Obama's Energy Shell Game
Don't Fall For Obama's Energy Shell GameCan the Obama administration's desperate attempts to cover their true far left nature with centrist rhetoric and promises become any more transparent? Yesterday, the President announced"an expansion of offshore oil and gas exploration" in selected areas off the coasts of the United States. The President claims this announcement was made "in order to sustain economic growth and produce jobs," but nobody believes him. Just take a quick look at today's newspaper reporting: The Los Angeles Times: "President Obama ... unveiled a controversial offshore drilling plan Wednesday that was driven largely by the politics of his agenda on energy and climate change -- not by hopes of changing the nation's energy supply."The Washington Post: "President Obama's decision ... reflects a high-stakes calculation by the White House: Splitting the difference on the most contentious energy issues could help secure a bipartisan climate deal this year."Politico: "Obama’s decision is closely tied politically to the fate of the climate change bill jointly sponsored by Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), John Kerry (D-MA), and Joe Lieberman (I-CT)."The New York Times: "The proposal is also intended to ... help win political support for comprehensive energy and climate legislation."Bloomberg: "President Barack Obama’s pledge to expand offshore oil and natural-gas drilling may help Democrats deliver legislation that regulates carbon dioxide emissions before any fuel is produced.""Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe." For reference purposes, when Secretary Chu said that, Europeans were paying $8 a gallon for gas at the pump.
In fact, if anything, the policies announced by President Obama yesterday will actually decrease and delay future U.S. oil production. The President actually canceled four lease sales off the Alaska coast that were planned to begin producing oil within the next two years, delayed a planned lease off Virginia until at least 2012, and placed some areas off limits for at least seven years. Go back and look at President Obama's actual announcement again: he only promised new exploration off the Atlantic coast. There is absolutely no guarantee that any new drilling will ever occur. Secretary Ken Salazar's Interior Department still has full discretion to never allow a single drop of oil to be harvested from these waters. And that doesn't even begin to address the court challenges the enviro-left will employ to attack and delay the entire process.
So if developing new energy sources that can create private sector jobs for Americans and new revenues for financially strapped states and the federal government is not the Obama administration's real goal, then what is? Well, President Obama's Energy Secretary Steven Chu, who was at yesterday's announcement, has said,
Canceling current offshore oil leases and delaying future ones are not the only policy means the Obama administration is using to pursue the high energy price policy ends. The Obama administration has also declared war on energy production in the Mountain West, rescinding oil-shale development leases in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming. His administration has completely failed to take on the real regulatory reforms necessary to allow a private sector nuclear industry to thrive. And just this week, the Obama Environmental Protection Agency began its regulation of carbon emissions through the Clean Air Act.
And let's not forget the grand daddy of them all: a cap and trade energy tax bill. But don't call it that. Secretary Salazar told CNBC yesterday, "I think the term 'cap and trade' is not in the lexicon anymore." Whatever you call it, placing an arbitrary penalty on carbon emissions would mean disaster for the American economy. The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data Analysis has found that cap and tax legislation would cost the average family of four almost $3,000 per year, cause 2.5 million net job losses by 2035, and produce a cumulative gross domestic product (GDP) loss of $9.4 trillion between 2012 and 2035.
So don't be fooled by President Barack Obama's energy rhetoric. High energy prices are not a side effect of climate legislation - they are the whole point. According to the latest Pew poll, 63% of Americans support allowing more offshore oil and gas drilling in U.S. waters. Americans deserve an energy policy that reduces prices, creates private sector jobs, and reduces our national debt. Right now they have the opposite.