American Elephants

Are They Completely Nuts, or Are There Ulterior Motives? by The Elephant's Child

Oil prices are skyrocketing under President Obama.  The oil futures market is climbing under the threat of the revolution in the oil producing countries of North Africa. The spreading unrest in the African nations is not yet reflected in the price at the pump.

The day before President Obama was inaugurated, the average price of a gallon of gas was $1.83.  Today it is well over $3 and headed up. President Obama has been taking steps unilaterally to raise the cost of gasoline for two years.

  1. President Obama Has Crippled Domestic Oil Exploration:  The administration demonstrated its hostility to drilling immediately upon taking office.  Interior Secretary Ken Salazar cancelled 77 leases for oil and gas drilling in Utah.  In September 2008, before he was appointed energy secretary, Steven Chu told the Wall Street Journal that somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe.
  2. President Obama Has Completely Shut Down the Existing Oil Drilling Infrastructure in the U.S. At least 103 permits are awaiting review by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement. The federal government has not approved a single new drilling plan in the Gulf, since Obama ended the drilling moratorium in October, 2010.  He also reversed an earlier decision to open access to coastal waters for exploration. Instead he has placed a seven-year ban on drilling in the Atlantic and Pacific Coasts, and Eastern Gulf of Mexico.  Four pending lease sales in Alaska have been cancelled.
  3. The Obama Administration Has Been Held in Contempt of Court. Judge Martin Feldman held the Interior Department in contempt of court on February 2, 2011, and has since given them 30 days to act on permits, saying that inaction is not a lawful option.
  4. The Administration’s Oil Policies are Killing Jobs. Companies that help supply our country’s domestic oil needs are going out of business. Not only high paying drilling jobs are being lost, but vendors, suppliers and all the shops and restaurants that depend on the industry are losing ground or going out of business as a result of Obama’s economically crippling policies.
  5. Oil and Gas Fuel our Transportation Sector. Wind and solar energy serve only a minute part of our electric power needs.  Renewable energy has nothing to do with the turmoil in the Middle East.  Subsidies for ethanol are affecting the world market for grain.  Putting food crops in our gas tanks is not an answer to dependence on foreign oil,.  Oil is a commodity sold on a world market.
  6. The Oil Industry Produces Revenue for the Federal Government, Now Lost. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates that the U.S. will suffer lost income of $3.7 million per day as a result of lost royalties.  If that is accurate, and continues, the federal government would lose more than $1.35 billion just this year.
  7. The Presumption is That Obama is Attempting to Force Americans to Accept His Clean Green Renewable Fantasy. Engineers and energy experts explain that although wind is free, producing energy from it is not. Wind is too intermittent to effectively produce any significant amount of power. It requires 24/7 backup from fossil fueled coal or gas fired power plants.  Solar energy is too diffuse to be significant.
  8. America Has Abundant Supplies of Coal and Natural Gas. The EPA is denying approval of the Keystone pipeline which would increase the amount of oil the U.S. receives from our friends to the North by over a million barrels a day.  EPA rules and regulations are hurting business and costing jobs in an economy where jobs are desperately needed.  Every administration energy decision has had the effect of raising the cost of oil.

Obama’s 2012 budget includes over $8 billion for research, development and deployment in “clean energy technology” programs.  This is part of Secretary Chu’s energy plan to Win the Future (WTF).

Obama Attempts to Make Nice With Business, by Lecturing. by The Elephant's Child

“Winning the Future”, with the embarrassing acronym, is the new program.  The President plans to help American entrepreneurs with his War on Regulation.  The president’s executive order of Jan. 18, the president says, will ensure that regulators consider the economic consequences of new rules, but with a 120-day period for a government-wide review of regulations already in place. Immediacy.

A  closer look suggests that there is less substance there than claimed.  The executive order requires agencies to submit a “preliminary plan” for reviewing regulations sometime in the future to either make regulations “more effective” or “less burdensome.” And the results of any regulatory reviews are required to be posted online “whenever possible” This is a prize collection of weasel words, not leadership.

The president spoke today to the Chamber of Commerce.  It was meant to be a peace-making gesture, but the speech was flat and the Chamber didn’t like it much.  The problem is that the president comes to business with an anti-business mindset.  He assumes that business abuses their workers, that they are underpaid by greedy bosses. He assumes that American business is not competitive with business in countries like India and China, without understanding their advantages and America’s advantages. And to top it off he lectures them.  I guess he can’t resist.

Keith Hennessey listed what the president called the responsibilities of government:

  1. to encourage American innovation;
  2. to provide our people and businesses with the fastest, most reliable way to move goods and information;
  3. to invest in the skills and education of our people;
  4. to cut the spending that we just can’t afford;
  5. to break down barriers that stand in the way of the success of American businesses — citing trade, corporate taxes, and unnecessary regulation.

But we already know what he plans. He will subsidize battery plants and solar shingle makers.  He wants to build high speed rail. Government has been investing billions in education for years, as education steadily declines.  We have not yet seen any spending that Obama thinks we cannot afford.  Our corporate taxes are still the world’s highest, he has refused to sign free trade agreements, and the regulation that needs repealing is not on his to-do list. He said that “there are some safeguards and standards that are necessary to protect the American people from harm or exploitation.”

Here is Heritage’s list of 20 burdensome regulations starting with the Health Insurance mandate, and running through the lightbulb ban, with a thorough explanation of why these regulations are burdensome.  It would be a great start, but I won’t bet on any of them being repealed or ended anytime soon or at all.

This administration simply does understand business, and it shows.

(Click to enlarge)

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