January 6, 2011

What IBD Describes As ‘Obama’s Oil War’ Is Part of His War on the Entire Economy

Filed under: Economy,Environment,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:44 am

Gas is above $3 a gallon, and it’s only winter. The higher-demand summer months have prompted predictions of $4 a gallon by then, and a former Shell exec predicts $5 next year.

A Wednesday evening Investors Business Daily editorial makes it clear this is happening largely because of Obama administration policies:

Energy Policy: Oil prices are surging to levels that will soon crimp economic growth. And what’s our government doing about it? Just making it worse.

Since President Obama took office in January 2009, the price of oil has rocketed 117% to $90.41 a barrel and gasoline has jumped 67% to $3.07 a gallon. In the 34 industrialized nations, oil imports have surged 34% in the last year to $790 billion. The U.S. alone has seen a $72 billion jump.

All this imperils a fragile recovery from the financial crisis. “Oil prices are entering a dangerous zone for the global economy,” says Fatih Birol, chief economist at the International Energy Agency.

Given the clear threat, it’s economically irrational to sit on our hands and fail to develop our own energy resources. At least 130 billion barrels of oil and trillions of cubic feet of natural gas lie offshore, and hundreds of billions of barrels more are locked in shale deposits in the Northeast and West. Yet our policy remains leaving this wealth alone.

More than mere incompetence is at work here. It’s becoming more and more obvious that Obama’s energy policy is meant to raise prices by making fossil fuels harder to produce and use.

The primary “justification” for this remains the administration’s bitter clinging to the notions that the earth is dangerous warming (it’s not), and that it’s the fault of humans (again, not). The best refutation of those notions is here at American Thinker. The item was written in September 2009 by John McLaughlin, who wrapped with this statement:

What is becoming clearer is that the concept of “manmade global warming” may be one of the greatest hoaxes in world history. How soon this will become generally known will depend on how forcefully the political effort seeking both national and international control of industry and wealth redistribution can keep the hoax hidden by intimidation and forcefully amplified rhetoric while systematically jeopardizing the economies of America and other developed nations.

A couple of months later, the Climategate e-mails appeared. What was revealed therein changes the “may be” in the excerpted paragraph’s first sentence to “is.”

It is the Obama administration that is “systematically jeopardizing the economies of America” for no reason, as the IBD editorial makes clear:

In just two years, as Steve Everley of the American Solutions blog has noted, the Obama administration has:

• Virtually shut down oil drilling in the Gulf. Yes, the six-month moratorium announced during the BP oil spill ended in November. But regulators have made it nearly impossible for oil firms to restart operations and have slapped strict new rules on drilling even in shallow waters.

• Put hundreds of billions of barrels of offshore oil and gas off-limits to exploration and production. By executive order, the administration has taken much of the energy-rich Outer Continental Shelf out of play. This, according to the Energy Information Administration, will cut this year’s output by 220,000 barrels a day.

• Canceled 77 existing drilling leases in Utah, one of Department of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s first actions and a move that set the tone for the Obama administration’s war on energy.

• Proposed new taxes on energy, including the cap-and-trade fiasco, that have had a chilling effect on new investment in energy. Steven Chu, Obama’s energy secretary, has already let the cat out of the bag by saying he wants to see pump prices in the U.S. as high as they are in Europe. Last we checked, that was $7 a gallon.

America has the oil and natural gas resources to ensure its energy future as we develop reasonable, economically viable alternatives to fossil fuels. And that oil and gas is available right now.

Yet, our government has systematically put those resources out of reach, making us more dependent on unreliable foreign sources. Today we’re more, not less, vulnerable to the predations of foreign dictators and tyrants who would do us ill.

… Obama’s war against fossil fuels is a direct assault on our oil-dependent economy and standard of living.

It also makes a mockery of the idea that Obama and his far-left inner circle really want the economy to prosper.

What they don’t want is what anyone not immersed in leftist ideology wants: a rip-roaring, booming economy like we had in the 1980s under Reaganomics, or like we had for a time in the late-1990s, after now-Ohio governor John Kasich and the Republican Congress cut the capital gains tax and balanced the budget (before the Clinton administration’s Securities and Exchange Commission and the Democrat-dominated Big Brokerage community ruined it by allowing enthusiasm for nascent Internet enterprises to create an investment bubble).

For reasons purely related to Obama’s attempt to get reelected, it would appear that the administration wants enough of a “recovery” to make people think that they really do want things to get better. Whatever progress arrives in the coming months, never forget that it could have been at least twice as good — and it would have occurred years earlier — if they had only gotten out of the way.


1 Comment

  1. [...] uncertainty, regulatory hostility, and, more recently, high oil prices, which are also an administration-induced phenomenon. The poor job growth in the first 18 months after the POR Recession ended, despite a debt buildup [...]

    Pingback by BizzyBlog — January 13, 2011 @ 8:50 am

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