President Obama Knocks "Drill, Baby, Drill" in Energy Policy Speech

As the Hill points out, in an uncharacteristic move, President Obama went off teleprompter to get in a dig at Governor Palin during his speech on energy this morning.

As shown in the clip above, President Obama stated:

But here’s the thing – we’ve been down this road before. Remember, it was just three years ago that gas prices topped $4 a gallon. I remember because I was in the middle of a Presidential campaign. Working folks haven’t forgotten that. It hit a lot of people pretty hard. But it was also the height of political season, so you had a lot of slogans and gimmicks and outraged politicians waving three-point-plans for two-dollar gas – you remember that-‘drill, baby,drill’-we were going through all that. And none of it would really do anything to solve the problem. There was a lot of hue and cry, a lot of fulminating and hand wringing, but nothing actually happened. Imagine that in Washington.

However, in his prepared remarks released to the press, this portion of his speech reads (emphasis mine):

But here’s the thing – we’ve been down this road before. Remember, it was just three years ago that gas prices topped $4 a gallon. Working folks haven’t forgotten that. It hit a lot of people pretty hard. But it was also the height of political season, so you had a lot of slogans and gimmicks and outraged politicians waving three-point-plans for two-dollar gas – when none of it would really do anything to solve the problem. Imagine that in Washington.

President Obama characterizes Governor Palin as an "outraged politician". However, the Obama administration  has repeatedly claimed they don’t think about Governor Palin. This is not the first time that President Obama has taken a political shot at Governor Palin’s comment during a policy speech. In his speech in September of 2009 where he tried to sell his form of health care reform, he stated that the claim that Obamacare include "death panels" was "a lie, plain, and simple". Of course, it has been shown again and again that "death panels", rationing via bureaucratic decision making, are present in Obamacare. We have addressed this numerous times, here, here, here, and here to name a few.

Beyond the political shot at Governor Palin during what was supposed to be a policy speech, it is clear that President Obama sees every speech as a campaign speech. In 2008, Republicans, namely Governor Palin, saw "drill,baby, drill" as a mantra representing a solution to make America energy independent. However, when the America people bought the "hope and change" mantra over the "drill,baby,drill" mantra, there’s little wonder that " nothing actually happened", as President Obama said. Hope and change is little more than a platitude, yet in many ways, it is indicative of the energy policy that President Obama has implemented since he was elected.

Governor Palin has highlighted many of the wrong-headed energy initiatives that President Obama has touted are unproven and can only be pushed because liberals hope that they work. In her Facebook post earlier today, Governor Palin highlighted the "boondoggle" of President Obama’s support of electric cars:

It’s a lot more viable than subsidizing boondoggles like these inefficient electric cars that no one wants. I’m all for electric cars if you can develop one I can actually use in Alaska, where you can drive hundreds of miles without seeing many people, let alone many electrical sockets. But these electric and hybrid cars are not a quick fix because we still need an energy source to power them.

The promotion of electric cars as a means of reducing Americans dependence on energy is laughable, as the majority of the time these electric cars will be charged using electricity generated from fossil fuels, and like Governor Palin said electric cars are horribly impractical in many areas like Alaska.

Beyond this "hope and change" energy policy idea, President Obama is right to say that "nothing has happened", because despite his claims that his administration has increased drilling, the opposite has happened. Yes, he has advocated for drilling, but his biggest recent push for drilling has been in Brazil, not America. He has been slow to issue deep water drilling permits, and a few of these have been for projects that started prior to last year’s oil spill, not new projects. Additionally, the EPA redtape has held up Arctic drilling for Shell until 2012. If he has promoted drilling, it’s akin to someone tying a runner’s shoes together, then telling them to go run a mile.

President Obama continues to also falsely claim that America has only 2% of the world’s oil resources. American Solutions highlights the fact that this number is taken from only taking into account the reserves where we are already drilling–not the billions and billions of untapped barrels of oil that we are currently not accessing, due in large part to what Governor Palin has characterized as a "moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico as well as the de-facto moratorium in the Arctic". The 2% of worldwide oil resources is only in light of the fact that we are not drilling for oil where we do have it. In fact, a recent Congressional study showed that America has recoverable more fossil fuel–oil, natural gas, and coal–resources than any other country in the world. Governor Palin has often said that we have the resources, the workers, and the ingenuity for energy independence, all we need is the political will:

Cars and businesses cannot be fueled and homes cannot be heated by an energy policy of "hope and change". However, when "drill, baby drill" is implemented bringing economic, monetary, energy, and national security, it not only contributes to an "all-of-the-above approach" to energy independence, but also addressing many problems we face in America.

As Governor Palin says, "2012 can’t come soon enough".

Thank you to Sheya for providing both video clips.



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