Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Obama Cheers for Higher Gas Prices, Says Barbour

WASHINGTON — Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, a potential Republican presidential contender, accused the Obama administration Wednesday of favoring a run-up in gas prices to prod consumers to buy more fuel-efficient cars.

Barbour suggested that President Barack Obama wants to see higher energy taxes that would lead to more expensive gasoline. But his comments came amid a spike in gas prices that has been primarily driven by unrest in the Middle East, particularly Libya, that has diminished crude oil production. That, coupled with increased demand, has pushed prices to almost $3.39 per gallon, according to auto club AAA.

Barbour cited 2008 comments from Steven Chu, now Obama's energy secretary, that a gradual increase in gasoline taxes could coax consumers into dumping their gas-guzzlers and finding homes closer to where they work. Chu, then a Nobel Prize-winning professor, argued that higher costs per gallon could force investments in alternative fuels and spur cleaner energy sources READ MORE...

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