I assure you it was something close to his heart -- as opposed to fighting Islamic jihad. It was something that will thrill the anti-business, anti-energy extreme environmentalists but will not warm the hearts of American businesses and energy producers, and it is not good news for America's currently overhyped economy.
Yes, you heard me right; despite all the faux euphoria projected by the administration and the media, this economy is not bouncing back. According to Gallup CEO Jim Clifton, for the first time in 35 years, the United States is no longer first but 12th (12th!) among developed nations in business startup activity. More businesses are closing than opening. Four hundred thousand businesses are being born each year in America, but some 470,000 are closing. That's because America, under this president, is a business-hostile zone.
What is President Obama planning on doing about this disturbing problem? Two things. First, he will deny the problem even exists as he continues to fraudulently proclaim that America's businesses are smoking-hot. Second, he will exacerbate the problem with yet new business-killing, energy-killing lawless executive regulations honoring earth goddess Gaia with an involuntary sacrificial offering from the American energy industry. His regulations will dramatically cut methane emissions over the next decade.
Based on his record in office and his continuing with these new regulations, it's hard to tell whether he's more motivated by his allegiance to environmental cultism or a visceral aversion to business. Or perhaps those interests are so interlocked that we needn't quibble over which is dominant on Obama's priority list.
Obama's fellow pseudo-scientists, convinced that methane -- the primary component of natural gas -- traps heat in the atmosphere even more than carbon dioxide, are determined to target it to prevent global warming, I mean climate change. The regulations will require the oil and gas industry (which leftist enviro-wackos regard as double evil because they are both "big awl" and "big bidness") to cut methane emissions by between 40 and 45 percent by 2025.
But not to worry; the implementation and monitoring of these draconian regulations will be quarterbacked by the power-mad, self-righteous and unaccountable Environmental Protection Agency. What could go wrong?
What the administration isn't telling us is that regardless of how efficient methane is at trapping heat in the atmosphere, there is far less of it in the atmosphere than the evil, dreaded carbon dioxide. What the administration also forgets to emphasize, though it is on record acknowledging it, is that methane admissions have already been reduced by more than 16 percent since 1990, even though natural gas production has risen by 37 percent during that time period. One might think that a priorities-balanced administration would be a bit more concerned with the current rise of Islamic jihad than with the significant and demonstrable decline of methane emissions, but here I go digressing again.
Thomas Pyle, president of the Institute for Energy Research, said: "EPA's proposed methane regulation is redundant, costly and unnecessary. Energy producers are already reducing methane emissions because methane is a valuable commodity. It would be like issuing regulations forcing ice cream makers to spill less ice cream."
Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Rep. Ed Whitfield, R-Ky., chairman of the Subcommittee on Energy and Power, were more pointed in their criticism. "Studies show that while our energy production has significantly increased, methane emissions have continued to decline," they said in a statement. "This is something that should be celebrated, not bound by new red tape. Our success has been -- and should continue to be -- rooted in new efficiencies created through technology and innovation, a commitment to continued safety enhancements, and greater permitting certainty."
American Petroleum Institute CEO Jack Gerard noted that these new regulations threaten to shut down energy development by raising costs on producers.
You would think that a president who is always urging others to compromise and work together might at least pretend to be conciliatory on these energy issues, especially after he has been so duplicitously destructive in opposing the Keystone XL oil pipeline. But you would be wrong. It's as if Obama rejoices in provoking the newly elected Republican congressional majority.
Instead of trying to justify why these new regulations are even needed -- and in any event how they could be needed urgently enough to justify the damage they will do to the energy industry and the economy -- the White House simply expects us to accept its "Twilight Zone" version of reality. Actually, according to the administration, these new regulations will benefit the economy.
Isn't it wonderful to have a pro-business president who is staying so focused on the rising global threat of radical jihad?