Thursday Political Grab Bag: Obama Energy Tour Rolls On

Mar 22, 2012
Originally published on March 22, 2012 7:40 am

President Obama continued to defend his administration's energy policy in a multi-state tour by arguing that energy production has risen during his time in office and that his favored approach is to increase U.S. production from all energy sources. To underscore that, the Obama White House engineered a Thursday executive order for Obama to sign expedite the building of the Keystone XL pipeline from Cushing, OK to the Gulf.

Mitt Romney's presidential campaign was forced to deal with fallout from an aide's unfortunate use of an Etch-a-Sketch simile to describe how his candidate planned to pivot from the primary campaign to the general election contest.

Contrary to 2012 Romney, as Massachusetts' governor in 2006, he actually seemed to welcome high gas prices as a way to dampen oil consumption and boost energy efficiency efforts. He was quoted in a newspaper as saying: "I'm very much in favor of people recognizing that these high gasoline prices are probably here to stay."

By a 19 to 18 vote, the House Budget Committee approved the controversial budget plan that calls for broad domestic-spending cuts and radical changes to Medicare authored by its chairman Rep. Paul Ryan. Two conservative Republicans defected. The vote sets the stage for a House floor flight next week for the bill which is mostly an election-year political document, same as Obama's budget proposal.

House Republican leaders incurred the anger of some in their ranks and at least one influential outside conservative group for taking the unusual step of choosing sides in primary fights between House members forced to run against each other because of redistricting.

In an unusual case of government downsizing by a municipal official, the city manager of Keller, Texas announced he was laying himself off.

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