Gov. Bobby Jindal talked energy and politics during trip to D.C.

02 28, 2012 by The Times-Picayune

Gov. Bobby Jindal is back in Louisiana today after a trip to Washington, D.C., for the winter meeting of the National Governor's Association.

In addition to attending a Sunday night dinner at the White House, Jindal also got the chance to express his views on the Republican presidential primary and policy issues.

Jindal told The Times-Picayune that while the "Primaries are a messy process" he believes it will produce a stronger GOP candidate in the end.

In comments reported by Politico, Jindal said interactions with President Barack Obama this week did nothing to change his mind about what he thinks of the incumbent's administration. "I walked into the meetings today believing we need a conservative in the White House and I left the meetings continuing to believe that," the Republican told reporters as he left a gathering of the National Governors Association in the State Dining Room.

Among other things, the president urged the nation's governors to invest more state resources in education, according to an Associated Press report, saying a highly skilled workforce is crucial for the U.S. to remain competitive with other countries.

Jindal said that while he shared many of Obama's views on education, his differences with the president on taxes, spending and energy policies were unbridgeable.

And it was Jindal's comments on energy policy that got him some very positive coverage in the conservative National Review Online in a blog post headlined: Jindal's Clinic on How to Talk About Energy Policy.

Jindal offered a quick, detailed explanation that ought to be emulated by every aspiring Republican president - and every other GOP candidate at any level, for that matter, said NRO blogger Jim Geraghty.

"Gasoline prices have doubled since this president came into office," Jindal said. "For a state like Louisiana that produces a lot of oil and gas, rising energy prices in the short term may be helpful in terms of revenues and jobs, but the reality is if we're serious about rebuilding our manufacturing economy, if we're serious about helping American families to have the money they need to pay for other essentials, we can't continue to have these escalating energy prices."

"Several things he should be doing: For the last few years now, he's been slowing down the leasing activity both offshore and onshore. When you look at oil and gas leasing on public lands, they talk about the record production here domestically. What don't tell you is how much of that activity is taking place on private lands, and what they don't tell you is how much of that activity is based on decisions made before he became president."