Truth, ide­ol­ogy and the price of gaso­line

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary -

Do you re­mem­ber the ter­ri­ble things the left was say­ing about Pres­i­dent Ge­orge W. Bush when gas prices soared un­der his watch? Yet Pres­i­dent Obama, whose poli­cies and ac­tions are ac­tu­ally con­tribut­ing to rock­et­ing gas prices to­day, gets the usual main­stream me­dia pass.

Is it that the lib­eral me­dia ex­empt Obama from accountability be­cause they’re on his team in gen­eral? Is it be­cause they think he’s blame­less in the equa­tion even though they sprang to the un­founded con­clu­sion that Bush was cul­pa­ble? Or could it be that they aren’t crit­i­cal be­cause they share his bias against con­ven­tional en­ergy and be­lieve the pain caused by his poli­cies is nec­es­sary to move us to­ward al­ter­na­tive en­ergy sources?

Dur­ing Bush’s term, gas prices went down 9 per­cent, ad­justed for in­fla­tion. Yet, pre­pos­ter­ously, he was ex­co­ri­ated for al­legedly col­lud­ing with “big oil” to drive up prices. When prices spiked later in his term, he took proac­tive steps to in­crease our sup­ply and re­duce prices, and they worked. But Obama has taken ac­tion to im­pede con­ven­tional en­ergy sources and shove us into al­ter­na­tive ones. Even so, lib­er­als ig­nore any pos­si­ble causal links.

Obama told us he would bank­rupt the coal in­dus­try. He’s push­ing high-speed rail down our throats de­spite the lack of pub­lic de­mand for it and our in­abil­ity to fi­nance it. Trans­porta­tion Sec­re­tary Ray LaHood said the ad­min­is­tra­tion in­tended to co­erce us out of our cars. En­ergy Sec­re­tary Steven Chu said, “Some­how we have to fig­ure out how to boost the price of gaso­line to the lev­els in Europe.”

In view of ex­plod­ing gas prices, why aren’t these state­ments seen as scan­dalous? Where are the calls for in­ves­ti­ga­tions?

Obama de­means “big oil,” pushes al­ter­na­tive en­ergy ev­ery time he gets a chance and does ev­ery­thing in his power to sup­press do­mes­tic oil pro­duc­tion, then looks us in the face and tells us he’s in­creas­ing do­mes­tic pro­duc­tion, kind of like how he says his bud­get won’t add a penny to the na­tional debt. The au­dac­ity is of Hol­ly­wood mag­ni­tude, and so is the lack of scrutiny that en­ables it.

Be­hind the smoke and mir- rors of his rhetoric, it’s hard not to con­clude that Obama’s on a mis­sion to sup­press or shut down the ex­ist­ing oil in­fra­struc­ture in the United States in pur­suit of his stated al­ter­na­tive pri­or­i­ties.

The Her­itage Foun­da­tion’s Rory Cooper re­ports that, as of Fe­bru­ary 2011, at least 103 per­mits were await­ing re­view by the Bu­reau of Ocean En­ergy Man­age­ment, Reg­u­la­tion and En­force­ment. And since Fe­bru- ary, the ad­min­is­tra­tion has is­sued on av­er­age only 1.3 per­mits a month, a 78 per­cent re­duc­tion in the monthly av­er­age ac­cord­ing to the lat­est Gulf Per­mit In­dex.

Obama even re­versed an ear­lier de­ci­sion to open ac­cess to coastal waters for ex­plo­ration, plac­ing a seven-year ban on drilling in the At­lantic and Pa­cific Coasts and in the east­ern Gulf of Mex­ico. Oil pro­duc­tion in the Gulf is ex­pected to drop by 220 thou­sand bar­rels per day in 2011, which is go­ing to cost the U.S. some $1.35 bil­lion in rev­enues in 2011.

Not only are we los­ing oil pro­duc­tion and rev­enues, the ad­min­is­tra­tion’s ac­tions are de­stroy­ing jobs in the oil in­dus­try and else­where.

Many com­pa­nies are go­ing out of busi­ness. The Her­itage Foun­da­tion re­ports that Sea­hawk Drilling, of Hous­ton, laid off 632 em­ploy­ees be­fore re-

Obama de­means “big oil,” pushes al­ter­na­tive en­ergy ev­ery time he gets a chance and does ev­ery­thing in his power to sup­press do­mes­tic oil pro­duc­tion, then looks us in the face and tells us he’s in­creas­ing do­mes­tic pro­duc­tion, kind of like how he says his bud­get won’t add a penny to the na­tional debt. The au­dac­ity is of Hol­ly­wood mag­ni­tude, and so is the lack of scrutiny that en­ables it.

cently fil­ing for bank­ruptcy as a di­rect re­sult of Obama’s mora­to­rium and sub­se­quent “per­mi­to­rium.” Sea­hawk owned and op­er­ated 20 shal­low-wa­ter rigs in the Gulf. Ran­dall Stil­ley, pres­i­dent and CEO of Sea­hawk, said, “As an Amer­i­can, you never want to look at your own gov­ern­ment and say they’re hurt­ing you per­son­ally, they’re hurt­ing your busi­ness and they’re do­ing it in a way that’s ir­re­spon­si­ble. I’m not very proud of our gov­ern­ment right now and the way they han­dled this.”

Cooper ex­plains that these crip­pling poli­cies are hav­ing a neg­a­tive rip­pling ef­fect through­out the econ­omy. Many ven­dors, sup­pli­ers, restau­rants and re­tail­ers are los­ing rev­enues or go­ing out of busi­ness. More than 30 deep­wa­ter rigs, which each em­ploy around 200 peo­ple, have moved from the Gulf to other mar­kets. While the in­dus­try is on “life sup­port,” Obama is at war with it, brazenly spend­ing bil­lions to sup­port for­eign oil and jobs in Brazil.

Mak­ing mat­ters worse, the ad­min­is­tra­tion and con­gres­sional Democrats are con­sid­er­ing leg­is­la­tion that would fur­ther dam­age en­ergy busi­nesses by sig­nif­i­cantly in­creas­ing taxes on do­mes­tic oil and gas con­cerns. And just in the past few days, we’ve been read­ing that the ad­min­is­tra­tion is float­ing a plan to tax cars by the mile.

Can you imag­ine the in­san­ity and in­sen­si­tiv­ity of rais­ing taxes on this ail­ing in­dus­try and its con­sumers (driv­ers) at a time when both need all the re­lief they can get?

Obama is no less de­ter­mined to cram his pre­ferred en­ergy al­ter­na­tives down Amer­i­cans’ throats than he was to force feed us so­cial­ized medicine. Again, where is the out­rage?

David Lim­baugh is a writer, au­thor and at­tor­ney. His new book is “Crimes Against Lib­erty”.

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