As our illustrious campaigner-in-chief would say, "Let me be clear!" This is not by accident. He has filled his Cabinet and administration with "greenies" like Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, and Energy Secretary Steven Chu (who has stated that he wants to force gas prices in the U.S. up to European levels of around $7-10/gallon).This is a conscious, concerted effort. Obama openly brags that he will bankrupt coal companies, which generate almost half of the electricity produced in the United States today. Using the simple Law of Supply and Demand, what do you think will happen to electricity prices if you cut the generating capacity in half? If you said prices will "necessarily skyrocket," then come get your gold star and go to the head of the class.
Unable to get his desired "Cap-and-Trade" legislation through Congress (even when he had a huge majority in the House and a filibuster-proof Senate), Obama has resorted to becoming a de facto dictator, ruling by executive order and regulatory fiat (or, as Obama likes to say, "If Congress won't act, I will"). Obama has used the EPA to impose costly, burdensome regulations on fossil-fuel generated power plants, which in turn artificially restricts power generation and artificially inflates energy prices. The American people are suffering from high unemployment and a sluggish economy, yet that does not stop Obama from imposing higher costs on the people that can least afford it. That's one way you can tell that Obama likes poor people ... he is working tirelessly to make as many people poor as possible.
This week, Obama rejected the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, an oil pipeline originating in Canada that would provide 700,000 barrels of oil per day to U.S. refineries, in the process creating thousands of jobs almost immediately to build the $13 billion, 2,450 mile, privately funded pipeline, plus tens of thousands more jobs in the oil and related industries over the coming years. It would connect to the already existing 200,000 miles of oil pipeline traversing the country, which has operated safely for decades.
The Obama administration uses the excuse that it needs to perform additional environmental impact studies before it can approve the project; this despite the fact that the State Department had already released a more than three year-long study showing that the project would have a minimal environmental impact. Think about that! The study lasted three times longer than it took to build the Empire State Building, and nearly as long as it took America to win World War II ... that is insane! We used to be a nation of doers and builders, but we've turned into a nation of hyper-safety conscious ninnies afraid to take the slightest bit of risk, no matter how big the reward. Of course, I'm sure that the threats by the Sierra Club and other "environmental" groups to withdraw support for Obama if he approved the pipeline is completely unrelated, aren't you?
As if that wasn't bad enough, Obama continues to put our national security interests at risk with his policies. Iran, the largest state-sponsor of global Islamic terrorism, and a country that has openly mocked Obama for his weak-kneed, prostrate capitulation in seeking to curry favor with the mad mullahs that run that country, is now saber-rattling and causing fear in an already weak world economy. Iran has begun naval exercises in the Strait of Hormuz, a narrow waterway through which nearly one-fifth of all global oil transits. Iran has threatened to shut down the Strait and shut off the flow of oil if the world continues to object to its hostile actions. If we were producing our oil domestically we'd not have to worry so much about Iran, and could strip it of the petro-dollars it uses to function, having no other real source of income.
Also this month, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar declared a 20-year ban on uranium mining on a million acres in the western United States. Uranium is a vital to producing nuclear power, a process that produces 91 percent less greenhouse gas emissions than solar power, according to the IAEA. For that reason you'd think the greenies would enthusiastically support nuclear power generation, but instead they fight against it tooth and nail. Just a hair under 20 percent of America's electricity is safely produced by nuclear power, and has been for decades. You wouldn't know that to listen to the ranting of the "environmentalists" who would have you believe that using more nuclear power will lead to a generation of babies that glow green, have webbed-feet, three eyes and gills.
These actions by the Obama administration are just the latest in a long line of anti-business, anti-energy production policies and actions which drive up the price of fossil fuel energy and force us into using "green" energy. After the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Obama essentially shut down oil drilling in that area. He lied about the recommendations of a panel he commissioned to study the spill, saying that a moratorium was in order. Obama has kept the moratorium in order, defying the recommendation of his panel and the court rulings against him (for which he received a contempt of court order, not that it did any good), and driving the owners of those oil rigs to countries hostile to U.S. interests. This means the oil gets drilled anyway, but America receives no benefit. What's worse, Obama gave the national oil company of Brazil billions of dollars to drill oil and then gave an address in their country in which he stated that he wanted America to be their best customer! I guess having Americans be dependent on their own government is not enough for Obama, now we have to be dependent on other countries as well.
Liberals, Democrats and "environmentalists" claim we can solve our energy problems by forcing a move to "green energy," but like so many liberal policy positions, this just does not hold up to scrutiny. According to data provided by the IEA (International Energy Agency), in 2008 the United States generated 4,369 terawatt-hours of electricity (4,369 x one trillion watts), of which 2,133 TWh was produced by coal. By comparison, renewable or "green" energy sources (hydro, solar photovoltaic, solar thermal, wind, tide and biomass/waste) accounted for 430 terawatt-hours...combined! In other words, all "renewable" energy sources combined produce less than 10 percent of the electricity produced by coal, and less than half of the electricity produced by oil/gas (969 TWh), or nuclear (838 TWh).
The bottom line is that for America's national security, we need to take advantage of the massive energy supplies we have available at home, which we recently discovered is far more vast than previously believed. We should use all sources, as long as they are economically viable and not subsidized. In doing so we can drastically reduce energy costs, improve the economy for the American people, and improve our national security.
We can start that in November, by tossing Obama out of the White House and into the compost bin.
Louis DeBroux is a Taylorsville resident, married, with eight children. He is chairman of the Bartow County Republican Party. He owns Gatekeeper data backup and recovery. He can be emailed at email@example.com.