It is not that Obama has a problem signing off on federal leases, per se. Or even offshore platforms, rigs or other major infrastructure projects, for that matter. Because unlike oil and gas leases, President Obama has unveiled and expedited a plan to grant leases, easements, and rights-of-way to build new infrastructure for off-shore wind farms as well as experimental infrastructure to tap into ocean currents as a power source.
There is nothing wrong with off-shore wind farms. For example, Denmark – the world’s leader in that technology – produces almost 20 percent of its electricity from off shore wind power. However, Denmark uses about as much electricity as the State of Connecticut. Right now, according to the US Department of Energy, the US generates about one-tenth of one percent of its electricity from wind power. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to expand that percentage – it simply means it is not a viable trade off for oil and gas. Nor does it help the economy with transportation fuel.
Just as the federal government can’t tax the economy into growth, it also cannot tax and regulate our most reliable and efficient domestic energy source into national energy independence. We learned that from Jimmy Carter, who tried, in one form or another, most everything that Barrack Obama has proposed.
At least Jimmy Carter had a sense of what he was putting forth. In a speech unveiling his energy plan in April of 1977, he said his plan “will demand that we make sacrifices and changes in our lives. To some degree, the sacrifices will be painful – but so is any meaningful sacrifice. It will lead to some higher costs, and to some greater inconveniences for everyone.” Barrack Obama, on the other hand, actually has put forth his plan as a way to create a new “clean energy economy” that will create “green jobs” and economic growth.
Indeed, history proves Barnes’ recent observations valid. Despite Obama’s optimism and grandiloquence, the actual policies are still the same old tax and austerity measures of Jimmy Carter’s. They didn’t work then, and they won’t work now.