With prospective GOP challengers hawking guarantees of Seinfeld-era gas prices, President Obama simultaneously called their bluff on what he called “phony election-year promises” and urged Congress to end $4 billion in subsidies for oil and gas companies. Sure, he’s said it before (most recently in his State of the Union address), but at a stop in Nashua Community College in New Hampshire, Obama put some muscle behind it:
“You can either stand up for the oil companies, or you can stand up for the American people,” Mr. Obama said. “You can keep subsidizing a fossil fuel that’s been getting taxpayer dollars for a century, or you can place your bets on a clean-energy future.”
It took GOP bigwigs approximately four nanoseconds to respond that the president’s move could make oil costs go even higher, while John Boehner needled him over what he perceived to be a reluctance to open the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (which also might not lower costs or stop our Bubbles-esque problems with oil). White House Press Secretary Jay Carney didn’t address whether Obama would tap into the reserve, but affirmed the president was “very concerned” about the pump-fatigued American family.
Though Obama’s clearly ready to put Big Oil in the crosshairs in an election year, for anything to actually, y’know, happen, Obama will have to hope his kick-in-the-pants for oil companies can reverberate through a thus-far paralyzed Congress. Good luck with that, Barry!