Obama's energy policy: Same old, same old

You may have missed it but the president gave a speech on energy yesterday. No, really. After more than 2 years of trying his best to destroy domestic production and make the US even more dependent on foreign sources for our energy needs, Obama issued a brand new energy policy that looks like every energy policy offered by every president for the last 30 years.

The goal: To reduce our purchase of foreign energy by 1/3 over the next decade.

The Economist:


Mr Obama's plan has four main strands: increasing domestic production of oil, boosting output of biofuels as a substitute, encouraging the use of natural gas as a transport fuel, and making vehicles more efficient. He also chucked into the mix his "clean energy standard", a scheme to promote less polluting forms of electricity generation, even though it has nothing to do with oil imports.None of this is new. The clean energy standard was first wheeled out in his state-of-the-union address, and is anyway only a rehashed version of a much older proposal to promote renewable energy, with nuclear power and natural gas bolted on to broaden its appeal. The administration was already working on a fresh series of ever more demanding fuel-efficiency standards for vehicles for when the current lot runs out, in 2017 2016. Mr Obama had also previously pledged to nurture the current growth in domestic oil production, to counter Republican cries of "Drill, baby, drill." The government has been subsidising biofuels for decades, and the Department of Energy is already lending money to the sort of high-tech but handout-dependent plants that the president wants more of. Even talk of encouraging natural-gas vehicles is nothing new: T Boone Pickens, an irrepressible oilman, has buttonholed half of Congress, and anyone else who will listen, on the subject.

Worse, those parts of the president's plan that need congressional approval-the clean energy standard, more subsidies, extra funding for research on whizz-bang energy technology-will never receive it. The Republicans who control the House are dead-set against anything that smacks of greenery, not to mention anything that would add to spending at a time when they're trying to take an axe to it.

What the proposals lack in originality, they make up for in brazen hypocrisy. After cutting off drilling in the Gulf, refusing to approve permits in areas that have already seen extensive drilling, and refusing to budge on drilling in places like ANWR, Barack Obama now gets interested in increasing domestic oil production? What's up with that, Barry?

"What's up" is that polls showed Obama that the public was concerned about energy and the price of a gallon of gas is on the way up to $4 or more. Of course, if he started drilling two years ago, we'd be two years closer to his goal.

Alas, such common sense escapes the radical ideologue who can't understand why when he snuffs out domestic production, the price goes up.



You may have missed it but the president gave a speech on energy yesterday. No, really. After more than 2 years of trying his best to destroy domestic production and make the US even more dependent on foreign sources for our energy needs, Obama issued a brand new energy policy that looks like every energy policy offered by every president for the last 30 years.

The goal: To reduce our purchase of foreign energy by 1/3 over the next decade.

The Economist:


Mr Obama's plan has four main strands: increasing domestic production of oil, boosting output of biofuels as a substitute, encouraging the use of natural gas as a transport fuel, and making vehicles more efficient. He also chucked into the mix his "clean energy standard", a scheme to promote less polluting forms of electricity generation, even though it has nothing to do with oil imports.

None of this is new. The clean energy standard was first wheeled out in his state-of-the-union address, and is anyway only a rehashed version of a much older proposal to promote renewable energy, with nuclear power and natural gas bolted on to broaden its appeal. The administration was already working on a fresh series of ever more demanding fuel-efficiency standards for vehicles for when the current lot runs out, in 2017 2016. Mr Obama had also previously pledged to nurture the current growth in domestic oil production, to counter Republican cries of "Drill, baby, drill." The government has been subsidising biofuels for decades, and the Department of Energy is already lending money to the sort of high-tech but handout-dependent plants that the president wants more of. Even talk of encouraging natural-gas vehicles is nothing new: T Boone Pickens, an irrepressible oilman, has buttonholed half of Congress, and anyone else who will listen, on the subject.

Worse, those parts of the president's plan that need congressional approval-the clean energy standard, more subsidies, extra funding for research on whizz-bang energy technology-will never receive it. The Republicans who control the House are dead-set against anything that smacks of greenery, not to mention anything that would add to spending at a time when they're trying to take an axe to it.

What the proposals lack in originality, they make up for in brazen hypocrisy. After cutting off drilling in the Gulf, refusing to approve permits in areas that have already seen extensive drilling, and refusing to budge on drilling in places like ANWR, Barack Obama now gets interested in increasing domestic oil production? What's up with that, Barry?

"What's up" is that polls showed Obama that the public was concerned about energy and the price of a gallon of gas is on the way up to $4 or more. Of course, if he started drilling two years ago, we'd be two years closer to his goal.

Alas, such common sense escapes the radical ideologue who can't understand why when he snuffs out domestic production, the price goes up.



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