Voters may feel the pinch at the pump, but Energy Secretary Steven Chu gave himself an "A" Tuesday for his handling of gasoline prices.
Chu told Republican Rep. Darrell Issa at a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing that he's done everything in his power to lower gas prices. [See a collection of political cartoons on gas prices.]
Energy Information Administration records show that since Obama took office in 2009, the price of a gallon of gasoline has skyrocketed from $1.85 to $3.87, but Chu insists there is little the administration can do to help.
Issa asked Chu "In controlling the cost of gasoline at the pump, do you give yourself an A-?"
Chu responded that "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 a Secretary of Energy, I've been doing everything I can to get long term solutions." [See a collection of political cartoons on energy policy.]
Republican National Committee spokesman Sean Spicer poked fun at Chu Tuesday in an E-mail to supporters.
"I would have loved to have Secretary Chu as a professor in college if he thinks $4 plus a gallon and over a 100% increase gets an A. It would probably take $10 a gallon for him to get to a B under this curve," Spicer says.
Chu has been criticized in the past for prioritizing clean energy policies over energy affordability.
In 2008, Chu told The Wall Street Journal that to effectively switch over to clean energy sources, "Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe."
In the wake of record gas prices, Chu has backtracked from his initial comments.