AP Ignores Chu's Indifference Towards High Gas Prices, and His Retraction; NYT: Call For Euro-Level Prices Was 'Inconvenient'


On February 28, as reported at the Politico, Obama administration Energy Secretary Steven Chu told a House panel the following in response to a question he interrupted about his interest in having an "overall goal" of lowering gas prices: “No, the overall goal is to decrease our dependency on oil, to build and strengthen our economy.” Yesterday, also as carried at the Politico, Chu effectively retracted that statement, as well as his more infamous September 2008 assertion that he would like to see gas prices in the U.S. resemble those seen in Europe.

A search on Chu's full name (not in quotes) at the Associated Press's main national site and through Google at its hosted2.ap.org site returns nothing relevant to either story. It would not be unreasonable to assert that the Politico, with little or nothing in the way of direct subscriber or member outreach, it the place where many negative stories about the Obama administration get posted -- and go no further.

I should also note that most of the coverage of Chu's retraction alludes to his 2008 comment but not his Congressional testimony two weeks ago. I guess discounting what was said four years ago is easier.

Here's an example from the Green Blog at the News York Times via John M. Broder:

An Inconvenient Statement, Retracted

Energy Secretary Steven Chu on Tuesday walked away from his oft-quoted pre-Cabinet statement that the United States should deliberately raise gasoline prices to discourage consumption.

In a 2008 interview with The Wall Street Journal before he was appointed President Obama’s energy secretary, Dr. Chu, then the director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, said, “Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels of Europe.”

Dr. Chu, a winner of the Nobel Prize in physics, has spent much of his career seeking alternative forms of energy to try to mitigate the global warming effects of the burning of fossil fuels.

His views on gasoline prices, while endorsed by many scientists and environmentalists, are politically off-message today, when gasoline prices are spiking and Mr. Obama is seeking to avoid political blame for them. The president has repeatedly said he has no “silver bullet” to bring prices down but adds that he is doing everything he can to increase domestic oil supplies, including opening large areas of public lands and waters to drilling.

Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker and candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, has called on Mr. Obama to dismiss Dr. Chu because of his stated view on gasoline prices.

So in a hearing before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on Tuesday, Dr. Chu walked away from his earlier comment. “I no longer share that view,” he said. “Of course we don’t want the price of gasoline to go up. We want it to go down.”

"Of course" that's not what you said two weeks ago, pal -- and especially since his original statement was made shortly after a high gas-price bout that was a bit worse (so far) than the current one, it's more than fair to question Chu's level of sincerity.

An "advanced" search on Chu's full name (in quotes) at the Times, which I believe only lists items appearing in print, indicates that the Old Gray Lady didn't permit its print subscribers or digital subscribers who aren't inclined to visit its blogs to learn of Chu's retraction through them.

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.

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