U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu said the federal government will continue to emphasize finding alternative forms of transportation energy sources over merely trying to find ways to cut gas prices, Politico is reporting, citing Chu's comments at a Washington, D.C., House appropriations hearing earlier this week.

The government will try to diversify energy sources by promoting and supporting electric-drive vehicle development and biofuel use as a longer-term solution instead of directly addressing gas prices, Chu said. House Republicans have been critical of the federal government for its alt-fuel investments.

Tension over fueling costs continues to rise along with gas prices, which jumped 27 percent last year to $3.53 a gallon. This year, gas prices are up further, to about $3.75 a gallon for regular unleaded gas, according to the AAA. The Associated Press reported earlier this year that 2011 car refueling costs accounted for the highest percentage of a typical household's budget in three decades.

Still, one environmentalist website says things could be worse. TreeHugger estimates that, factoring government subsidies and intangible effects such as environmental damage and medical costs from people's respiratory issues, the "true" cost of gas is closer to $15 a gallon.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 59 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      Sorry to Say Mr. President But You Are Supporting The Bad Guys With Your "All Of The Above" Energy Plan http://www.theautochannel.com/news/2012/02/24/026618-sorry-to-say-mr-president-but-you-are-supporting-bad.html
      • 3 Years Ago
      OPEC overjoyed at rise in gas prices. Promises more money to 'greens' and Democrat/Marxist Party for help.
        Ernie Dunbar
        • 3 Years Ago
        Yes, it means that their own oil subsidies are paid for, so that they can continue selling gasoline at $0.30 a gallon in Saudi Arabia and burning it for dirt cheap electricity.
      PR
      • 3 Years Ago
      The Politico story that this is based upon now has the following Editor's note/correction: "Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story mischaracterized the testimony of Energy Secretary Steven Chu."
      Spec
      • 3 Years Ago
      Yep . . . breaking free of oil would be SO MUCH better than just getting cheaper oil. And many of these are arguments that conservatives should strongly support: -Reduces local pollution (OK, conservatives don't seem to care about that. Not sure why not but they don't.) -Reduces dependence on sketchy foreign nations such as Goodluck Jonathan's Nigeria, Hugo Chavez's Venezuela, the entire Islamic mid-east, Putin's Russia, Ahmedhinejad's Iran, etc. Yes, I know we get most of our imported oil from Canada but oil is a global market of a fungible commodity so oil bought anywhere affects the price of oil everywhere. Most of the remaining oil is in the mid-East . . . do we want to become beholden to that area? -Improves our terrible trade deficit by reducing one of our biggest imports . . . crude oil. Domestic production has increased lately such that we now import only 1/2 our crude oil whereas we were importing close to 2/3s. But we are still massively dependent on imported oil. And, yes, all those stories about how we are exporting petroleum are confusing people since that is just exporting REFINED petroleum product made from imported crude oil. We just have excess refining capacity since our demand has dropped due to reduced employment. -Reduces our need to have our military be involved in various oil exporting regions. -Going electric will create domestic electricity generation jobs. Installers for solar systems for EV buyers that want to grow their own fuel. People upgrading the grid with more smart grid and transmission equipment. Eventually more generation capacity if needed.
        EVnerdGene
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Spec
        Just listening to a show in the background the other day where the host was listing dozens of coal-fired power plants that will be shut-dwon in the next few years, with no significant plans for replacement. If we significantly build the EV base, will electric power start to cost us an arm and a leg ? This will not just affect the FUV and sport-truck owners, but everyone who uses electricity - like for home heating. Burrrrrrrrrrr. Just two nights ago, a kid ringing my groceries was complaining about the price of gas, and that he was spending half of his paycheck for gas. I asked what he drove; BF truck with V8 - complained of getting 10 mpg. I cried, and thought about tipping him. Not.
          Vlad
          • 3 Years Ago
          @EVnerdGene
          There is a huge surplus of generation capacity at night. That's when the bulk of EV-charging will happen. It will be decades until we need to start to add powerplants to charge EVs.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 3 Years Ago
          @EVnerdGene
          You actually considered tipping the register operator? Who does that? If anyone, you tip the bagger after they've brought your groceries to your car and put them into your trunk when it rains.
          Spec
          • 3 Years Ago
          @EVnerdGene
          Electricity prices have been pretty stable and I predict they'll remain so. We are building natural gas plants and wind turbines to replace older plants. If there is ever a real shortage, they won't just pull the plug on an old coal plant, they'll instead extend the license or delay enforcement of regulations that may be causing the shut down. We even got a couple new nukes licensed . . . the first new nukes since 1978 or so. EVs are really not a big stress on the grid since they are charged up overnight when there is plenty of spare capacity. That kid is an idiot . . . people need to start taking fuel efficiency seriously. He is basically just burning up his money.
      EVnerdGene
      • 3 Years Ago
      maybe we need a CEO from the oil and gas industry to lead our Department of Energy instead of an ivory tower, never had a job in industry type like Chu We need business decisions based on facts, instead of emotional / political / feel good.
        marcopolo
        • 3 Years Ago
        @EVnerdGene
        @EVnerdGene It must be possible to achieve both. There are plenty of ex-industry executives with outstanding academic scientific qualifications. It's very important to have government policies that can actually be effectively integrated into a commercial context. The man in charge must have experience in both aspect of administration. (oh and some political skills would be good also)
          EVnerdGene
          • 3 Years Ago
          @marcopolo
          that's exactly what I said Butt not political skills. How about diplomatic skills ? I'm sick of politicians pandering to morons.
          marcopolo
          • 3 Years Ago
          @marcopolo
          @EVnerdGene Yes, well put, diplomatic skills!
        EJ
        • 3 Years Ago
        @EVnerdGene
        Isn't that what we had under Bush? Good times, good times...
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 3 Years Ago
        @EVnerdGene
        Yeah, we need an oil and gas industry guy in that spot just like we need GE's guy ( rapid labor outsourcer ) as the jobs czar, or the former attorney of Monsanto to be a judge for all cases against monsanto.
        Spec
        • 3 Years Ago
        @EVnerdGene
        Uh . . . NO! We need a science guy so the decisions are based on scientific facts. We do not need an oil industry guy that will make decisions based on what is in the best interests for the oil industry that he worked for before joining the DoE and the oil industry that he will rejoin after he leaves the DoE. I certainly don't agree with everything Chu has done but I largely think he has done a very good job
          EVnerdGene
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Spec
          uh .. . . NO! we need businessmen with technical backgrounds that make decisions on science, that is also economically feasible - not just running-up huge deficits No politics, no pandering to the radical left that seem to be against everything that works
          Dan Frederiksen
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Spec
          a very good job? like saying batteries need at least 5x higher energy density to compete with ICE cars. he is clueless in the extreme. a wet rag would have done better. you need someone like me and there aren't any like me nor would they be put in such a position. snipers would come out of everywhere with the amount of evil I would upset in such a position. Chu is at best pathetic. he probably doesn't even know what a thundersky cell is. and I wouldn't be surprised if he doesn't know what autoblog.com is. at best he thinks he's still in academia and playing the long game at the total expense of what can be done now and ignorant of it. worst case he's part of evil. but probably not. he's probably just that stupid.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Spec
          "...snipers would come out of everywhere with the amount of evil I would upset in such a position." Now we know why Dan F refuses to build his world-saving EV. He fears for his life!
        brotherkenny4
        • 3 Years Ago
        @EVnerdGene
        Fact is that oil is going to get more expensive. The easy stuff was taken first and now it gets more difficult and expensive to produce. Same goes for coal. Anything finite that gets consumed becomes more expensive. That is a fact. Another fact is that no matter how expensive anything becomes, if you can get people to buy it, you can make a lot of money. If you make a lot of money then you can influence politicians and the media and attack any potential competitors.
        Letstakeawalk
        • 3 Years Ago
        @EVnerdGene
        As much as I disagree with some of his decisions, Sec. Chu's scientific education and work history are stellar.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I agree with what they're saying, but this is a killer politically. I believe Jimmy Carter got on TV during the second oil crisis in 1979 (we still haven't learned!) wearing a sweater asking Americans to use less energy. Of course, he got demolished in the election (other reasons were at play as well) the next year. The lesson seems to be that Americans want and will vote for cheaper gas and tend to view other options as pie-in-the-sky dreams because, after all, they've experienced cheap gas but not the other options being proposed.
        Dave D
        • 3 Years Ago
        I know what you're saying, but Carter had LOTS of reasons why he lost that election, the gas prices was just one of so very many.
      fred schumacher
      • 3 Years Ago
      After Hurricane Katrina caused fuel prices to jump, I bought a 1998 Neon with 5-speed to replace a minivan as my daily driver. My fuel economy went from 23 mpg to 38, and my fuel costs, thus, went down. The Neon paid for itself in one year. Now I'm looking to do the same, again. The days of cheap fuel are over. Even increased oil production cannot keep up with increasing world demand, and it is world demand, not America's, that sets the price for fuel. The only long term solution is increased efficiency. The auto industry understands this, which helps explain why they have not been opposing President Obama's regulatory move to double the CAFE standard. In the past the industry fought efficiency standards tooth and nail, but no more.
      bricko
      • 3 Years Ago
      The Obama Energy Policy: Clearing The Roads For 1% Fatcats! heh.....
      PR
      • 3 Years Ago
      The Politico story that this is based upon now has the following Editor's note/correction: "Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story mischaracterized the testimony of Energy Secretary Steven Chu."
      2 Wheeled Menace
      • 3 Years Ago
      Hey Chu, good luck with that. Alt fuels have had prolly had a trillion dollars dumped into them in the last decade ( i remember the big push under the Bush administration ), and much like magic batteries that are a 2-5x improvement, nothing has borne fruit just yet. Nothing beats dino juice. It is the most energy dense, plentiful fuel you can get ( other than say, uranium, thorium etc ). Algae/Jatropha/Bacteria fuel - where did that go? did cheap gas kill it or was it just fluff?
        Anderlan
        • 3 Years Ago
        @2 Wheeled Menace
        When alt fuels get a trillion pumped into them, then gas will be history. And we can't use the dinojuice as fast as we are now. The only sustainable level of use is pre-war levels. That's ok, because using MODERN TECHNOLOGY, not continuing to rely on the same old thing century after century, we can do 10 times as much work with the same energy and harness energy from the wind and sun and use better batteries and information technology to integrate it all. Or we can continue to live in the past and put our economy at risk from erratic weather, collapsing fisheries, lower crop yield, and hellish insect blights and pathogen outbreaks. The science is sooooooo in on this. Recklessness adjective: see fossil carbon energy.
        Dave
        • 3 Years Ago
        @2 Wheeled Menace
        "( other than say, uranium, thorium etc )" Yup. Ethanol, methanol, etc are just entertaining sideshows until we start producing all or nearly all of our electricity and hydrogen from nukes.
        Spec
        • 3 Years Ago
        @2 Wheeled Menace
        It is extremely hard to compete with oil. However, oil is now becoming more scare and thus more expensive such that we are close to competing with it. Many of the alt-fuel attempts will fail . . . that is be expected. But we just need 1 good technology to succeed.
          super390
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Spec
          Gayle, a global economic collapse, an unbridgeable gap between the rich and poor, and the loss of our leisure time have already occurred under our prior no-conservation ethic. The rich are going to work us to death no matter what because they'll make their pile before having to suffer any consequences. They will take any higher economic input and use it to create another asset bubble. That's all they've ever done. And the Chinese are propping up our currency by buying insane amounts of dollars. If they stop, the dollar will collapse, and OPEC will either stop using dollars or raise the dollar price to compensate. So Americans will have to pay far more for oil that might be cheaper in yuan or euros. You seem to expect the yuan will go up in value if it floats. That would make oil cheaper for China to import, so they would import more of it. Logical, right?
          EVnerdGene
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Spec
          we need one good technology to succeed - big time and there is nothing in the works that shows big time promise maybe we should be throttling back until then
          gayle
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Spec
          ......and our GDP was 1/10th (in real terms) of what it is now. During one of the worst monetary contractions in history, you're advocating an economic strategy that would actually lead to the collapse of the global economy, an unbridgeable gap between rich and poor, and the termination of leisure time. Free-society so you may live the life you choose, but economically-speaking, the conservation lifestyle is not possible or preferable on a grand scale. Conservation uber alles, sounds wonderful. It's simple, and the aesthetic is nice, but no one actually wants to pursue an exponential decrease in economic productivity for a fractional decrease in the cost of energy and carbon pollution. We need much higher output at the same cost/pollution, and we need to reallocate oil import spending to domestic energy or other areas of the domestic economy. Higher economic output will give us the funding and the technology to continue reducing pollution and energy costs. Furthermore, it would be really smart to run a damn pipeline into the US from Canada, rather than shipping oil in tankers across the ocean. Canada also needs to run a pipeline to their own east coast. Efficiency uber alles is the zeitgeist. Once we get rid of our insane oil deficit, we will have the leverage we need to pressure the Chinese into floating their currency. That is the ugly game. The WTO are letting China bleed us dry (naturally, US citizens are unwitting accomplices), until we drastically reduce oil consumption. CAFE 2025 (efficiency legislation) was, thus, a no-brainer for Congress AND the auto manufacturers.
          Spec
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Spec
          @mylexicon Yes, there are lots of nonconventional oil sources out there . . . but it is not easy to scale them up. You need a lot of capital, water, natural gas, and time. And in the meantime, China and other growing countries are rapidly eating into the oil supply available on the export market. China, India, and other growing countries are going to be buying more for what is available on the export markets such that there is less available for us. Well, actually what happens is the price goes up such that the oil is rationed to the highest bidder. But people need to give a cold hard look at the facts . . . during the last 2 years domestic production has had the biggest surge in the past 30 years yet oil prices are very high. Despite all those production increases, we are still paying more for oil. That is the future we are looking at.
          2 Wheeled Menace
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Spec
          We used to ride bicycles, then drove little cars like the Model T, didn't live in extreme climates, did dishes by hand, had 5 amp power outlets, no refrigerators, and dried out clothes outside on a line. I think we could conserve a little when we live in a day where most people drive a SUV to work alone.
          mylexicon
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Spec
          2-wheel, that's lovely political rhetoric, but diminishing marginal returns exist in conservation technology/practices and oil production. Absolutist strategies make us feel good b/c they are simple, but we can go broke with inefficient investment in conservation technology as quickly as we have gone broke lusting after oil. Reducing usage often has high opportunity costs even if there are no negative cash flows. If consumers are going to chase conservation, they are going to need a hell of a lot more utility than they get now. Marketers haven't figured out how to create it, and, so far, the Federal government has only figured out how to create disutility for behaviors they don't like. It is poisoning the entire well. It's a complex situation and "conservation is the cheapest and smartest solution you could ever have" is not going to get us closer to the end goal of energy independence and greater personnel freedom/utility/production.
          2 Wheeled Menace
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Spec
          Not scarce, just progressively more energy intensive and environmentally destructive to get to. Hydrogen, biofuels, and electric have their environmental tolls as well. Conservation is the cheapest and smartest solution you could ever have.
          mylexicon
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Spec
          Oil is not scarce. The low-hanging fruit has been exhausted, and at current exchange, the kind of reserves and production the world needs is only available at a median price of roughly $80-$90 per barrel. However, some sort of efficiency breakthrough in oil sand extraction or shale baking could alter the situation, but we can't really use potential technological breakthrough as a foundation for our economy..........the sword cuts both ways--oil and green energy. Saving oil is a smart strategy, but if energy independence is really our goal, Chu is right to say that we must also produce more energy--electricity, biofuel, hydrogen, etc.
      george costanza
      • 3 Years Ago
      yes because being proactive and doing things which WE can control is a thousand times better than wishing or clicking heels together or magical thinking or praying while starting border wars like perdue and perry or sacrificing water for fracked gas or starting world war III for 'cheap' oil.....
      • 3 Years Ago
      This is what a communist administration is good for.
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 3 Years Ago
        Don't feed the troll. Downrate and move on :)
        EVnerdGene
        • 3 Years Ago
        communism is socialism at the end of a bayonet don't exaggerate
          Dan Frederiksen
          • 3 Years Ago
          @EVnerdGene
          actually I think communism and socialism are the same thing. and both good. there is a difference between communism and what is done in its name in russia and china, which is simply fascism.
          marcopolo
          • 3 Years Ago
          @EVnerdGene
          @Dan Frederiksen Dan, the problem with 'communism and socialism' is they always end up as Fascism. There's a basic flaw in the economic theory of Dialectical Materialism, and sooner or later, dissent must be suppressed. That's when it becomes State capitalism, and as the corruption begins, fascism takes over. I know that most of these economic theories begin with Judo-Christian moral ethics, but they require a perfection of spirit which is contrary to the adventurous spirit of Man. Vibrant economies run of surplus, the bigger the surplus, the more vibrant the society and economy. Dialectical Materialism, which is the basis for socialist economics, does not allow for the creation of surplus, nor does it allow for the creation of credit. Without these two factors, the economy can not progress.
          super390
          • 3 Years Ago
          @EVnerdGene
          It was the laissez-faire capitalist collapse of 1929 that put anti-Communist Hitler in power and nearly brought the West under fascist control. He had many fans in corporate boardrooms, including George W. Bush's grandfather Prescott, a banker who helped finance Hitler's regime and the DuPont plot to impose fascist rule in the USA, and was convicted under the Trading With The Enemy Act during WW2. The DuPont plot, as its name suggests, was a rich man's club. Look it up. The closest America ever came to a fascist takeover, a cabal of GOP multi-millionaires who didn't even get punished.
          brotherkenny4
          • 3 Years Ago
          @EVnerdGene
          GW and president Cheney were facist in my opinion
          EVnerdGene
          • 3 Years Ago
          @EVnerdGene
          and that's exactly what I said socialism is sold in the newspapers, and a slow increase in programs that addict their users communism is slightly less democratic in its beginnings and administration both systems will eventually collapse from their own weight "The trouble with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money?" Margaret Thatcher
        harlanx6
        • 3 Years Ago
        We always catch hell from the left and the starry eyed media about it, but if you study what has been said by this administration, and their appointees, you definately can see the Marxism. Some of the things they have said are almost Marxist talking points. If you discount what they have said and just judge by what they have done the similarities are evident. Watch what politicians do, and take what they say with a grain of salt. This administrations grade up to now? Fail. They are cooking the books and it it is still an obvious fail. Hang in there Mike. You are on the right track.
          EZEE
          • 3 Years Ago
          @harlanx6
          @spec Fluoride? That's crazy talk!
          marcopolo
          • 3 Years Ago
          @harlanx6
          Spec I knew it ! I could tell from his secret masonic hand shake that only he knows....
          EVnerdGene
          • 3 Years Ago
          @harlanx6
          fluoride commie plot to poison us P.O.E. see Dr. Strangelove
          Spec
          • 3 Years Ago
          @harlanx6
          He is also a Kenyan Muslim atheist that is putting fluoride into your water supply to sap your precious bodily fluids.
    • Load More Comments
    Share This Photo X