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Chu Walks Back 2008 Remark Advocating Higher Gas Prices

Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) asked U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu about his 2008 remark encouraging the U.S. to follow Europe's lead in their extraordinarily high price of gasoline at a hearing on the Energy Department's loan guarantee program.

"Let me first respond to your first statement, Senator," Chu said. "Since I walked in the door as Secretary of Energy, I have been doing everything in my powers to do what we can to reduce -- as we see these gas prices spike -- to reduce these prices. And the administration, the president, and I personally, yes we do acknowledge and feel the pain of not only American consumers, but American businesses when they see these prices increase."

"Are you saying that you no longer share the view that we need to figure out how to boost gasoline prices in America?" Lee asked

"I no longer share that view," Chu said. "When I became Secretary of Energy, I represented the U.S. government and I think that right now, in this economic very slow but -- you know, return that we need to have these prices … will effect the comeback of our economy and we're very worried about that. So of course we don’t want the price of gasoline to go up, we want it to go down.”

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