Grading Clinton's Energy Policy: "Two D's and an F

July 7, 2008 - 8:25 PM

( - A California congressman Thursday gave the Clinton-Gore administration failing grades -- "two D's and an F" -- for doing nothing to prevent the recent runup in fuel prices. The comment came on the same day that truckers staged another fuel-price protest on the streets of Washington.

Speaking on the House floor, Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA) said the administration must shoulder much of the responsibility for higher prices because it ignored "the two D's -- domestic production and diplomacy."

Calvert noted that the United States imports a majority of its petroleum because of restrictive policies that make it difficult to produce petroleum in this country. "The administration imposes serious limits on exploration, drilling, refining through an incredible permitting and regulatory scheme," Calvert said.

"These regulations force many facilities to shut down when all prices are low and make it uneconomic to open when prices rise."

On diplomacy, Calvert said the administration knew as much as one year ago that higher prices were "coming down the pipeline." He said it's unfortunate that Energy Secretary Bill Richardson "was preoccupied by a major spy scandal in DOE (Department of Energy). As he himself said on February 16th, it is obvious that the federal government was not prepared -- 'we were caught napping, we were complacent.'"

The truckers' protest - their second one of its kind in recent weeks - was noted in a House speech by Representative Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD).

Bartlett called America's truckers a vital part of the economy: "Truckers deliver the food we eat, the clothes we wear and the materials used to build our homes. Unfortunately, for the past several months, truckers have been hit by rising gas and diesel prices. These outrageous fuel prices are threatening the livelihood of thousands of truckers across the United States which is the reason for their demonstration today."

"When truckers cannot afford to fill their tanks, they will be forced off the road, and without trucking, commerce in our nation would be ground to a halt."

Bartlett added his voice to those criticizing the Clinton-Gore administration for its handling of the fuel crisis.

"With gas and diesel prices expected to continue rising through the summer, an even greater number of truckers are going to be threatened. Energy Secretary Bill Richardson has admitted that the Clinton-Gore administration was 'asleep at the wheel' when it comes to gas and diesel prices. Now, the American people must unfortunately foot the bill for the Clinton-Gore failure."

A somber President Clinton, in brief remarks to reporters at noontime on Thursday, said his administration is working very hard on the problem and expects to have something to say about it in a few days.