Obama Energy Speech Predictable, And Wrong

Yesterday, President Obama gave a speech at Georgetown University to outline energy policy.  He made a few surprise statements, but was overall very predictable.  Predictable in that he stated the obvious and bowed down to the tree huggers.  Predictable in that he took credit for the work of other administrations.  Predictable in that he lied. 

The president surprised me when he said that he understands that prices at the pump affect everybody.  He did not state that higher fuel prices have other consequences like higher prices for food and other consumer goods, since they are shipped on machines that consume diesel and gasoline.  He blamed higher fuel prices on the economic recovery, relating the rising demand for fuel to the anemic economic recovery.  This explains why the president appears to be so clueless.  High prices are causing the economy to flounder.  The economic “recovery” isn’t big enough to warrant the kind of price increases we are seeing at the pump yet.  It has been far too small to lead to a twenty plus percent increase in fuel price.  The economy would recover more quickly if private sector businesses could count on lower fuel cost, both to run their plants and transport their goods.  As usual, the president has his cause and effect backwards. 

President Obama proudly stated that we have lowered oil imports since he took office, and has approved leases in that same time.  These are true, more or less, but the devil is in the details.  Many of the oil leases were approved during the Clinton administration.  President Obama has approved a handful of new leases for exploration, and these are leftovers from previous administrations.  So for him to take credit for opening up the exploration of domestic oil is disingenuous at best, and an out and out lie at worst.  Listening to his speech, you’d think the oil industry is looking for oil on every street corner in the country and offshore of every state in the union.  He even stated that if you believe that his administration was hampering domestic oil production, it was simply not true.  Except that it is true.  Remember the drilling moratorium?  It’s still in place.  Anyone who wants to drill for oil in deep water has a bunch of new regulations to adhere to.  Obama basically said that he wanted drilling in America, as long as he thinks it’s okay.  “Responsible and safe” were the words he used. 

Obama said we need to look in our own back yard for oil.  He wasn’t talking about domestic production.  He was talking about Canada, Mexico and countries like Brazil, that just got approval for loans from the US to drill for oil there. 

All of this is interesting, but not the end game Obama wants.  He admitted that we would need oil for decades to come until alternative sources of energy could be perfected to the point that they would actually be viable and profitable.  (He didn’t say profitable, but it’s a fact that profitability is important, even if profits are evil).  No, the end game is to extract our energy from dandelion roots.  Even if it costs 200% of what oil costs, that’s what Obama wants.  He said we have “invested” a lot of money in high speed rail.  I’ve complained about this before.  High speed rail works in countries where the population is tightly packed together like in Europe and Japan.  If I had to take a “high speed” train to visit my mother, it would take three days to get there, and cost a lot more than two tanks of gas do, although with gas prices rising like they are, that may be changing.  It won’t work in America unless the entire population of the country moves to the city.  Good luck getting a farmer to move into downtown New York. 

The pinnacle of the speech was the renewable energy, or green, part of the speech.  The green movement currently consists of companies that cannot make enough money to stay afloat without government subsidies.  Now, if you are a lefty, this is fine by you.  But for those of us who believe that companies should sink or swim on their own without a lot of intrusion by government, this is absurd.  If a company makes a product that is truly cutting edge, there will be demand for that product, and people will pay for it.  Since there is currently little demand these products, little money is being made.  Yet the government continues to support these ventures, and many of them go out of business anyway, even with government subsidies to help get them going.  What does all this tell you?  We are a LONG WAY from green initiatives being viable.  Until then, oil is the king. 

I think one thing the president is missing here is that if other countries thought we would produce our own oil, therefore reducing the price of that commodity, they may increase production out of fear of losing a big customer.  This happened during the Bush years.  It works.  But, since Obama has never even been a shift manager at a McDonald’s, I wouldn’t expect him to get the nuances of how business works. 

Business and energy are tied together.  Energy is big business.  The truth is that we need our own supply of energy, be it natural gas, oil, or dandelion roots.  And since it takes time for these items to make it market, now is the time to fire up the production of our own energy.  Unlike Obama, I think American ingenuity can only work if you have good tools to work with, and the raw materials to make your ideas work.  Obama acutally said that ingenuity was what would solve our energy problems. 

Obama also dismissively swiped at “Drill Baby Drill,” saying that this didn’t do anything to solve the problems we have on the energy front.  Hey, Mr. President, that’s because we never actually drilled.  It’s a short term help to solve our problems while your tweed jacket wearing friends figure out how to fool Americans into thinking that going without power for two days out of the week is a good thing for them.  Good luck with that, too.

It’s time for us to become independent for our energy.  Unrest in a region of the world should not affect what my family has for dinner.  And right now, that is precisely what is happening to us, as well as other families all over the nation.  The choice between driving to work and food is getting harder to make. 

Drill, Mr. President.  You can have your science projects, too.  Just don’t make me eat peanut butter.  Your wife would think that’s bad, since peanut butter is loaded with fat.


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