No Energy from this Executive
Watch what Obama does, not what he says.
by Fred Barnes
06/15/2009, Volume 014, Issue 37
“As I’ve often said, in the short term, as we transition to renewable energy,” President Obama stated in April, “we can and should increase our domestic production of oil and natural gas.Â We still need more oil, we still need more gas. If we’ve got some here in the United States that we can use, we should find it and do so in an environmentally sustainable way.”
Does anyone believe Obama?Â Given his misdirection–saying one thing, doing another–no one should have.
Nearly five months into the Obama presidency, his administration is impeding, not promoting, increased production of oil and gas, as it is of coal and nuclear power.
To think that wind and solar or other alternative fuels can fill the energy gap requires a belief in what Adriel Bettelheim of Congressional Quarterly has called the “Tinkerbell effect,” as in Peter Pan. It consists of believing something will happen just because you wish it would.
Wind and solar now provide less than 1 percent of America’s energy needs. Obama has called for doubling this in three years, still leaving them as marginal sources of energy (2%).
…the Obama administration is worried about domestic “overproduction” of oil and gas.
Obama has proposed removing all tax incentives to produce oil and gas,
…slapping a 13 percent excise tax on all energy derived from the Gulf of Mexico,
…increasing the corporate tax rate by 3 percent on all companies that produce or process oil and gas.
…delay for 180 days (and maybe more) in the five-year, outer continental shelf leasing plan.
…cancelled 77 oil and gas leases issued in Utah.
…halted plans to lease the oil shale region in five states
…supported action which limits the development of a huge oil-rich region off the coast of Alaska.
…decided not to issue leases for gas well drilling on the Roan Plateau in Colorado
…shown little interest in developing the “Chukchi” region offshore north Alaska.
Nuclear power? Obama has often said he’s for it, but not until a way to deal with waste from nuclear power plants is found. In fact, one has been found and so designated by Washington at Yucca Mountain in Nevada. Obama, however, has proposed to eliminate all federal funds for building a waste site there.
Coal? A Bush administration rule … was thrown out by the Obama administration as “legally defective.”
Obama policy is to make gas, oil, and coal more difficult to produce and more expensive for consumers. As for more nuclear power, the policy is, in effect: Forget it.
True, this isn’t the way Obama describes his energy policies. With Obama, the trick is to watch what he does, not what he says.
Fred Barnes is executive editor of THE WEEKLY STANDARD.