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Charles Krauthammer: Obama’s Oil Flimflam

Yesterday I put up a rather lengthy post detailing some of Obama’s recent idiocy with regard to his record on energy in general and oil in particular.  Since then, Charles Krauthammer has weighed in on the issue in his column at the Washington Post:

On Obama’s claim that he’s "drilling all over this country":

But the American people know something about this president and his disdain for oil. The “fuel of the past,” he contemptuously calls it. To the American worker who doesn’t commute by government motorcade and is getting fleeced every week at the pump, oil seems very much a fuel of the present — and of the foreseeable future.

President Obama incessantly claims energy open-mindedness, insisting that his policy is “all of the above.” Except, of course, for drilling:

  • off the Mid-Atlantic coast (as Virginia, for example, wants);
  • off the Florida Gulf Coast (instead, the Castro brothers will drill near there);
  • in the broader Gulf of Mexico (where drilling in 2012 is expected to drop 30 percent below pre-moratorium forecasts);
  • in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (more than half the size of England, the drilling footprint being the size of Dulles International Airport);
  • on federal lands in the Rockies (where leases are down 70 percent since Obama took office).

But the event that drove home the extent of Obama’s antipathy to nearby, abundant, available oil was his veto of the Keystone pipeline, after the most extensive environmental vetting of any pipeline in U.S. history. It gave the game away because the case for Keystone is so obvious and overwhelming. Vetoing it gratuitously prolongs our dependence on outside powers, kills thousands of shovel-ready jobs, forfeits a major strategic resource to China, damages relations with our closest ally, and sends billions of oil dollars to Hugo Chavez, Vladimir Putin and already obscenely wealthy sheiks.

Obama boasts that, on his watch, production is up and imports down. True, but truly deceptive. These increases have occurred in spite of his restrictive policies. They are the result of Clinton- and Bush-era permitting. This has been accompanied by a gold rush of natural gas production resulting from new fracking technology that has nothing at all to do with Obama.

On our brilliant President’s grasp of Economics 101:

The American people aren’t stupid,” Obama said (Feb. 23), mocking “Drill, baby, drill.” The “only solution,” he averred in yet another major energy speech last week, is that “we start using less — that lowers the demand, prices come down.” Yet five paragraphs later he claimed that regardless of “how much oil we produce at home .?.?. that’s not going to set the price of gas worldwide.”

So: Decreasing U.S. demand will lower oil prices, but increasing U.S. supply will not? This is ridiculous. Either both do or neither does. Does Obama read his own speeches?

On Obama’s asinine assertion that "drilling is not a plan":

Obama says of drilling: “That’s not a plan.” Of course it’s a plan. We import nearly half of our oil, thereby exporting enormous amounts of U.S. wealth. Almost 60 percent of our trade deficit — $332 billion out of $560 billion — is shipped overseas to buy crude.

Drill here and you stanch the hemorrhage. You keep those dollars within the U.S. economy, repatriating not just wealth but jobs and denying them to foreign unfriendlies. Drilling is the single most important thing we can do to spur growth at home while strengthening our hand abroad.

On Obama’s taxpayer-financed fantasies for his crony capitalist buddies:

Our undaunted seer of the energy future has come up with his own miracle fuel: algae.

Why, explained Obama, “we can grow it right here in the United States.” (Sounds like a miraculous local find — except that it grows just about everywhere on earth.) Accordingly, yet another $14 million of taxpayer money will be sprinkled on algae research by Steven Chu’s Energy Department.

This is the very same Dr. Chu who famously said in 2008 that he wanted U.S. gas prices to rise to European levels of $8-$10 a gallon — and who on Tuesday, eight months before Election Day, publicly recanted before Congress, Galileo-style.

Who do they think they’re fooling? An oil crisis looms, prices are spiking — and our president is extolling algae. After Solyndra, Keystone and promises of seaweed in their gas tanks, Americans sense a president so ideologically antipathetic to fossil fuels — which we possess in staggering abundance — that he is utterly unserious about the real world of oil in which the rest of us live.

Read Krauthammer’s entire article here.


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