Spendy Energy Future is No Joke

Marita Noon
Issue CCLXXXIV - April 17, 2011
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President Obama’s March 30 speech on energy security offered nothing new—no new solutions, no big changes in policy. It was easy to tune him out as many news channels did, offering the speech only on their websites.

In case you missed it, part of the same old, same old included some of his favorite lies.

The pundits seemed to have missed his comments about the public outcry of "drill, baby, drill." In reference to the last time prices at the pump took a startling jump, he said, "The truth is, none of these gimmicks, none of these slogans made a bit of difference. When gas prices finally did fall, it was mostly because the global recession had led to less demand for oil." Prices peaked in the summer of 2008. But it was not the "global recession" that stopped the steady climb. It was "gimmicks" and "slogans" that combined to wake the public up and cause them to put pressure on politicians. As a result, on July 14, President Bush lifted his own father’s ban on off-shore drilling. Oil prices dropped like a stone on that day! They fell again when Congress announced they’d let the ban expire. Obama claims, "The truth is… There are no quick fixes. Anybody who tells you otherwise isn’t telling you the truth." His comments are lies. He could have come out with a plan to maximize American energy resources—all of them—and prices would fall on the anticipation of new supplies flooding the market and reducing dependence on Middle Eastern oil.

He did address dependence on foreign oil, repeating the phrase "freeing ourselves from dependence on foreign oil" twice. His comments morphed into "reducing America’s dependence on oil", saying we cannot "afford to bet our long-term prosperity, our long-term security on a resource that will eventually run out." With the Middle East unrest, most everyone would agree with getting off of oil from Libya, Iraq, Venezuela, and other places that don’t like us. Because our biggest suppliers are Canada and Mexico, it is unlikely that America can "free" herself from foreign oil any time soon. However, we can greatly reduce our reliance on oil from our enemies by tapping our own abundant resources. While we should increase our energy security, there is no reason to rush a transition away from oil. We have enough to last several generations despite decades of declarations about running out. More deposits have been, and will be, discovered as technology improves. Plus, we have resource expansion—we can go hundreds of miles further on a fill-up than we could thirty years ago. We get more from less.

The replacements for oil include "renewables." Once again, Obama lied. He stated that utilities "need to buy a certain amount of clean energy in their overall portfolio." Currently only 29 states require renewable energy in their portfolios. On the state level, it is called a Renewable Portfolio Standard. The states with the highest electricity prices are generally those who mandate renewable energy. We do not currently have a national standard that would make utilities "need" a specific energy source—they have the freedom to use what works efficiently and economically, but if Obama’s "blueprint" becomes a reality, we will all be required to buy more expensive electricity.

His speech did give us insight as to what we can expect to hear from him as the 2012 campaign cycle ramps up: spending money we don’t have on projects that don’t work. "Government funding will still be critical…" "None of this would have happened without government support." One of his key ideas for the Blueprint for a Secure Energy Future is to make an oil substitute from sources such as "switchgrass and wood chips and biomass." After spending $76 million of taxpayer money on a pilot cellulosic ethanol project, the Georgia plant closed in February without ever producing a drop of oil replacement from the woodchips. (Yet, if the oil industry holds on to a lease and doesn’t "produce a single drop," they are threatened with revocation.)

It was one year ago that President Obama announced an expansion of off-shore drilling—upping expectations that he understood the important role American resource extraction plays in the economy. It turned out to be an early April Fools' joke. With the March 30 release of his Blueprint for a Secure Energy Future, the American public is, once again, being played as fools. The truth is, it’s a blueprint for a spendy energy future. No joke.

Known as the voice for energy, Marita Noon is the Executive Director at Energy Makes America Great Inc. the advocacy arm of the Citizens’ Alliance for Responsible Energy—working to educate the public and influence policy makers regarding energy and its role in freedom and in the American way of life. She is a popular speaker and a frequent guest on television and radio. Her commentaries have been published in newspapers, blogs, and websites nationwide, and she has just completed her twentieth book: Take Away Energy, Take Away Freedom. Find out more at www.EnergyMakesAmericaGreat.org. 

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