Issues

Chu: Better than A-Minus on Keeping Gas Prices Down

Energy Secretary Steven Chu said he would give himself a "higher" than A-minus grade on keeping gas prices low at a hearing of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Tuesday morning.

At the Oversight Committee hearing, held to address the Energy Department's green energy loan program, Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R., Calif.) asked Chu how he would grade his performance on reducing gas prices. Chu said "higher than (A-minus)," citing the department's aggressive work to develop alternatives to petroleum-based fuel, such as natural gas and electric.

At a previous hearing in March, Chu said he would give himself an A-minus grade for his performance so far as Energy Secretary.

However, Republican members of the committee disputed Chu's claims.

"The policy this admin has put in place has actually increased the cost of fuel of pump," said Rep. Patrick McHenry (R., N.C.). "The anger that my constituents have at the cost at the pumps is real."

Oversight Committee Republicans are expected to grill Chu today over the Department of Energy’s loan program, specifically more than $1 billion in loans to several solar companies and the agency’s weatherization program.

Transcript of the exchange:

ISSA: Now, let me just ask one basic question, in an earlier hearing, you gave yourself an A-minus. In weatherization, do you give yourself an A-minus?

CHU: Actually, I do.

ISSA: In controlling the cost of gasoline at the pump, do you give yourself an A-minus?

CHU: Well, the tools we have at our disposal are limited, but I would say, I would give myself a little higher in that since I became secretary of Energy, I’ve been doing everything I can to get long-term solutions.