There’s something about country singer Toby Keith that White House budget director Peter Orszag just can’t resist.


Budget director Peter Orszag (AP)

After quoting the singer’s lyrics to parry tough questions from CNN’s Lou Dobbs in 2007, the administration’s point man defended the $3.6 trillion dollar budget to the House Budget Committee today: “As Toby Keith says, ‘There ain’t no right way to do the wrong thing.’ Help us do the right thing.”

In his prepared testimony, Dr. Orszag—the former director of the Congressional Budget Office—laid out the administration’s thinking behind the big energy-policy changes enshrined in the budget:

The Budget lays the groundwork for an agenda that would transform our nation’s energy consumption. As we have known for many years now, the United States’ dependence on oil and other fossil fuels undermines the country’s national security, and a growing wealth of scientific evidence also suggests that this dependence is contributing to global warming, jeopardizing our economy and our entire planet.

That includes the $15 billion per year earmarked for clean energy over ten years starting in 2012, which Dr. Orszag said would help “reduce our dependence on foreign oil and improve energy efficiency.”