Romney tries his hand at energy policy

Updated
 
Romney fibs about gas prices at a stop in Missouri.
Romney fibs about gas prices at a stop in Missouri.
Associated Press

Republicans haven’t had much luck lately trying to talk about energy policy, but that didn’t stop Mitt Romney from weighing in on the subject yesterday. His comments, delivered at a playground in Missouri, were so wildly off-base, it’s probably best if I just annotate them.

“Yesterday, he said the reason we have high gasoline prices is, and then he was seeking – What could it be? What could it be? – I have some suggestions for him,” Romney said. “Maybe it’s related to the fact that you stopped drilling in the, in the Gulf [1]. Maybe it’s related to the fact, Mr. President, that you are not drilling in. Maybe it’s related to the fact that you said we couldn’t get a pipeline in from Canada known as Keystone [2]. Those things affect gasoline prices, long term.”

He continued: “But instead he came up with this: He said it’s because Republican presidential candidates are talking in a very muscular way about Iran and their nuclear program. [3]”

This is clearly an issue important to voters, so it’s worth taking a moment to consider whether Romney’s claims are true.

[1] Oil production has gone up under Obama, and is higher now than at any point in Bush’s second term. It hasn’t affected prices at the pump.

[2] Keystone wouldn’t lower gas prices.

[3] Obama didn’t blame Republicans for gas prices. The president said one of the drivers of fluctuating costs is “speculation about possible war in the Middle East,” and those comments are accurate.

In other words, Romney made three specific claims about gas prices and energy policy, and all three were wrong.

This is a complicated issue that voters obviously care about, and it’s easy for the public to get confused. Dishonesty from politicians trying to exploit anxiety doesn’t help the discourse.

Mitt Romney

Romney tries his hand at energy policy

Updated