Because energy security is such a vital component of U.S. foreign policy, it was disappointing that it received little more than a brief mention in the final Presidential Debate.
Early in the debate, President Obama, once again, lauded his policies for decreasing America’s oil imports. This is hardly something to brag about. Gasoline consumption is down due to the overall bad economy—fewer people driving to work; and the high prices—fewer people driving for pleasure travel, like a vacation.
He also tried to take credit for the increased oil and gas production at home. It’s been frequently proven that production is up, not because of his policies, in spite of them.
Obama reaffirmed his commitment to “clean energy,” claiming that such “technologies will allow us to cut our imports in half by 2020.” Fact checkers are not likely to extend their efforts there, so allow me.
The President has sunk billions and billions of taxpayer dollars into failing enterprises—Solyndra and A123 Systems are just the first and the most recent domino to fall. The majority of these “clean energy” companies produce electricity—and we do not import electricity. Generating more electricity from wind and solar will not “cut our imports in half.”
The only way to “cut our imports in half” is to open up federal lands to exploration and extraction, and expedite permitting to encourage domestic drilling. During last night’s debate, Governor Romney reiterated his commitment to “taking full advantage” of our domestic resources.
In his closing statement, Governor Romney said: “The President’s path will mean continuing declining in take home pay.” While he didn’t specifically address energy here, it is a factor. As energy costs continue to rise—both electricity and transportation fuels—under President Obama’s policies, everyone’s disposable income goes down with the poor being hit the hardest.
The middle class can’t stimulate the economy by buying a new dress, computer, or car, and the poor have to make harsh decisions between heating and eating. The disadvantaged become even more disadvantaged. With “the kind of leadership” President Obama has shown, let’s hope that on November 6 his followers are few.