White House policies 'actually designed' to raise gas prices, says McConnell

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Wednesday charged the Obama administration of working behind the scenes to drive up gas prices — an allegation White House officials have denied.

“When it comes to the rising cost of gas at the pump, it’s my view that the administration’s policies are actually designed to bring about higher gas prices," said McConnell. 

The minority leader cited Energy Secretary Steven Chu's now famous remark to The Wall Street Journal when he was director of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in 2008, that "somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe."

But earlier this month Chu flatly denied the same accusation made by other Republicans, saying that, on the contrary, the White House was working to bring prices down.

“We very much want not only to slow the price, but reverse the price increase in gasoline,” he told the House Science, Space and Technology Committee on March 1. 

McConnell went on to lambast the White House, saying the president's claims in his State of the Union address that he would pursue a comprehensive approach to energy were disproven by his actions, including his delay of the Keystone XL oil pipeline. 

He "simply can’t claim to have a comprehensive approach to energy, because he doesn’t," said McConnell. "Any time he says he does, the American people should remember one word: Keystone."