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Tragedy of Rising Energy Prices

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

There is pain associated with $4.00 a gallon gasoline. It’s not the kind you see on the news every night but it is just as tragic. Every day, families across our country struggle to put enough gas in their cars to get to work. Elderly couples choose between going to the doctor today or to church on Sunday. The people who live pay check to pay check, the people barely getting by, are bleeding a slow economic death with no end in sight.


This administration’s energy policy doesn’t even consider Americans who are just surviving on the edge, almost too poor to pay for the necessities of life like groceries or their prescriptions. Instead the President panders to a small group of environmentalists, while the rest of America suffers. The Presidents’ energy policy is clear; energy prices must “necessarily skyrocket”. Similar sentiments have been said by Energy Secretary Chu who suggested that Americans should be paying European prices for gasoline, roughly $8.00 a gallon. This President singled out industries like coal, gasoline and even hydroelectric power as somehow undesirable and therefore deserving of increased regulation and prohibitions on growth.

Earlier this week, Alpha Natural Resources announced that excessive regulations forced the layoff of 1,200 employees, former coal miners who would lose their jobs as they shut down eight coal plants. These people won’t be able to pay their mortgages, pay for their kids to be on the football team and may not be able to afford presents under the tree come December. These are our neighbors in Virginia, West Virginia and Pennsylvania and they are hurting. These eight shuttered plants are only the most recent of the 119 coal mines that have closed since President Obama took office. Think of all of the jobs lost. This President has yet to create one net job since he took office.


These workers had the misfortune of working for the coal industry instead of politically connected industries that the President has propped up with bailouts and subsidies. No greater example of this exists than Solyndra, the failed solar energy plant that was given a $535 million loan from taxpayers.

The President refuses to allow job creation in any portion of the energy section that doesn’t fit his green-energy ideology, putting politics over American jobs. This is exemplified by the President’s decision this year to delay and deny the now infamous Keystone pipeline. That project alone would have created thousands of jobs. During the Obama Presidency oil production on federal lands has declined by over 250,000 barrels a day. That lost production means fewer high paying jobs and more Americans receiving food stamps, because the jobs they would take just don’t exist.

While the nation suffers from 43 straight months of unemployment over 8%, North Dakota’s job market is booming with only 3% unemployed primarily because the state has allowed oil and natural gas drilling on their lands. The people in North Dakota are producing the energy our country needs while being able to put food on the table and pay their mortgages. Yet if the President had his way and those lands were federally owned, the state would have less production, less energy, and fewer jobs.


The personal ideology of President Obama is dictating the nation’s policies without regard to individual suffering. There are tens of thousands of jobs which could be created if the President would change his energy policies. And every American would benefit from lower energy prices, from electricity to heat their homes to gasoline to power their cars.

Winter is coming and many Americans are going to choose not to turn on the furnace and instead wear three more layers, because between paying for gasoline to get us to work, to school, to church, and the grocery store, there just isn’t enough to pay for rising heating prices, too.

Mr. President, when will you see that your energy policies are causing pain?

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