Doesn’t that sound like a great idea? Unfortunately, in the era of Barack Obama the goal of enabling the United States to meet its own energy needs has been subverted by some very destructive politics.
First, the term “energy independence” has been confused with the term “green energy.” While some people use the two expressions synonymously, the Obama Administration has gradually phased-out references to “energy independence” and moved towards “green energy” references exclusively.
This language shift from the Obama Administration raises some important questions: are we no longer seeking to become “energy independent?” And if we are still seeking “energy independence,” what is it, exactly, that we are trying to become independent from?
Since the days of the Nixon presidency most Americans have recognized the many problems associated with being dependent on foreign oil suppliers. And it was nearly six years ago when George W. Bush became the first U.S. President to proclaim that “America is addicted to oil.”
But now President Barack Obama seems to have determined that our problem isn’t so much “foreign oil,” but oil itself. His Administration has sought to force the nation away from consuming all types of oil – both foreign and domestic –and to move us in the direction of his environmentally preferred “green” energy sources.
Unfortunately, the President has approached energy policy just as he approaches most everything else – with the naïve assumption that as long as lots of government programs and mandates are established, the agenda will be accomplished and all will go well. Thus billions of our tax dollars have been handed-out in “loans” and “grants” to everything from solar panel manufacturers to electric car makers in Europe, while nearly all of the recipients have been “personal friends” of the President and people who are working for his re-election.
Further complicating things is the fact that since taking office in 2009, President Barack Obama has insisted on co-mingling our nation’s need for new energy resources, with our nation’s more immediate need to expand the employment sector of the economy. Thus we have become accustomed to President Obama’s concept of “green jobs” - which is a politically driven attempt to collapse two important and separate policy agendas in to one.
But just because Barack Obama says “let there be green energy jobs,” doesn’t mean that jobs will be created (and what exactly constitutes a “green job,” anyway?). Again the President’s undying confidence in the his power to create new realities has been obliterated by the fact that technological breakthroughs take time, involve “trial and error,” and require lots of “research and development” – none of which necessarily expedites job creation.
As if all this isn’t confounding enough, liberal activist groups across the U.S. have for the past year been taking direct aim at a private sector effort to reduce America’s dependence on oil from the Middle East, and other global regions. The Kearl Oil Sands project is a North American oil drilling effort in the Canadian Province of Alberta, and promises job creation for both Canada and the U.S. – but American liberals seem intent on destroying the project.
In the works since 1997, the project kicked-in to high gear twelve months ago with both the Conoco Phillips and Exxon-Mobil corporations delivering oil drilling equipment to Lewiston, a tiny inland port in northern Idaho that is accessible to small vessels from the Pacific Ocean. From there the drilling equipment gets trucked eastward into Montana, then north in to Alberta, where it is set up in preparation for what promises to be a robust new oil resource right here on our own continent.
The project has already created economic opportunity in the Mountain West states. Yet liberal activists have sought to hinder the plan at every turn.
For over a year, radical environmentalists have been filing law suits in both Montana and Idaho courts to try to prevent the big rig trucks from hauling the oil drilling equipment, and In some cases they have gathered on the highways to block the traffic - literally, physically, standing on the roads and at times laying-down on the roads - to prevent the trucks from rolling.
It does not matter that real "everyday" American men and women -moms and dads, sons and daughters, husband and wives - provide themselves and their dependents with food, healthcare, and housing by operating trucks and truck stops. The trucks are “aiding and abetting” the evil oil industry, so far as the liberal activists are concerned, so they have sought to do everything imaginable to deter the effort.
Fortunately the Kearl Oil Sands project has been moving forward, but not without costly delays, expensive legal fees, and near-constant opposition, as the companies are forced to fight in court just to keep the trucks rolling on Montana and Idaho interstates.
As the U.S. remains dependent and vulnerable to foreign oil barons, liberal Americans seem intent on holding us hostage to the status quo. Real “independence” will begin when we vote ourselves a “regime change” in 2012.