Rhetoric on Oil Prices Flares: Boehner vs. White House

Feb 28, 2012 5:50pm

Political accusations over the rising price of oil shot across Washington Tuesday, with House Speaker John Boehner accusing President Obama of blocking the way to a solution.

“The fact is, is the president blocked the Keystone pipeline; he’s blocked efforts to expand energy production in the Intermountain West, over in the Gulf and in a small portion of Alaska,” Boehner said at a Capitol Hill news conference, later adding, “We want lower gas prices for the American people. And the more that we can do to show the American people and to show the world that we’re going to move towards energy self-sufficiency, I think you’ll see the prices on the world market begin to come down.”

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney shot back, it is “demonstrably, categorically false” to claim the President does not support expanded oil production or that he permanently blocked the Keystone XL project.

And in uncharacteristically sharp words during his daily briefing, Carney went farther, saying the Speaker “suggested that somehow, simply by drilling or approving the Keystone XL pipeline, that that would lower gas prices, that would lower prices at the pump. And that’s the kind of empty promise that politicians make when we face hikes in the global price of oil, that is really dishonest with the kind of promise that is — that are — the promises that are dishonest with the American people.”

Both sides seemed to speak with exasperation. The Speaker: “And it’s just about damn time that we actually have a national energy policy and do something the American people want us to do.” With that he ended the press conference.

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