David Harsanyi

What about the president's contention that "we're running out of places to drill on land and in shallow water"? This is what you might call a meta-truth. For instance, "The sun is dying!" or "The budget will be balanced." The oil, coal and natural gas we know exists but haven't drilled for yet alone would be enough to provide hundreds of years of energy for the nation.

Perhaps it's a testament to a president who has done more to stimulate belief in free enterprise than any other in 40 years, but 68 percent of Americans, according to a recent Pew poll, believe the nation should expand exploration for coal, gas and oil, even after the BP accident.

A larger number of Americans also embrace the idea of clean energy. They embrace balance.

It's one thing to watch reality battered by environmentalists during good times; it's quite a different story today. There is no clean-energy economy without a severe trade-off that will cost jobs and prosperity.

Now, the president may believe that it's worthwhile to sacrifice your prosperity on a moral imperative. But let's not obscure what we're talking about here.

David Harsanyi

David Harsanyi is a senior editor at The Federalist and the author of "The People Have Spoken (and They Are Wrong): The Case Against Democracy." Follow him on Twitter @davidharsanyi.