The first order of business for Ken Salazar, Obama's new secretary of the Interior, was to stop the pending opening of the former moratorium waters - supposedly temporarily. That announcement was made on February 10, 2009. By April, prices were back over two dollars. By June, when the recession officially ended, the price was $2.63 - up more than 80 cents from when Obama took office while the economy was still in recession.
Prices spiked up again starting in May of 2010, which is when Obama and Salazar imposed an illegal moratorium (literally; Salazar was held in contempt of court because the moratorium was based on a politically corrupted report) in the Gulf of Mexico as an overreaction to the BP spill.
By December of 2010, Obama had fully and permanently reimposed the old moratorium that Bush and Congress had lifted in 2008. So now we're back where we were in summer of 2008, with prices around four dollars and vast offshore American energy resources locked up by politicians. The facts are clear - the pain at the pump is not, as Obama suggested, a result of a supposedly strong economy. It is a result of his own disastrous policy.
Phil Kerpen is president of American Commitment, a columnist on Fox News Opinion, chairman of the Internet Freedom Coalition, and author of the 2011 book Democracy Denied.
American Commitment is dedicated to restoring and protecting America’s core commitment to free markets, economic growth, Constitutionally-limited government, property rights, and individual freedom.
Washingtonian magazine named Mr. Kerpen to their "Guest List" in 2008 and The Hill newspaper named Mr. Kerpen a "Top Grassroots Lobbyist" in 2011.
Mr. Kerpen's op-eds have run in newspapers across the country and he is a frequent radio and television commentator on economic growth issues.
Prior to joining American Commitment, Mr. Kerpen served as vice president for policy at Americans for Prosperity. Mr. Kerpen has also previously worked as an analyst and researcher for the Free Enterprise Fund, the Club for Growth, and the Cato Institute.
A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., Mr. Kerpen currently resides in Washington, D.C. with his wife Joanna and their daughter Lilly.