides the obvious grandiose issue of government control of every aspect of our lives) is that they seem to think each of their policies occurs in a vaccuum, rather than as part of an overall system where one thing impacts every other thing. They can’t see the forest for all the trees.

gravityman on March 20, 2012 at 2:14 PM

angryed on March 20, 2012 at 1:55 PM

Romney presented a balanced budget that he couldn’t get passed, so he had to go along with raising taxes and fees. He cut spending and reduced the deficit. He raised the gas tax which left it below other state averages. He extended an assault weapons ban already in place.

I used to be pro-abortion, ok genius? Changing one’s mind by adopting the right stance on an issue is to be praised. Now you know.

Akzed on March 20, 2012 at 2:14 PM

If the goal of the Department of Energy was to make sure there was abundant, inexpensive energy available to us all. They fail miserably.

Zelsdorf Ragshaft on March 20, 2012 at 2:10 PM

Which is especially sad when you consider that what you stated above is precisely the stated role of the DoE per the law that chartered it.

gravityman on March 20, 2012 at 2:20 PM

If this dingbat gives himself an A minus on gas prices I want some of what he is smoking because it must be goooooood stuff!!!!

logicman_1998 on March 20, 2012 at 2:22 PM

Chu,he bought real estate by the Great Wall,on the good side.

docflash on March 20, 2012 at 2:24 PM

Is Chu sniffing glue?

EddieC on March 20, 2012 at 2:25 PM

On the Left Coast we’re paying $4.37 at the local Arco. Shell is at $4.50.

Thanks Chu! Prices have DOUBLED since you became Secretary.

Take your freaking “F-” and go sit in the corner.

Stupid ass!

GarandFan on March 20, 2012 at 2:30 PM

This applies here, as well: Seriously?

I give him an F in the real world. Not even F+. In unicorn land, I suppose the A- fits. Delusional jacka$$.

totherightofthem on March 20, 2012 at 2:34 PM

His partial grade is an F, and I can’t tell you what the other letters are.

Akzed on March 20, 2012 at 2:39 PM

Romney presented a balanced budget that he couldn’t get passed, so he had to go along with raising taxes and fees. He cut spending and reduced the deficit. He raised the gas tax which left it below other state averages. He extended an assault weapons ban already in place.

I used to be pro-abortion, ok genius? Changing one’s mind by adopting the right stance on an issue is to be praised. Now you know.

Akzed on March 20, 2012 at 2:14 PM

You’re lying on all 3 fronts.

1. He changed his mind when he was 60 years old and just as he was getting ready to run for prez. You have to be really stupid to believe him

2. He proposed a balanced budget and signed a balanced budget….balanced by raising taxes. He didn’t cut a dime of spending. In fact spending during his 4 years increased 26% (lower as a % than Obama’s increase in spending)

3. He raised more than just a gas tax. He raised fees on everything from marriage licenses to car registration to fishing licenses to business licenses.

Some fun Romeny quotes on guns:

“that’s not going to make me the hero of the NRA. I don’t line up with a lot of special interest groups.”

– 1994 Boston Herald

LOL, Mr Pro-Gun Romney.

angryed on March 20, 2012 at 2:40 PM

Of course, we already had Paul Krugman to show us that.

SubmarineDoc on March 20, 2012 at 1:38 PM

I dunno. According to joana, Krugman is a real scholar, not a faux scholar like Mark Levin (constitutional scholar), because Krugman has published papers and stuff.

totherightofthem on March 20, 2012 at 2:53 PM

You’re lying on all 3 fronts.

1. He changed his mind when he was 60 years old and just as he was getting ready to run for prez. You have to be really stupid to believe him

How does that prove I’m a liar? You may think he’s lying, but I’m just the messenger.

2. He proposed a balanced budget and signed a balanced budget….balanced by raising taxes. He didn’t cut a dime of spending. In fact spending during his 4 years increased 26% (lower as a % than Obama’s increase in spending)

MASS cut spending by almost $2 billion under Romney. Boston Herald Dec. 18, 2005.

3. He raised more than just a gas tax. He raised fees on everything from marriage licenses to car registration to fishing licenses to business licenses.

Did I say he raised no other taxes? Many of the fees he raised hadn’t been raised in a decade.

I don’t see how any of your hyperventilating makes me a liar, but you seems to have more problems than the merely cognitive so I don’t hold out hope for a sensible explanation.

Akzed on March 20, 2012 at 2:53 PM

…and, by the way, supply is not the only determinant of oil and gasoline prices. I’d suggest that a very large component is risk. By meddling in all aspects of our lives, this administration has increased risk for everyone. As a wonderful (/s) result, risk premium has shot up, rendering higher total costs for everything.

These people need to be extricated from the ship of state before they sink it.

Support ABO!

freedomfirst on March 20, 2012 at 3:22 PM

gravityman on March 20, 2012 at 2:14 PM

Oops…I just now read gravityman’s post from a while ago…my recent comments reflect his well stated explanation.

freedomfirst on March 20, 2012 at 3:24 PM

He doesn’t own a car…

d1carter on March 20, 2012 at 3:36 PM

In fact spending during his 4 years increased 26% (lower as a % than Obama’s increase in spending)

angryed on March 20, 2012 at 2:40 PM

I called you out on this Lie over a month ago, Mister Ed. You got your “data” from a home-made website that simply had the numbers wrong.

MASS cut spending by almost $2 billion under Romney. Boston Herald Dec. 18, 2005.

I don’t see how any of your hyperventilating makes me a liar, but you seems to have more problems than the merely cognitive so I don’t hold out hope for a sensible explanation.

Akzed on March 20, 2012 at 2:53 PM

Ouch!

Del Dolemonte on March 20, 2012 at 3:52 PM

You do not have to be totally delusional to work in the OBOZO regime – but, clearly, it helps.

TeaPartyNation on March 20, 2012 at 4:04 PM

F- on gas prices.

wildcat72 on March 20, 2012 at 4:19 PM

Chu is obviously grading on the Obama curve.

SukieTawdry on March 20, 2012 at 4:30 PM

I give him a -B. And an -S

Opinionnation on March 20, 2012 at 4:32 PM

Chu: I give myself another A on gas prices

He plagiarized this talking point.

AUTOMATIC F AND EXPULSION!

Roy Rogers on March 20, 2012 at 4:36 PM

Saudis Acting Like Good Neighbors

Despite messing me up, I said nice things since the prices were supposed to go to $150 a barrel and it is not looking that way. Today was good for the USA. But there are still some issues:

How is DOE responsible for the cap on increases?

Notice how crude fell all of $2 a barrel and Exxon fell 50 cents a share. Someone thinks there is still a problem.

But the price was due to jump another $1 again and it did not.

IlikedAUH2O on March 20, 2012 at 4:47 PM

If I were on that committee, then I would have replied, “Mr. Chu, when people say they have a problem of gas prices, they mean they are too high, not too low.”

jeffn21 on March 20, 2012 at 4:47 PM

Fortunately, the conservative answer to all this is to nominate Romney so that he can lose to Obama in a landslide.

That’ll teach the President!

newtopia on March 20, 2012 at 5:03 PM

OK, you’re an Arrogant Ass, Mr. Chu.

flataffect on March 20, 2012 at 5:04 PM

A?

He forgot the SS.

profitsbeard on March 20, 2012 at 5:09 PM

Actually this gas price stuff today is good news for us down the road. Have no fear, when an R bccomes President the MSM and all the progressive screechers will be incapable of blaming him for high gas prices since they ave ALL said it can’t possibly be blamed on the POTUS. /s

jb34461 on March 20, 2012 at 5:13 PM

In this instance he is admitting that his policies have an effect and assuming some responsibility, tomorrow when he is not under oath, he will be blaming everyone else again, and the media will give that heavy coverage without vetting a word.

dunce on March 20, 2012 at 5:13 PM

If we all started calling oil imported from the middle east, africa and Chavez land “CONFLICT OIL” and started to call oil from Canada, Mexico and the US “North American Oil” I think we would have a better talking point. Do you remember the big turn around when diamonds were classified as “blood diamonds or conflict diamonds?” The market responded rather strongly…
Did you hear the Joe Biden clip from about 10 days ago where he said that our gov’t would just ask the Saudis to increase production? Really? Is that your solution Joe?

Babs on March 20, 2012 at 5:22 PM

Has this guy ever gotten a “B” on anything in his life? It’s as if his world would shatter if he earned anything less than an A-. I’ve met people like this. They have a very hard time accepting less-than glowing performance reviews.

Christien on March 20, 2012 at 5:26 PM

Liberal TROLL alert.

If it’s Romney v Obama, which appears inevitable, my vote goes to Obama.
angryed on March 20, 2012 at 3:03 PM

Debbie Wasserman angryeyed is just a liberal troll.

Gunlock Bill on March 20, 2012 at 5:41 PM

Debbie Wasserman angryeyed admits that Romney cut spending.

He (Romney) cut funding back to $600K.

angryed on January 31, 2012 at 6:46 PM

Typical libtard. Can’t keep his lies straight.

Gunlock Bill on March 20, 2012 at 5:46 PM

Put -hole after it and you can have your A.

Ronnie on March 20, 2012 at 5:58 PM

IS EVERYONE in Obama’s WH an idiot??????

chai on March 20, 2012 at 6:19 PM

Good grief this man is completely out of his mind, loony tunes.

dogsoldier on March 20, 2012 at 6:57 PM

“The tools we have at our disposal are limited, but I would I 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,” Chu said.

The problem is that he’s telling the truth – and the the ‘long-term solutions’ he’s doing everything he can about are helping *cause* the increase in prices – and it’s *intentional*.

Midas on March 20, 2012 at 8:00 PM

Chu must believe you get credit for effort. I wonder if he used the same standard in evaluating his his students. None of my teachers did after about 4th grade.

Unfortunately for him he is not in school now and results matter. It’s OK to use taxpayer money to explore promising areas but not to play venture capitalist on unproven technologies.

Grade F.

Nomas on March 20, 2012 at 8:05 PM

gravityman on March 20, 2012 at 2:14 PM

You covered this subject pretty well, but don’t forget the corn-based Ethanol which government mandates force into our gasoline.

The ethanol pollution of our gasoline costs every gasoline user a 18 -33% degradation in mileage PLUS an extra $.57 per gallon!!! In addition, it reduces the life of engines and equipment used to handle, haul, or burn the polluted fuel: chiefly by introducing water into places it should never be. And this damage is IN ADDITION to the damage this inappropriate use of corn does by forcing higher worldwide food prices!

In addition, corn-based ethanol AT BEST produces the same amount of energy that it took to produce it, so there is NO NET GAIN in energy by use of ethanol. (In contrast, Brazil’s sugarcane-based ethanol produces 8 units of energy for every unit it takes to produce it).

Corn-Based Ethanol is abysmally STUPID, COUNTER-PRODUCTIVE, and EXPENSIVE!!!

…just another example of how the government is best at picking technologically-flawed LOSERS!!!

landlines on March 20, 2012 at 9:16 PM

NOTE TO CHU:

You seem to still be a little rusty on your American Sign Language:

Those fingers you see raised throughout the audience do NOT mean that you have been voted “number one”!!

landlines on March 20, 2012 at 9:41 PM

In related news Bernie Maddoff thinks he is ethical, Obama thinks he got into Harvard and gradjumitated on merit, Charles Manson thinks he is sane, and Liberals think they are intelligent.

viking01 on March 20, 2012 at 10:44 PM

I would I 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,” Chu said.

Another communist inadvertently telling the truth, you just have to parse the words carefully. He has been working to get to a long term solution; unfortunately for all but the most privileged among us, that “long term solution” means:
a) Depending upon unreliable wind and sunshine to provide most of our electricity. When the batteries run low, us peasants will just be cold (or really hot) and hungry for a while
b) If we are lucky, we will be able to drive clown cars powered by batteries (as long as the conditions mentioned above yield sufficient electricity to charge the batteries or our government ration card still has sufficient allowance for more gasoline. The less fortunate among us will be required to ride the light rail transportation systems that are also part of his “long term solutions”
c) We will all be living much closer together in “intentionally planned” communities with very small highly energy efficient apartments to conserve energy and close enough to work so that we can either drive our clown cars or take the light rail to that workplace.

So yeah, in his skittles and unicorns world, he is doing just exactly what he needs to be doing to get to his long term solutions.

/Don’t know which is worse, when communists tell the truth or when they lie; either way, we the people wind up getting screwed.

AZfederalist on March 21, 2012 at 12:27 AM

In a sane world Chu would have been sent out of DC on a rail. But then again so would Holder and Obama himself and everybody else, so, welcome to the United States of Stupid!

insidiator on March 21, 2012 at 7:43 AM

Only party true. Yes, the price of gas is subject to the global market, and when it comes to oil it is particularly subject to the futures market. But, you are ignoring what drives the futures market. The biggest factor in that is surety and volume of future supply. If we actually started exploring and drilling for the oil we have in North America now (even if that oil won’t hit the pumps for another ten years), the futures market would be more assured of the stability and volume of future supply, therby driving the price per barrel down now.

Your missing the total dishonesty of liberals like him. He is saying that drilling now won’t do anything b/c the results won’t get on line for 10 or so years. they said this 10 years ago also. they don’t care that it will actually lower prices now and even more in 10 years, they just want to stop America from having any access to its natural resources because they hate America. So don’t try logic and reason with someone who is dishonest and doesn’t even want to figure out the best policy. He wants the worst policy. Whatever makes America suffer for its sins.

He is basically arguing that increased supply will never affect price. How can you try to reasonably argue with such idiocy?

He’ll make up silly arguments that even he doesn’t believe, he’ll change his argument and argue the exact opposite in the same thread, and he’ll lie consistently. That is because he will never argue his actual position which is that he does not want America to have the ability to drill its own oil, period. He knows that such a silly, america hating position can’t be argued so it’s all ossification and economic illiterate arguments.

Monkeytoe on March 21, 2012 at 8:27 AM

Typical libtard. Can’t keep his lies straight.

Gunlock Bill on March 20, 2012 at 5:46 PM

While I don’t necessarily agree with Angryed’s position vis a vis Romney versus Obama, Angryed’s been posting here for years and has consistently been conservative. So, he is not a liberal troll. Unless the argument is that he is a “manchurian troll” who started posting here years ago and kept a conservative front for years knowing he was going to need to break out years later and “moby” us?

Monkeytoe on March 21, 2012 at 8:29 AM

Heard today during WMAL(DC) morning show: He doesn’t deserve an A. He deserves an F and a D, for “F-ing Delusional”. That made Bryan and Brian (and me) crack!

mile66 on March 21, 2012 at 9:43 AM

The high gas prices are NOT due Obama Administration incompetence but a DELIBERATE attempt to make alternative energy sources price competitive by escalating gas prices. Where the incompetence comes in is in the almost child-like belief that wind power, batteries and solar panels could fill our energy needs.And, although the alternative energy companies themselves failed (or are failing), Obama’s good ol buddies directing them, pocketed the taxpayers’ money.

MaiDee on March 21, 2012 at 11:03 AM

I have applied to be one of Obama’s economic czars and am sure I will receive an acceptance letter any day now after submitting my latest proposal. Gasoline mixed with sniffing glue. In this manner customers will not only willingly accept high priced gasoline but will become addicted to it. A++.

MaiDee on March 21, 2012 at 11:23 AM

Obama “Inherited” $1.84 Gas
Hows that HopeyChangey thing working for you?

Harbingeing on March 20, 2012 at 1:51 PM

Absolutely brilliant. That needs to go on a T-shirt.

LunaLovegood on March 21, 2012 at 11:28 AM

A Hole.

Obowma takes ONE million dollars in campaign donations from BP prior to the oil spill in the gulf and thanks them by not allowing drilling in the gulf?

We’ve had ZERO permits issued in over TWO YEARS by this admistration that would increase oil production the next day and lowewr gasoline prices. These permits would allow us to drill badly needed water injection wells which increase oil production, and they have the gall to claim we are drilling more?

A Hole.

dthorny on March 21, 2012 at 11:34 AM

It’s not grade inflation, he’s grading himself on the curve established for this administration. If everyone in this administration is getting a 40 out of a hundred, which I believe to be generous, 35 to 40 is an A. And when the losers are voted out of office this November, they all get trophies for participation. That’s the liberal way.

PorchDawg on March 21, 2012 at 12:17 PM

I wish. Last tank I filled cost $4.33/gal.

Socratease on March 20, 2012 at 12:52 PM

I just filled up this morning for $4.55/gal. and that’s after it dropped $0.06 over the past week.

stacman on March 21, 2012 at 1:27 PM

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