By Peter Ferrara on 5.4.11 @ 6:10AM

As a guest on a black radio talk show recently, I suggested that someone ask President Obama what his plan is for bringing down high gasoline prices.

What a gaffe that question would be. The current high gas prices, and more, are precisely the President's plan.

President Obama's Secretary of Energy is former Berkeley physics professor Steven Chu, who said in 2008, "Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe." We still have a way to go to achieve Secretary Chu's goal. The average price for a gallon of gas in Europe is over $8.

President Obama's Secretary of Interior is Ken Salazar. When he was a Senator in 2008, he proclaimed on the floor of the Senate that he would oppose any offshore drilling no matter how high the price of gasoline rose, even to $10 a gallon.

When President Obama took office in 2009, the average price of gasoline in America was $1.83 a gallon. Today it is more than double that at $3.87. As the above quotes indicate, the Obama Administration's policy is to increase it well beyond that.

Extremist Quackery

Why would President Obama want high gas prices? It's a matter of ideology for him. He thinks it's good for the environment for gas prices to be high. The higher gas prices are, the less you will drive.

Also, higher gas prices make his beloved "alternative fuels" more competitive. That is because these alternative fuels are inherently more expensive, and so can't compete with cheaper gas. Note this is not a prescription for easing the financial burden on working people. High gas prices make it more likely you will buy expensive "alternative fuels." But either way, your wallet will still be drained.

Worst of all, these "alternative fuels" are not anywhere near sufficiently viable to power the modern American economy into the 21st century. To sharply restrict and drive up the price of the traditional energy that can power our economy today decades before any possible alternative energy can take on the burden is a policy of national economic suicide. That is President Obama's energy policy today.

Don't even bring up the notion of global warming to justify President Obama's high gas price policy. I have discussed the discredited science behind that phony ideological claim in this space in detail before. If you need a refresher course, check out the Heartland Institute's definitive, 800-page tome Climate Change Reconsidered. The most advanced climate scientists such as MIT's Richard Lindzen now have definitive proof that man-caused greenhouse gas emissions will not raise earth's temperatures anywhere near dangerous levels. The increased CO2 in the atmosphere and the resulting slightly increased warmth will only improve agricultural productivity and human health.

These are the reasons why Victor Davis Hanson wrote in a recent column, "So much of this Administration's talk about energy sounds similar to a bull session in the faculty lounge, or what we would expect from lifelong bureaucrats and public functionaries who have never experienced long commutes or struggles in the harsher, profit-driven private workplace."

Supply and Demand

President Obama has raised gas prices by carrying on a war against U.S. oil production. One year after the Deepwater Horizon Gulf oil spill, the environment in the gulf has mostly recovered, but the same cannot be said for the American economy. Instead, after a deepwater drilling moratorium declared illegal in several judicial rulings that still dragged on for months, and then a continuing drilling permit slowdown also judicially condemned, giant deepwater drilling rigs have now been uprooted from the Gulf of Mexico and sent to friendlier economic environments in the Congo, Brazil, and elsewhere. The Gulf of Mexico has been a mainstay of U.S. oil production for decades with little adverse environmental effects. But President Obama seized on the opportunity provided by the spill to shut down as much of the Gulf production as possible. Maybe that political opportunity is why the Administration was so slow to act to minimize damage from the spill.

Also never recovered from the spill has been the congressionally-approved offshore drilling plan for the eastern Gulf of Mexico, the South Atlantic, and the mid-Atlantic, which President Obama deep-sixed in response to the spill. That action alone deprives the American people of an estimated 7.6 billion barrels of oil and 36.6 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

Just warming up, the Obama Administration also rescinded already issued permits for drilling in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska. Shell Oil recently discovered that after spending $4 billion to develop shallow-water drilling on vast tracts already leased from the federal government in the Beauford and Chukchi Seas north of Alaska, President Obama's EPA has denied it permits to begin exploratory drilling. That leaves another estimated 27 billion barrels of oil in the ground.
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