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As a world superpower, America consumes vast quantities of energy. We heat our homes in winter, fuel our cars, and power our businesses. President Obama’s energy policy is costing Americans; gas prices continue to rise and American jobs are disappearing.
Gas prices have steadily climbed in the past few months, but for the Obama administration this may not be viewed as a bad thing. Steven Chu, Obama’s Secretary of Energy, argued in September of 2008 that “somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe” . Chu further explains to the Wall Street Journal that higher energy prices are central to the administration’s new energy policies . To most Americans, this would be concerning news. President Obama, while preferring perhaps a gradual price increase, is not concerned with the actual price of gasoline hitting $4.00 a gallon.
The current average gas price hovers around $4.00 a gallon, poor news for our fragile economy. The country has just started to recover from “The Great Recession”, but is still quite delicate . The president’s artificial inflation of oil prices will only hinder much-needed economic recovery. Gas prices alone have risen 116% since President Obama took office . Such a severe rise in gas prices does not bode well for other sectors in the economy.
The increased oil regulation under Obama is not only hiking gas prices, but is diminishing American jobs. Large numbers of oil rigs are fleeing the Gulf of Mexico to other countries’ waters, as they are no longer permitted to drill offshore . Rigs are unwieldy and difficult to move, so it is doubtful they will return to the U.S soon. Perhaps the United States will begin importing oil brought onto the market by former American oil rigs. U.S energy companies, like Seahawk drilling, are shutting down operations due to increased regulation . Seahawk’s filing for bankruptcy will cost the United States twenty oil rigs and 632 jobs .
America is not producing more than ever, as the president has claimed . In 2009 Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar canceled 77 oil and gas drilling leases in Utah, then 61 more in Montana the next year . The U.S produces less today than it refined in the 1970’s . The administrations growing regulations make it difficult for the U.S to develop its natural resources , despite President Obama’s rhetoric of decreasing our dependency on foreign oil .
The Obama administration is artificially inflating oil prices by prohibiting deep-water, offshore drilling, cutting oil imports, and increasing energy regulations. At the same time, his cap-and-trade plan will cause electricity costs to skyrocket . The president is attempting to put a cap-and-trade plan into action by using the “Clean Air Act” to regulate CO2 admissions, thereby bypassing a vote in Congress. Senator James Inhofe and Representative Fred Upton have proposed the Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011 to prevent Obama from implementing a cap-and-trade scheme without Congressional approval . The bill has passed the House, but not the Senate.
America’s economy has been bruised and battered for years. We have little hope of successful recovery unless our country has a functioning, competitive energy sector. Obama’s energy policies must be challenged, and the first steps are to protect domestic energy production and prevent back door cap-and-trade regulations .