As the holidays loomed on the horizon gas prices began to steadily creep up, that trend continues and prices are over $3 a gallon. If President Bush was still in office those prices would be all over the news, reporters would hound him constantly; yet, Obama is hardly pressed. There is little coverage and no one puts any serious pressure on him to explain why prices are so high or how he’s going to fix it. Regardless of the media coverage, I do think there’s cause for concern in the rising gas prices and Obama’s actions. As I sit in my hotel room on the Emerald Coast I remember the last time I was here. It was May 2010 and the Gulf Oil Spill crisis was all over the news. Everyone was talking about it, the news outlets were running around looking for oil and residents were begging for visitors to come on down. Over a month after the crisis, the president finally made it down to supervise and put his boot on throats. This was exactly the crisis progressives had been waiting for and the opportunity the administration wanted.
Shortly after visiting the coast the moratorium on off-shore drilling was announced. I was here on the coast when that happened as well. The communities that had just been devastated by the loss of tourist revenue now had to contend with the loss of oil revenues as well. Despite the illegal moratorium on off-shore drilling permits being rescinded three months ago, only two new permits have been granted. This represents an 88% reduction from historic averages. While the ban has been lifted and the job-crushing Cap and Trade bill is currently dead, there are still numerous onerous regulations hampering growth. The EPA enacts policy via fiat, pushing regulations that crush any energy development outside the bounds deemed politically valuable.
While the President spent nearly an hour discussing future “investments” (think stimulus spending—again) he continually pushed “green technology.” Obama (and the rest of the political class including GOP Newt Gingrich) tout ethanol, wind, solar or algae as the way forward and a way to create jobs. But this isn’t the answer, at least not as our economy is currently structured. Spain tried growing their economy with green jobs. The result? Spain lost 9 jobs in the overall economy for every 4 “green” jobs created. Yup, for those of you union educated that’s a net loss of 5 jobs. Seems like a great plan to recover the economy, right?
As I said, these green jobs won’t help our economy as it’s currently structured. When gas is less than $3-4 a gallon people will continue to drive crew cab trucks to Walmart. They’ll continue to heat their homes with propane and natural gas. Electricity will still be provided using coal power. If you want to “radically transform America” you have create a crisis, have to make people uncomfortable. That’s why the Administration imposed an oil moratorium, not because it would benefit Gulf Coast residents or reduce our dependence on foreign oil; but to raise the cost per gallon. The Cap and Trade regulations will devastate the economy, we have no viable replacement for carbon based fuels. Wind and solar makes us approximately .6% of our total energy production. Even wood produces 1%! Green jobs will only be competitive if Americans by them and invest in them, but, the only way the public will look to green sources is if it makes fiscal sense. Those sources will never make fiscal sense as long as oil/gas prices are low.
So, while you may dismiss me for a conspiracy nut, I’ll leave you with two telling quotes I believe support my opinion President Obama and his administration are knowingly enacting policies that hurt the energy production, impacting the economic recovery. The first comes from Steven Chu, Energy Secretary, “Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe.” Why do we need prices that approach $8/gallon as in the Netherlands? So we’ll accept this economic shift and further government intervention into energy production. So we won’t have a problem spending trillions more on subsidizing government picked winners in currently failing industries. The second quote is President Obama in January 2008, “If somebody wants to build a coal power plant they can, it’s just that it will bankrupt them because they are going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted.” The government is throwing all their eggs into the green jobs basket, despite the failure Spain has seen, all in the name of global warming. But don’t be fooled, this is nothing more than a progressive power grab. An attempt to pick winners and give handouts to favored groups and secure more control.