By Clarice Feldman
I'm letting you in on a secret. No President since Nixon -- until now -- has had secretly taped conversations in the Oval Office. President Obama , however, decided it would be prudent to tape all his conversations with his Attorney General Eric Holder. Something inside warned him that it would be worthwhile to have proof when it hits the fan. As the char in that room, I came across the transcript of the tapes and while I haven't them all, I was able to duplicate the series called "Rising Gas Prices" and here, for your eyes only, are the relevant passages.
President: I called you in here for a talk on something very important to me. First priority, really.
President: No, try again.
Holder: Military families?
President: Not really close, Eric.
Holder: The economy?
President: Excuse me a minute.
Look, Senator. I've made myself clear on this: I haven't been some coal booster and if they want to build coal plants, they can, but it will bankrupt them.
Yes, you can quote me on that, but if you quote me correctly, I'll say you are misguided got it out of context. Capisce?
Excuse me, Eric. Where was I?
Eric: You were talking to me about your first priority, Mr. President.
President: Oh, yes. (Telephone rings). Darn. I have to take that, please excuse me again.
Ken. How are you? Good job in holding up those drilling permits. I know that judge is giving you some trouble but keep sitting on those requests, will you? Yes, it's way too bad the Energy Information Administration undercut your congressional testimony by reporting that Gulf oil production will decline 250,00 barrels a day over the next two years because of your shutdown and delays. Listen I can't be everywhere putting my finger in the dike. The truth just seeps out sometimes.
Gotta go. Just remember keep on keeping on, Ken. I've got your back. Look , Eric's here. Can you stop in for a second. I think you should meet each other.
(Telephone rings again).
Eric, I really have to take this one it's Dilma Rousseff.
President: And to what do I owe this surprise call, Dilma?
Well, you are welcome again for that $2 billion loan we made you through the Export-Import Bank for Brazilian offshore drilling. Use it in good health. We look forward to buying our petroleum supplies from you as soon as those wells come in. ‘I scratch your back, and then I scratch it again, ‘as the American saying goes. Are you rested up from the BRICS meeting in China?
Good. What's that again? Oh yes, good work getting the Chinese Development Bank to finance big oil and gas projects and in national currencies, not dollars. Today you should be set to pump put plenty of oil and gas and do it without having to bother with us and the rest of the West.
Keep in touch and keep on drilling.
Eric, I can't tell you how sorry I am about these interruptions. Let me buzz and get you some coffee for a minute. This meeting has gone on longer than I thought and I have two short meetings before we continue. Stay here. No need to move.
Lisa Jackson, EPA Administrator, enters.
President: Eric, you know Lisa, don't you? Lisa , I've invited Eric to stay because our meeting keeps getting interrupted.
Lisa, I see that you have been on the hot seat in Congress trying to get cap and trade through regulation after Congress rejected the notion
I think you've been doing an outstanding job reducing domestic energy production every way you can. And I want you to know I stand behind you. You got Shell to drop its plans to drill in Alaska by imposing more and more regulatory barriers; you vetoed a major coal mine permit in West Virginia and seek regulations demanding a reduction on greenhouse gas emissions in coal-fired power production. Next, I expect you to clamp down hard on hydraulic fracturing so we will not be able to get to vast reserves of natural gas.
Lisa Jackson: I am just doing a small part, Mr. President. You led the way though right off the bat stopping the plan to store nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain. Really put a crimp in nuclear energy production plans.
President: Don't underestimate your contribution, I don't. You are a real asset to this team and an integral part of our plan to reduce domestic energy production to a trickle. I just wanted you to know that. I think Ken is outside -- could you have him step in? Thanks. And keep on keeping on or NOT keeping on, I should say. (Laughter)
Ken Salazar, Secretary of the Interior, enters.
President: Ken, my man. "Dayenu," as we said on the White House Passover Seder. That means, "It would have been enough." It would have been enough if you had just halted oil drilling permits in the Gulf but your stand on ANWR also deserves my gratitude.
Salazar: Thank you Mr. President. I just made it clear to Congress that we will not allow drilling in ANWR.
President: Don't; be so modest, Ken. I loved what you said to reporters afterward:
"We don't believe that you need to drill everywhere and we don't believe that the ‘drill, baby, drill' program is the way that's going to get us to the energy independence that we need for America or that will power our economy."
Salazar: Well, I shouldn't be given all the credit on ANWR. Secretary of Energy Chu refuses to even discuss that possibility. We're a team. We're all in this together.
President: Well, thanks again. And, now please excuse me. I have been keeping Eric tied up here for too long.
President: Here's what I need you to do, Eric. Gas prices are soaring and so are food prices and for some reason that seems to be affecting my popularity. We have to get them back down before the next election or I -- WE -- are toast. I need you to launch a full Department of Justice investigation into gas gouging. Drag in some filling station operators. Get to the bottom of it.
So there you have it folks. The inside scoop on the high cost of energy. I expect it's only a matter of time before the Attorney General finds someone named Supply N. Demand to indict.