A trial balloon that failed to rise above the president’s rhetorical gutter.
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According to energy author Robert Bryce, the amount of energy that would be delivered by the Keystone XL pipeline that Barack Obama just refused (for a second time) to approve would exceed the energy produced by every wind turbine and every solar panel in the U.S., combined.
The nation knows who these men really are and what they really believe, which is why President Obama’s recent squirming on energy, now that high prices are harming him politically, is not working with the public. It is why Newt Gingrich, political viability aside, is making energy prices the centerpiece of his campaign.
Obama commented on oil prices on Thursday following the Reuters report, coming back to his usual refrain: “There is no such thing as quick fix when it comes to high gas prices. There is no silver bullet. Anybody who tells you otherwise isn’t really looking for a solution. They’re trying to ride the political wave of the moment.”
The president’s argument is a straw man. Nobody is saying there is a quick fix. Instead what supporters of increased exploration and drilling argue is that however long it will take, it is better to start sooner than later. Furthermore, few things would take the wind out of speculators’ sails more effectively than a credible commitment to increasing domestic supplies. This, of course, is not forthcoming from a president who recently termed oil “the fuel of the past” and whose first big energy idea was to hire a “Green Jobs Czar” — the avowed communist Van Jones.
Trying to ridicule those who call for expanded drilling, Obama’s ugly, bullying cynicism was apparent on Thursday, as feeling like he’s losing always brings out the worst in our thin-skinned president: “There are a few spots where we’re not drilling. We’re not drilling in the National Mall. We’re not drilling at your house.”
He added that in addition to drilling, we need to develop wind power, solar power, and biofuels, as well as make our buildings, homes, and cars and trucks more fuel efficient. Maybe he should trot out Steven Chu to suggest again that we all paint our roofs white.
IT IS A SIGN OF THE BUBBLE Obama lives in that he thinks such rhetoric will be effective with voters. Americans are now spending an average of $3.82 per gallon of gasoline across the nation, up 30 cents from a month ago, with much of the nation suffering through substantially higher increases. The politically critical states of Ohio and Michigan, for example, are seeing prices up 50 cents from a month ago.
An oil price increase not only raises the cost of filling your car, but also the prices of food, plastics, fertilizer, and anything else that takes energy to produce or transportation to deliver to market. It is a huge tax on the American economy, with one website calculating that “An increase of 10 cents per gallon translates into an additional burden of $14 billion per year for US households.”
Reports of the Obama administration looking to reprise last year’s expensive and ultimately ineffective tapping of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve show a continued desperation to make a pretense of caring about higher gas prices. But its record and rhetoric show a fundamental lack of both understanding and seriousness.
No action that this president will consider — including tapping the SPR — will help Obama with the issue of high energy prices. American voters understand the Obama team well enough to know that the only reason its members pretend to “feel your pain” is that they see their political futures going up in expensive gasoline-fueled flames.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online