During the presidential campaign Barack Obama favored domestic drilling for oil and natural gas, but throughout the first year of his presidency he imposed numerous delays on American energy production. Now, out of the blue, he has announced he will open up portions of the Outer Continental Shelf to offshore drilling.
He portrayed the idea of needing more domestic production as something new, a great revelation that was the product of a year's worth of investigation by his administration; something nobody had thought of until this “aha” moment.
This decision has prompted a variety of responses. Proponents of developing our oil and natural gas resources are guardedly optimistic, while the anti-domestic-energy-production folks on the left are appalled that the president would abandon his more recent “sensible” position against conventional energy sources and his near-manic drive for imposing “green” technologies on the nation.
But those on the right are correct to be skeptical and the left has no reason to worry: Mr. Obama has no intention of making it easier for the country to do what is in its best interest where energy production is concerned.
If he really wants to increase domestic oil and natural gas supplies, why did this proposal not allow drilling in the Pacific Ocean, or in a large portion of the Atlantic Ocean, in some of the most promising areas of the Gulf of Mexico, or in much of Alaska? Why are there no areas for land-based exploration? And why will most new drilling will not occur until after 2012 at the earliest.
This is a head-fake by the president, who wants to force a massive new energy tax on Americans.
The Waxman-Markey energy bill would do serious harm to the economy, killing more than one million jobs per year and raising energy costs, but many in Congress believe that bill is dead. However, a new effort is being developed by Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, Independent Senator Joseph Lieberman, and Democrat Senator John Kerry.
This bill is expected to be less offensive to opponents of Waxman-Markey, and given the suspicious timing of the president’s announcement, his newly discovered need for domestic production is just a part of a plot to push through cap and tax in one form or another.
Despite a study by the American Energy Alliance that reports offshore drilling may well create millions of new jobs and would provide billions in new government revenue at the levels, we should expect an array of delays before any actual drilling takes place, such as court challenges and bureaucratic red tape.
Barack Obama continues to govern in opposition to the will of the people he serves, who understand what he does not understand: the way to energy independence is developing domestic supplies of those fuels that we have been using and are prepared to use, and who also recognize that however attractive wind, solar, and other alternative energy sources may be in terms of “cleanliness,” the technology needed for them to be utilized to any significant degree are as yet unavailable.