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President Obama gave a speech on energy yesterday which included platitudes decrying the use of “gimmicks” and “slogans” such as “drill, baby, drill” when discussing further progress in domestic energy exploration. However, conspicuously located in the background of the President’s presentation was the highly non-gimmicky “winning the future”, which has been the slogan for increased taxpayer subsidies for highly inefficient wind and solar power.
President Obama’s presentation was not all bad news for proponents of increased hydro-carbon (oil, gas, etc.) exploration. The President proclaimed the need for increased production of natural gas and off-shore oil. As usual, we hope his actions match his rhetoric.
He also questionably suggested a cut of about one-third of our foreign importation of oil. On the surface this sounds immaculate if replaced by increased domestic oil production, but as Charles Krauthammer astutely noted, the President cited a statistic on oil importation from 2009. U.S. imported 11 million barrels of oil in 2009, due to the recession we now import roughly 9.7 million, the difference is equivalent to the President’s proposed one-third reduction. I guess statistical gimmicks are exempt from our conversation.
Gimmick free Republicans in Congress have taken square aim at the Environmental Protection Agency’s imperial regulatory abuses. A vote is expected as early as today, as Republicans in the Senate hope to thwart the EPA’s backdoor cap and trade regulations.
The EPA’s carbon emission regulations would potentially destroy over 1.4 million jobs and reduce business investment in the United States by 15 percent. U.S. GDP would be lowered by half a trillion dollars, while energy and gas prices would sky rocket if an emboldened EPA has its way. All of this in the name of global warming, which the proposed regulations will have a negligible effect on due to rising emissions from China and India.
Also, carbon is a ubiquitous element in the atmosphere and encompasses every part of our daily lives. If the EPA secures a mandate to regulate carbon, then there is basically nothing that is exempt from their ambitious scope. Unelected command and control technocrats will be able to regulate every aspect of our economy with impunity.
All is not lost. Senator Inhofe has promised to relentlessly introduce legislation designed to stymie the EPA’s administrative overreach, irrespective of today’s outcome in the Senate. Judging by the President’s speech on the need for expansive and affordable energy, we hope he embraces this legislation as well.
Keep the pressure on your elected representatives to do the right thing for our country, economy and jobs.