Since oil is sold in a world market, producing more in the United States means we could import less from abroad, freeing up more oil for other nations, and pushing prices down. Exporting US natural gas and drilling,fracking and production expertise would make other nations less dependent on the Middle East and Russia, bring natural gas prices down, turbo-charge economies, and encourage African countries to use gas to generate electricity, rather than “flaring” it as an unwanted byproduct of oil production.
Romney understands this. He is calling for more oil and natural gas production here in the United States, changes to excessive and counterproductive federal regulations that raise energy costs and kill jobs, and increased use of friendly Canadian oil to serve America’s consumers. He knows this will protect us against disruptions in Middle East oil supplies, reduce the flow of American dollars to totalitarian human rights violators, create American jobs, increase tax revenues, and jumpstart our sluggish economy.
President Obama, by contrast, continues to ignore reality and embrace policies based on hope, green dreams, and a determination to “fundamentally transform” America’s economy, society and system of government. He continues to waste billions of taxpayer dollars to subsidize unreliable, unaffordable, inefficient, insufficient energy forms that are at best decades from competing in the free market– even as 80% of Department of Energy grants and loans went to companies owned or controlled by Obama contributors; DOE restructured its $465 million loan to Tesla, to make sure the electric-car company doesn’t run out of cash right before the election; and President Obama says malnourished, energy-deprived Africans should avoid fossil fuels and rely instead on wind, solar and biofuel power.
Many recipients of involuntary taxpayer largesse are donors to Obama and Democrat re-election campaigns; have electoral clout in crucial swing states, where corn growers and others benefit from ethanol, wind and solar schemes; or provide crucial propaganda and campaign services via government employee and labor unions and tax-exempt radical environmentalist organizations.
While Obama turns his back on the reliable fossil fuels that power America’s economic engine, he denounces and demonizes companies that produce this energy, pay billions of dollars in taxes and support millions of American jobs. He singles out America’s oil and natural gas sector for discriminatory tax increases and excessive regulation, and makes more and more federal lands and waters off limits to responsible oil and gas production.
Environmental activists and the Obama Administration express outrage about subsidies for generating electricity, which amount to $0.25-$0.44 (25-44 cents) per megawatt-hour for coal and natural gas and $1.59 per MWH for nuclear. But they are eerily silent about subsidies for wind ($23.37 per MWH) and solar electricity ($24.34 per MWH).
They express equal outrage about importing petroleum from Canada’s oil sands via the Keystone Pipeline – but are silent about imports of thick, gooey crude from Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez. They brag about increasing US oil and gas production (on private lands) but insist that there be little or no drilling in the Outer Continental Shelf, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Rocky Mountains or even National Petroleum Reserve Alaska, which Congress set aside decades ago specifically to safeguard our national security by increasing exploration in areas with the best potential for oil and gas.
Lisa Jackson’s Environmental Protection Agency is imposing draconian restrictions on power plants and other CO2 sources, as another way of “skinning the cat” and hyper-regulating coal out of the US energy picture, after Congress rejected cap-tax-and-trade legislation. Meantime, Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA) has introduced the Managed Carbon Price Act, which analysts say will impose regressive taxes that will rise to $5.20 per gallon of gasoline by 2024 and equally hefty surcharges on other hydrocarbon use.
The impact on transportation, shipping, commuting, manufacturing, families and jobs is frightening to contemplate. So is the fact that these actions are coming even as Britain’s Meteorological Office released data showing that the world stopped getting warmer almost 16 years ago – or at best average global temperatures rose an impossible-to-measure and statistically insignificant 0.03 degrees C per decade.
Meanwhile, Germany, Italy and Japan plan to phase out nuclear power, thereby increasing their use of natural gas and coal for electricity – while China and India build 900 new coal-fired power plants to electrify their growing economies. All will pump tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere – dwarfing any reductions the USA might achieve by closing more power plants and further shackling our economy.
The Administration’s actions have been arrogant, irresponsible and autocratic. Win or lose in November, the White House, EPA, DOE and Interior Department will impose boxcars of punitive new regulations that have been put on hold until November 7.
We can dig ourselves out of the hole we are in. We can and must rejuvenate and reinvigorate our economy, by developing America’s resource bounties.
We need to fundamentally transform the anti-hydrocarbon culture that currently pervades the Congress, White House, Executive Branch and radical environmental groups that have brought us to where we are today.
Be the first to read Paul Driessen's column. Sign up today and receive Townhall.com delivered each morning to your inbox.
NYT Editoral Board: The Indictment Against Rick Perry "Appears" to be "Overzealous" | Daniel Doherty