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Energy Secretary Steven Chu on Tuesday disavowed his 2008 comments about increasing gas prices to European levels, remarks that Republicans have pounced on in recent weeks.

“I no longer share that view,” Chu said during a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing, adding that he wants to lower gas prices.

Chu, who four years ago talked of boosting the price of gasoline to the levels of Europe, said higher gas prices could slow the economic recovery.

Chu’s disavowal of his earlier comments is the latest sign of concern from the Obama administration over how rising gas prices could hurt the president’s reelection chances.

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