Remember When President Obama Posed As A “Friend of the Coal Industry?
Remember when President Obama posed as a “friend of the coal industry?” Or that he supports an all-of-the-above energy strategy? The president might say these things on any given day, but his actions paint a picture of someone more comfortable with shutting down American energy production than expanding it.
“[L]ast year, President Obama – eager to woo voters in coal-dependent regions of Ohio and Virginia – portrayed himself as a friend of the coal industry,” reports ABC News. He even took a cue from Republicans and “consistently advocated what he called an ‘all of the above’ energy strategy,” which included coal-powered electricity.
Earlier, as a state senator, USA Today said he called himself a “strong supporter” of coal. And “[w]hen he ran for U.S. Senate in 2004, he was flanked by mine workers to proclaim that ‘there’s always going to be a role for coal’ in Illinois.”
Then, yesterday, the White House climate advisor said, “a war on coal is exactly what’s needed.” The Washington Post asked if the president is pursuing a “war on coal” and answered, “To a large extent, the answer is yes.” The Wall Street Journal said, “in truth Mr. Obama’s target is all forms of carbon energy.”
But that’s not all: the president hasn’t lifted a finger to help the Northern Route Approval Act (H.R. 3) pass his Senate. It takes 30 percent longer to get a federal permit than it used to — and can take 30 times longer than state and private permits. Oil and natural gas production on federal land has plummeted. And the president is locking up most offshore energy (see this week’s Offshore Energy & Jobs Act).
Some all-of-the-above strategy.
The president’s “war” on American energy – a de facto national energy tax – threatens everyone with higher prices and a weaker economy. As the Wall Street Journal wrote today in “The Carbonated President“:
“This regressive burden won’t merely be borne by average American consumers and utility rate-payers… This also threatens one of the few booming parts of the economy, the energy revolution driven by shale gas and unconventional oil. The return of manufacturing to the U.S. depends on this cheap abundant energy, and it could as easily re-relocate overseas as the U.S. becomes less competitive.”
“Instead of restricting development, we need to green-light the Keystone pipeline and we need to expand production of our resources – onshore and offshore,” said Speaker Boehner last week. He called developing North America’s energy resources “one of our best opportunities for robust and sustained growth.” Watch him here.