Last Friday, former energy trader and now Fox News host Eric Bolling and I hosted a Fox special called “Paying at the Pump,” which offered President Obama solutions to reduce prices at the pump and get our country on the path to real energy security.
A genuine “all of the above” approach to energy independence is, of course, a multifaceted plan. It includes conservation and sensible private sector investment in sound alternative energy, and it absolutely must involve unleashing our domestic energy production. We cannot ignore the need to drill, baby, drill; frack, baby, frack; and mine, baby, mine. Those who are concerned about the environment and our dangerous dependence on foreign oil should encourage the development of natural gas as a clean and plentiful bridge-fuel to a more renewable future. We have enough clean, green natural gas in America to be energy independent for many decades—whether we use it for natural gas cars or natural gas power plants. We also need to look at our oil refining capacity and our regulations there. We must cut the job-killing, anti-domestic energy regulations of Obama’s EPA and IRS which create such burdens and uncertainty. Finally, Eric pointed out that we must do something about the Wall Street speculators. I know this is a touchy issue, but Eric’s points are valid. Obama’s Federal Trade Commission and Commodity Futures Trading Commission appear to have no teeth in dealing with this because they haven’t cracked down on the president’s friends on Wall Street who are creating unnecessary oil market volatility. Eric suggested that we could reduce the problem of speculation by raising energy margin requirements.
In his press conference today, President Obama seems to have latched on to Eric’s idea of dealing with speculators. But the president proposed an outrageously expensive “fix,” claiming that he needs a boatload of tax dollars and bureaucrats to merely apply common sense to regulating oil trades and enforcing the authority the CFTC was already granted by the Dodd-Frank bill. This is ridiculous, and it’s not enough. Keep in mind that cracking down on speculation is only a small part of the solution. The key remedy is still drilling.
Basically, President Obama’s idea of an “all of the above” approach to energy is really “none-of-the-above” to the resources we use right now to power our economy. Take for instance the Obama EPA’s war against coal production (which he promised when he was a candidate), which will ultimately leave us with higher electric bills and less electricity. Because his cap and trade legislation got sidelined, Obama is now using his EPA to accomplish the same destructive goals by imposing draconian regulations aimed at crippling the coal industry. According to the Associated Press, Obama’s EPA will soon “force 32 mostly coal-fired power plants to shut down and threatens to close 36 others” and will eventually remove from our power grid enough electricity to power 11 million households. Just ask Californians how much fun “rolling blackouts” are. I suppose we can look forward to more romantic candle-lit evenings ahead as America moves backward with less energy, which must be more of Obama’s “leading from behind” strategy. I hope the folks up North have a hearty wood supply for their fireplace warmth, and that those in the Southwest don’t mind sweltering in the summer heat. Air conditioning takes up an awful lot of electricity; and in Obama’s America, energy will be scarce. As Mark Levin has pointed out numerous times, Obama’s policies will ultimately de-industrialize America.
But we don’t have to look to the future to feel the pain of Obama’s energy policies. Look at our current gas prices. The Obama administration is locking up federal lands to drilling. The EIA reports that production and sale of fossil fuels on federal lands dropped by 6% last year under Obama. Other studies show a 12% decline. When you hear the president boast of all the “new” drilling going on, he’s talking about production on private and state land that was in the works long ago and is not under his control. He doesn’t tell you how his administration has done everything in its power to strangle resource development with regulatory red tape and foot dragging on the permitting and leasing process. We hear his endless claims that we only have “2% of the world’s oil”—sometimes he adds “reserves” to that—but know that the White House is playing games with semantics. The Obama administration is using a subset of “proved oil reserves” to make it sound like America is energy poor! They’re deliberately distorting the true picture of our massive recoverable oil resources—most of which is on federal land that the government has locked up to responsible development. In short, the president is deceiving the public. As I’ve said before, the energy production “facts” and numbers President Obama repeats are skewed, deceptive and downright Orwellian.
Ironically, President Obama likes to remind us that global factors outside of our control affect the price of oil, but he never seems to make the connection that this is precisely why we should increase our domestic supply of oil by drilling here where environmental and worker safety standards are stricter than any foreign country from which we purchase oil, and that our increased domestic supply would put downward pressure on the price of oil. If Obama doesn’t think increasing the supply on the market affects the price at the pump, then why did he ask the Saudis to increase their production? And Brazil? Why did he open our Strategic Reserves last year to lower prices at the pump? Common sense tells you that, of course, increasing the supply of something has an affect on the price.
President Obama refuses to acknowledge this obvious truth because he doesn’t want to do what needs to be done. He isn’t interested in drilling, fracking or mining for the resources we actually use to power our economy. His idea of an energy plan amounts to dumping more of our tax dollars into the bankrupt green energy companies that his campaign donors invested in. It’s crony capitalism on steroids. He’s also in favor of “investing” your tax dollars into algae because he believes pond scum is the wave of the future. He also tells you to deal with gas prices by merely inflating your tires; getting a tune up; and, despite your work needs or the size of your family, ditch your larger vehicle for one he deems acceptably small. But what about the $4 per gallon gas prices that are devastating the budgets of American families, crippling our small businesses, and increasing the transportation costs of all goods shipped in America and thereby increasing the prices of everything we buy? Barack Obama’s answer to your pain is basically, “give me some flexibility here…” because “change isn’t easy.” Well, actually it is. It starts with getting rid of this energy illiterate administration.
Today, on Tax Day, our big, wasteful, and largely useless centralized government is taking hard-earned money from 85 million Americans.
The Republican Study Committee reports: “According to the non-partisan Tax Foundation, the country will work 107 days this year just to pay for federal, state, and local taxes. By their calculations, a larger share of Americans’ income will go to taxes than food, clothing & housing combined!”
And what do we get in return on our investment in big government? More marching orders from the faceless bureaucrats in D.C. More crony capitalism for the administration’s favored friends. More expensive conventions, vacations, parties (and Colombian hookers?) for the profligate Obama administration. Less energy security. Less allowance for resource development. More EPA regulations to de-industrialize our country and kill jobs. More opportunities shipped overseas as we allow others to produce for us that which our government refuses to allow us to produce for ourselves!
Aren’t we tired of this by now? Candidate Obama promised us a sensible energy plan to get us to energy independence. President Obama has failed to deliver it.
He fails to understand the fundamental truth that there is an inherent link between energy and prosperity, and energy and security. Oil prices affect everything in our lives, including where we send our sons and daughters in war. Developing resources here grows our economy, decreases our trade imbalance, creates hundreds of thousands of good-paying jobs, and secures our union by eliminating our dependence on dangerous foreign regimes who use our energy insecurity as a weapon against us. Access to secure domestic energy will make us a more peaceful and prosperous nation.
Obama doesn’t understand this—just as he doesn’t understand the dangers of his wasteful spending. Our energy policy is also linked with our fiscal and monetary policies. In light of America’s unsustainable $16 trillion debt, there’s more talk about dumping the U.S. dollar as the world’s reserve currency, which is the currency used to buy and sell oil. If that happens, we’ll feel the pain of inflation everywhere—especially at the pump. That, in turn, will trickle down to everything in our economy. Those living on fixed incomes and retirement pensions and annuities will feel the pain especially hard. So, this is one more reason to get government debt under control with sound monetary policy that doesn’t try to “inflate away” our debt with currency manipulation and gimmicks like quantitative easing.
Obama fails to understand this. He’s failed us as the nation’s stakeholders, and that’s why we must replace our CEO at November’s ballot box. As one audience member in our Fox special said, “I can’t fill my gas tank with hope and change.”
Wake up, America. November is around the corner. Change is easier than you’ve been led to believe.
- Sarah Palin