From his Hawaii vacation site, Barack Obama said his 2011 resolution was to "make sure our economy is growing, creating jobs and strengthening our middle class." It's a very safe bet that his upcoming State of the Union address will also be full of flamboyant reassurances that jobs for Americans is his top priority. If that's true, then he needs to make an immediate about-face with his domestic energy policy that is killing thousands of jobs and driving energy prices through the roof.
The national average price for a gallon of gas is $3.09 per gallon; a 67% increase since Obama took office. Some predict gas will reach $5.00 next year. Crude oil prices reached $92 per barrel last week amid growing concern for adequate global supplies.
According to the Department of Energy, 63% of crude oil used in America is imported. At $90 per barrel, that means each year almost $400 billion are leaving the US to create jobs in places like Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, and Nigeria. Does that really make any sense when we have both the available workers and the resources right here in America?
Strong economies run on energy, and 85% of the energy America needs for the growing, job creating economy that Mr. Obama says he's resolved to strengthen, comes from fossil fuels. The remaining 15% is almost evenly split between nuclear power and the various heavily subsidized renewable sources. That ratio has held steady for years and isn't expected to change substantially any time soon.
And, contrary to popular mythology in some sectors of the population, it isn't that America is running out of fossil fuels. As Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) explained on these pages, a recent report from the "nonpartisan Congressional Research Service (CRS) reveals that America's combined supply of recoverable natural gas, oil, and coal is the largest on earth. In fact, the CRS report shows that America's recoverable resources are far larger than those of Saudi Arabia (3rd), China (4th), and Canada (6th) combined." Inhofe, the Ranking Republican on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, went on to say, "These astonishing statistics show that an all-of-the-above energy policy is the right course for America. Through greater domestic production, we can create jobs, strengthen our energy security, and provide affordable, reliable energy for consumers and businesses."
However, rather than adopt a robust all-of-the-above energy policy, the Obama Administration has declared war on everything but green energy. And, he's waging his war on the 85% energy sector almost exclusively by Executive Fiat, bypassing even so much as a vote from Congress and "the consent of the governed."
A survey of various recent press headlines underscores the Administrations real agenda and exposes the hypocrisy of Obama's pledge to strengthen the economy and create jobs:
The EPA Permatorium: The agency's regulatory onslaught has stopped new power generation
"…the Environmental Protection Agency has turned a regulatory firehose on U.S. business and the power industry in particular…Since Mr. Obama took office, the agendy has proposed or finalized 29 major regulations and 172 major policy rules."
Drilling Is Stalled Even After Ban Is Lifted
"More than two months after the Obama administration lifted its ban on drilling in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, oil companies are still waiting for approval to drill the first new oil well there. Experts now expect the wait to continue until the second half of 2011, and perhaps into 2012….The slowdown has long-term implications for U.S. oil production. The Energy Information Administration, the research arm of the Department of Energy, last month predicted that domestic offshore oil production will fall 13% this year from 2010 due to the moratorium and the slow return to drilling."
Dramatic spike in gas prices forecast: Demand for oil keeps increasing
"Oil and gasoline prices have risen to the highest levels in two years, and analysts say prices could shoot up dramatically this year as the thirst for fuel grows in the U.S. and around the world. The former head of Shell Oil has warned that gas prices could hit $5 a gallon by 2012 because of fast-growing demand in emerging countries such as China and India, where more and more people are buying cars, combined with restraints on drilling in the U.S."
Obama Plays 3-Card Monte In Gulf
"It's hard not to wonder whether the Obama administration is so beholden to environmental lobbies and its own bureaucrats that it won't be happy until all Gulf energy production is ended…The latest of its moves came on Nov. 4 when the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (formerly Minerals Management Service) announced it suddenly needed to conduct a supplemental environmental impact study for the three remaining offshore blocs up for auction. Despite decades of drilling in the Gulf, the new study would take at least six months and could go on for a year. Its effect would be to grind new U.S. production to a halt until a new delay could be cooked up…a delay could cost 100,000 American jobs."
"The moratorium will last at least seven years and cover the eastern Gulf of Mexico and the eastern seaboard from the central Florida coast north to the Mid-Atlantic....To please the environmentalist lobby, the administration is walking away from 7.5 billion barrels of oil and almost 60 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Media reports indicate that only a portion of the seas that are now off-limits contain enough crude to fill up more than 2.4 million cars with gasoline and natural gas to heat 8 million homes for 60 years."
Oil panel comes up dry on offshore drilling: Result could be gas-price spike
"With gasoline prices at unusually high levels for this time of year, a report from a presidential commission Tuesday did little to break the political deadlock over offshore drilling, prompting some observers to warn that the U.S. is headed toward another gas-price crunch this summer…The nationwide average price of regular gas over the weekend rose to $3.08 a gallon while crude-oil prices have surged to more than $90 a barrel – levels seen in only one previous winter, in 2007-08."
Obama's Oil War
"It's becoming more and more obvious that Obama's energy policy is meant to raise prices by making fossil fuels harder to produce and use. Indeed, the White House has followed a deliberate policy of attacking Americans' use of energy, turning it into something of a moral crusade."
EPA Rules Will Trump Your Rights
Ignoring both Congress and the voters, the Environmental Protection Agency starts the new year governing by decree with job-killing regulations. Take a deep breath, but if you exhale you're a polluter…long live cap-and-trade in the form of regulations promulgated in the coming year by what George Orwell might call the Ministry of Environment."
Obama's Anti-Drilling Agenda
"Just two new deep-water permits have been issued since the politically motivated moratorium ended three months ago (in the Gulf). That's down 88 percent from the historical average. Shallow-water permits, which weren't even subjected to the moratorium, are down 11 percent…Ongoing delays in the Gulf of Mexico are only part of the problem, however. Offshore drilling bans currently prevent exploration in about 85% of our coastal waters. Those bans are crippling job creation and making America more reliant on foreign sources of oil."
Oil's Rise Is a Sticky Situation for Recovery
"It is Jan. 12 and the price of oil is roughly $90 a barrel. The year is 2011—or is it 2008? ...Americans had better hope this year doesn't play out like that one. Just as people are starting to believe in the economic recovery, a repeat of 2008—when crude-oil futures prices peaked above $145 a barrel—would be a devastating setback. .. A 2008-style shock isn't a certainty, but the upward trend is clear. Goldman Sachs expects oil prices to average $100 a barrel this year. That's the last thing the recovery needs."
Interior Reverses Bush-era Wilderness Policy
"Interior Secretary Ken Salazar on Thursday gave the Bureau of Land Management the power to designate tens of millions of acres as "wild lands" — a new categorization that could dramatically alter future decisions on everything from mining and drilling to off-roading"…"Utah Rep. Rob Bishop (R), the incoming chairman of the National Parks, Forests and Public Lands Subcommittee in the House of Representatives, called the directive 'a blatant attempt to usurp Congress' role over public land management,' and accused the Obama administration of extending 'an early Christmas present to the far left extremists who oppose the multiple uses of our nation's public lands.'…'I don't know anywhere else where an administration has been brazen enough to think they can establish policy without the legislative authority to do so,' Bishop said."
Administration scopes future of hydraulic fracturing
The Energy Information Administration predicts that of all the future energy needs in the US, "Natural gas will represent 62 percent of new capacity by 2035…The greatest chunk of that should come from shale gas." However, the Obama Administration has launched an "administration-wide review" of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, the technique necessary to unlock and harvest the resource sure to impose new restrictions on the industry. According to an industry expert, "Blocking important natural gas development and the creation of new jobs and revenues is not sound energy or economic policy."
Energy is the blood flowing through the veins of a robust economy. We not only need energy to survive; we need it to grow. The U.S. energy industry employs 9.2 million people and adds $1 trillion to our GDP, about 7.5% of the total. Why would a President who says his top priority is to "make sure our economy is growing, creating jobs and strengthening our middle class" suck the blood from the veins of an industry that is vital to the very lives of every citizen? Why, unless, he really has a priority different that what he says?