And the price surge is happening against a rather bizarre background. After denying a permit in January for the expansion of the TransCanada Corporation’s Keystone XL Pipeline project - a project that would have presumably expanded American oil refining and decreased America’s foreign oil dependency – the President is now stuck defending his obsession with government funded electric cars that don’t sell, and failed solar energy companies owned by his campaign donors which have “lost” hundreds of millions of our tax revenues.
This confluence of elements has led the President to begin talking about domestic oil production as though it were actually a good thing. Under his administration, the President continued in his Thursday speech, “America is producing more oil today than at any time in the last eight years,” with a record number of oil and gas rigs. “We’re focused on production.”
This is a dramatic departure from the President’s previous attitude. While campaigning for the presidency during the 2008 price spike, candidate Obama scoffed at the idea of producing more oil at home. “If everybody in America inflated their tires to the proper level,” he sarcastically noted in August of that year, “we would actually probably save more oil, than all the oil we’d get from John McCain drillin’ right below his feet… or wherever he was gonna drill…”
Americans need to demand both an end to the “politics of oil,” and a coherent energy policy. Never again should we settle for cynical “tire gauge politics,” or “stimulus dollars” for President Obama’s solar energy friends.
Republican congressional leaders should take the lead now – now, while the President is lacking credibility on the issue - and begin to acknowledge the obvious: the United States is home to its own substantial oil and gas resources.
There’s nothing wrong or “unfair” about this – we’ve got resources right here at home. Yet it iscurrently a violation of federal law to search for oil in the Pacific Ocean, in the Gulf of Mexico, in the Atlantic Ocean, and in Alaska. Similarly, it is against the law to search for oil shale in the continental United States.
President Obama is being forced to contradict his positions from four years ago because he’s not campaigning against the status quo. He is the status quo in this year’s election, and the status quo has us, once again, “over a barrel.” Alternative energy development is good, noble and necessary – but oil is our need right now.
Who will take the lead, in the President’s absence?
Austin Hill is an Author, Consultant, and Host of "Austin Hill's Big World of Small Business," a syndicated talk show about small business ownership and entrepreneurship. He is Co-Author of the new release "The Virtues Of Capitalism: A Moral Case For Free Markets." , Author of "White House Confidential: The Little Book Of Weird Presidential History," and a frequent guest host for Washington, DC's 105.9 WMAL Talk Radio.