Sunday, October 07, 2012

The Failed Obama Energy Policy

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There has been a great many failures under Obama ranging from economic policy to his abysmal record on instituting policies that encourage job growth. I could go on but the failures have been chronicled here for the last four years.

But no failure has been greater or had a greater impact than Obama policies on energy.

Back four years ago, the environmental lobby had power. People still rated environmental issues rather highly among their concerns and a lot of the reason was global warming hysteria stoked to a high level by what started as far left thinking but eventually became neo-leftist dogma. The planet was suffering from rising temps and it was all going to kill us all unless we all paid a tax to supports those poorer among us who would be effected. The biggest redistribution scheme ever perpetrated was close to passing and Obama was the one who was going to push it through.

Then a funny thing happened, Obamanomics kicked in and we all got poorer. Instead of fretting over the poor polar bears, we were worried about our daily survival and keeping our jobs.

Obama had run on a policy of green jobs and green tech. These, said The One, were the steady and long-lasting jobs of the future. The interesting thing was that none of us who were in the business at the time had any idea what he was talking about.

So Obama rammed through the stimulus and instead of targeting money for industries that were solid and sustainable--like coal, petroleum extraction and production and natural gas, Obama sent our tax dollars to companies like Solyndra that could never hope to compete and had no established business model.

In the case of natural gas, a resource that American companies learned to exploit in ways never thought imaginable, was targeted by environmentalists and by the Obama EPA. Any president with experience in business would have seen the great opportunities for the nation and worked to allow for the maximum return to our economy. Instead, the EPA started releasing bogus reports about the dangers of hydraulic fracturing or "fracking" in western Pennsylvania and the dangers of extracting previously unrecoverable crude in other areas. The fact that many of the studies and anti-fracking stories came from those with a seriously vested interest in the matter remain uncommented upon by the MSM.

EPA head Lisa Jackson is one of the most ideological agency heads in our history (when you are featured in a good light by the Guardian, you are far left). At every turn she restricted the exploitation of our natural resources and refused to hear any other discussion than that she espoused. Barack Obama threatened to shut down coal mining operations and he set Jackson on that course from day one. She's a zealot of the worst sort. She believes that she's right and anyone who questions her is wrong. Jackson exemplifies the sheer elitism of the Obama years and she trusts people who share her ideology.

But never in the last five years has either Obama or Jackson explained how we were going to feed our ever-increasing need for energy--whether it be for propelling planes and cars to firing power plants. They haven't budged on nuclear, sue coal-fired plants and issued brutal regulations of manufacturing through emissions standards that are expensive and restrictive.

Juxtapose the situation in Canada and our own. Prime Minister Stephen Harper has vision, he saw that Canada has a future as an energy giant. They sit upon oil that has previously been difficult to extract but now--thanks to technology developed by energy companies-can be removed and sold. He offered the US reduced rates if we built a pipeline to transfer the oil to refineries and assured us that we could slash our reliance on Mid East oil by a huge margin. Of course, Obama voted present, made no firm decision (a hallmark of his presidency) and eventually said no. Canada said okay and sold the oil to Chinese interests for a higher rate.

This is long-winded but the issue of energy is a big one. There exist more jobs in energy as a sector than most others. States that have been derided because they provide coal and other natural resources are finally back in a position to have their say. States like Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia can now speak up and say that Obama's energy policies hurt real people. Ridiculous regulatory burdens instituted by a northeast liberal sitting behind a desk in DC and answering to no one have had a profoundly horrible effect on these states and driven them back instead of moving them forward. Funny that the EPA would change their policies on key issues once they saw that it would hurt Obama politically but I digress.

On January 20, 2013, when Obama moves out of the White House, the vision of him and EPA Secretary Lisa Jackson being booted is one that I will savor. President Romney can do us all a favor by putting every single regulatory burden she instituted on hold and evaluating all of them on their merits. I'm guessing that most will not survive.

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