All of the Above-Or None of the Above?

Thomas Pyle

4/20/2012 12:01:00 AM - Thomas Pyle

With its hostile response to a recent American Energy Alliance ad, the Obama reelection machine recalled the player queen in Shakespeare’s “Hamlet.” The president’s camp doth indeed protest too much. The question is, What’s got the Obama campaign running scared?

On the heels of the American Energy Alliance’s recent advertisement hammering the White House on climbing gas prices, Obama super PAC Priorities USA Action released its own web ad decrying the profits of the oil and gas industry. The Democratic National Committee released a nearly indistinguishable web spot of its own, a segment dramatically titled “Remember” that tries to paint Obama as some sort of environmental crusader. The gist of both videos is the usual refrain from Obama on domestic energy: Oil companies are making a profit off higher gas prices and all they care about is maintaining their “special” tax breaks. Meanwhile Obama has a solution, if only the GOP would heed him: “alternative” energy.

Choosing now to swat at the American Energy Alliance with this much vigor is revealing of the Obama camp’s schizophrenic state of mind. The president is worried, and he ought to be: This administration’s favoritism of “green” technologies has cost the U.S. taxpayer billions of dollars and the chance to create hundreds of thousands of jobs. The White House’s attempt at redirecting the finger of blame for high gas costs is merely a transparent bid at shoring up popularity in an election year. For all their speaking-tour publicity stunts and crisis-management scrambling, Obama’s lackeys are finding they can’t shield the president's Achilles heel of rising gasoline prices.

This couldn’t have been made clearer than it was late last month. Following the delivery of what Obama probably imagined was a rousing and inspiring presidential speech in the Rose Garden about the need to eliminate tax deductions for “Big Oil” and spend more on “clean” energy, the Senate rejected both these ideas in a 51-47 vote. How our president can equate pouring more money down the black hole of “renewables” with “stand[ing] with the American people,” as he did during his Rose Garden talk, is anybody’s guess. Perhaps he thinks the Solyndra scandal wasn’t all that well covered by the mainstream media after all, or that a population with nearly 13 million unemployed has just decided to go ahead and make its peace with $4-a-gallon gas.

Whatever the president’s reasoning, it’s faulty – and damagingly so. Priorities USA Action can produce all the misleading propaganda it wants, complete with horror-movie music overlays, but the fact remains the United States is energy-rich and doesn’t need to be throwing good money after bad. At current rates of consumption the United States has as much as 200 years’ worth of recoverable oil. But our natural resources will never reach their full potential as this administration continues its undue fascination with non-viable wind and solar technologies – at the expense of proven, reliable and affordable energy. In fact, sounder federal energy policy in general could create an additional 1.4 million jobs by 2030, according to analysis by consulting firm Wood Mackenzie.

There’s a reason Obama’s reelection team is expending so much effort to battle the new AEA ad. On energy, Obama’s losing. And everyone knows it.