How Obama’s environmentalism makes life harder for those who can least afford it.
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Jack Gerard, President and CEO of the American Petroleum Institute, reminds us that “America has been described as the next Middle East in what it has in the form of oil and natural gas. With pro-development policies, we could create millions of new jobs and provide billions of dollars of revenue to our government.”
The GAO fairly notes that very large-scale oil resource development is not without issues such as water usage, potential pollution, and influx of large numbers of workers into areas not yet equipped to handle it.
But given these risks versus the potential of dramatically cutting the price of just about everything people buy in America, what do you think citizens would choose to do?
Actually, at least according to one API-sponsored poll, we know what they would choose: Seventy-one percent of respondents support “increased access to domestic oil and natural gas resources” with those who “strongly support” such access numbering twice as many as those who “somewhat support” it. “Somewhat support” alone swamps those who somewhat or strongly oppose drilling for domestic energy. Support crosses party lines, with 85 percent of Republicans, 72 percent of Independents, and 60 percent of Democrats offering some sort of support. Even among Democrats, “strongly support” exceeded “somewhat support.”
It’s not just about getting the price of gasoline, diesel, and fuel oil down — along with the price of everything which is transported in a car, truck, or train. It’s also about the nation’s massive budget issues.
While we have a spending problem rather than a tax revenue problem, the revenue from developing the Green River Formation could have a dramatic beneficial impact on the federal budget. According to one analysis, “if only 30 percent of [potential] royalty revenues flowed into the U.S. Treasury, that would be enough to pay off the entire national debt without raising tax rates or cutting federal spending. Moreover, state taxes on oil and gas produced would enable state governments to keep tax rates low without affecting government operations. ”
It’s not just the Green River deposits that we should be exploiting to the benefit of all Americans. There is oil and gas across the western United States, such as in Montana, where, as the Spectator’s Bradley Anderson has noted, energy development is far behind that of neighboring North Dakota. In that state, an energy boom has the state’s unemployment rate at the nation’s lowest because a combination of private land and a more business-friendly environment are allowing the most energy-transformative development in our nation since Edwin Drake struck black gold in 1859.
Obama’s refusal to allow drilling on federal lands where we know there are enormous oil deposits (which we now have the technology to extract) is a of a piece with his desire to increase taxes and government dependency: Imagine the potential tax cuts (or, if you are a Democrat, imagine being able to avoid spending cuts) if the western United States were a literal gushing well of tax revenue to the federal government.
Again, this is not a theoretical issue, nor one that should divide Americans on class lines. This president’s anti-real-energy policy is a disaster for all Americans, but especially the working poor and the middle class to whom Obama’s every non-energy related utterance is a transparent pander.
It is time for Republicans to push hard on this issue, to remind voters that Barack Obama is costing them hard-earned cash every single time they fill up the car, shop at the store, or heat up their homes — and that that’s just how he likes it.
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.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online