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Obama’s Energy Promises Ring Hollow

President Obama isn’t the only one whose poll numbers seem to be sinking lately. A new Rasmussen poll found that Democrats in Congress are also losing ground to the GOP on the Generic Congressional Ballot:

Republicans hold a six-point lead over Democrats on the latest Generic Congressional Ballot for the week ending Sunday, March 11.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 44 percent of Likely U.S. Voters would vote for the Republican in their district’s congressional race if the election were held today, while 38 percent would choose the Democrat instead. Last week, the Republican led by three points, 44 percent to 41 percent.

It’s not clear whether the shift has anything to do with rising gas prices – which appears to be a reason behind Obama’s dip in the polls – but it sounds like the White House is pretty nervous that it is. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar pushed back on criticism of Obama’s energy policy at a White House briefing this afternoon:

Salazar insisted that Obama is reviewing short- and long-term actions to lower gas prices, while also noting that there are no quick fixes to the problem.

“All options are on the table because the president obviously feels the pain that the American people are facing,” Salazar said when asked if the administration would tap the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, a 696-million barrel emergency oil stockpile.

But based on Obama’s own comments today, he’s only interested in dragging out the same recycled energy rhetoric he’s been pushing since he took office: America needs to reduce its oil dependency and pursue clean energy alternatives. Here’s part of Obama’s statement, via CNN:

“Our focus on increased domestic oil and gas production, currently at an eight-year high, combined with the historic fuel economy standards we put in place, means that we will continue to reduce our nation’s vulnerability to the ups and downs of the global oil market. We’ve also made progress in the expansion of clean energy, with renewable energy from sources like wind and solar on track to double, along with the construction of our first advanced biofuel refineries. And yet, despite the gains we’ve made, today’s high gas prices are a painful reminder that there’s much more work to do free ourselves from our dependence on foreign oil and take control of our energy future. And that’s exactly what our administration is committed to doing in the months ahead.”

This has been a regular mantra from the administration since 2009, but Obama has yet to follow through on it.

Obama in a 2009 speech: “Rhetoric has not led to the hard work needed to achieve results and our leaders raise their voices each time there’s a spike on gas prices, only to grow quiet when the price falls at the pump.”

Obama after the BP oil spill in 2010: “The tragedy unfolding on our coast is the most painful and powerful reminder yet that the time to embrace a clean energy future is now.” And yet the can was only kicked further down the road.

And remember, it was just last March when the president made his big, much-celebrated energy address. “[W]e cannot keep going from shock to trance on the issue of energy security, rushing to propose action when gas prices rise, then hitting the snooze button when they fall again,” he proclaimed.

So when Obama says we need to “free ourselves from our dependence on foreign oil,” and promises this is something that “our administration is committed to doing in the months ahead,” it’s hardly surprising if the American people don’t take him seriously. If this were something the administration was capable of doing in a matter of months, they would have done it the first time Obama promised it. Instead, this sounds more like empty talk to placate the public until gas prices drop again.



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