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Despite Obama's Rhetoric, His Policies Actually Hinder Domestic Energy Production And Cost Jobs‏ | Missouri Political News Service

Despite Obama’s Rhetoric, His Policies Actually Hinder Domestic Energy Production And Cost Jobs‏

February 24th, 2012 by mopns · No Comments

Reacting to President Obama’s speech on energy yesterday, The Wall Street Journal editorializes, “‘The American people aren’t stupid,’ thundered President Obama yesterday in Miami, ridiculing Republicans who are blaming him for rising gasoline prices. Let’s hope he’s right, because not even Forrest Gump could believe the logic of what Mr. Obama is trying to sell. To wit, that a) gasoline prices are beyond his control, but b) to the extent oil and gas production is rising in America, his energy policies deserve all the credit, and c) higher prices are one more reason to raise taxes on oil and gas drillers while handing even more subsidies to his friends in green energy. Where to begin?”

The WSJ editors look at domestic energy production and write, “Mr. Obama rightly points to the rising share of U.S. oil consumption now produced at home. But this trend began in the late Bush Administration, which opened up large new areas on and offshore for oil and gas drilling that are now coming on stream. Mr. Obama sneered at expanded drilling as a candidate in 2008 and for most of his term has done little to expand it. In early 2010, he proposed to open some new areas to drilling but shut that down after the Gulf oil spill.”

They add, “Oh, and don’t forget the Keystone XL pipeline, which would have increased the delivery of oil from Canada and North Dakota’s Bakken Shale to Gulf Coast refineries, replacing oil from Venezuela.” Though President Obama has been promoting what he calls an “all-of-the-above” energy strategy, his rejection of the Keystone XL stands out in stark contrast to his stated goals. Even Democrats and unions criticized his decision, with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) saying the it was “a major setback for the American economy, American workers and America’s energy independence.” And today, The Hill reports, “New polling data shows strong support for approving the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline that the Obama administration rejected in January, a decision that unleashed a torrent of GOP attacks against President Obama. The Pew Research Center poll released Thursday finds 66 percent who have heard about the issue say the proposed pipeline to bring oil sands from Alberta to Gulf Coast refineries should be approved, while 23 percent say it shouldn’t.”

Meanwhile, The Journal editorial points out, “Mr. Obama yesterday also repeated his proposal that now is the time to raise taxes on oil and gas companies, as if doing so will make them more likely to drill. He must not believe the economic truism that when you tax something you get less of it, including fewer of the new jobs they’ve created.” It’s worth noting that the last time Democrats in Congress floated the idea of raising taxes on energy companies, several Senate Democrats blasted the idea, and it was voted down with bipartisan opposition. Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) called the proposal “laughable” and said, “Will it create jobs? No. It will actually hurt job production in the United States.”

The WSJ editors conclude, “We’d almost feel sorry for Mr. Obama’s gas-price predicament if it weren’t a case of rough justice. The President has deliberately sought to raise the price of energy throughout the economy via his cap-and-trade agenda. He is now getting his wish, albeit a little too overtly for political comfort.” It’s certainly instructive to recall what both Obama and his future Energy Secretary Stephen Chu said about gas prices in 2008. The AP wrote at the time, “Obama suggested that the main problem with high gasoline prices is their rapid rise, not their total of about $4 a gallon. ‘I think that I would have preferred a gradual adjustment,’ Obama said.” And Chu said, “Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe.”

As Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said last summer in a speech slamming President Obama’s energy policies, “The President says he’s a proponent of domestic energy production, but let’s be honest: he hasn’t shown it. And this shouldn’t surprise anyone. This is an administration, after all, that appointed an Energy Secretary who said a month after the President’s election that, ‘somehow we need to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe.’ Since then, the administration’s policies have helped get us there. Not only have gas prices skyrocketed, but the administration’s policies are also hindering the creation of thousands of good, private-sector jobs that so many Americans desperately need.”



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