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Energy: Dueling Headlines for Dunces

Perhaps the greatest example of cluelessness in the pages of the New York Times was their bafflement a few years ago over the fact that the prison population was still rising even though the crime rate was falling, apparently unable to discern a possible link between the two.  (“Crime Keeps on Falling, But Prisons Keep on Filling” was the impossible-to-lampoon, Onion-worthy headline.)  Or as one wit put it: we started lowering the crime rate when we finally acknowledged that the “root cause” of crime is criminals, and treated them accordingly.

But yesterday the Times offered a wonderful contrast of stories that capture the full cluelessness of Obama-style liberalism today.  The first reported the woes of the Energy Department loan guarantee program that brought you such stunning successes as Solyndra: “Solyndra Is Blamed as Clean-Energy Loan Program Stalls.”

More than $16 billion in loans authorized five years ago by Congress to develop fuel-efficient vehicles has yet to be disbursed, with applicants for the money complaining that the Energy Department is crippling plans for greener cars and trucks at a time of rising gas prices.

And on the Times business page, this headline: “America’s Fossil-Fuels Jobs Boom.”

With gasoline prices spiraling higher and weighing on economic confidence, President Obama called over the weekend for further investment in a “clean-energy future.” But there is a flip side to that increasing pain at the pump: a huge jobs boom in fossil fuels industries. . .  oil and gas extraction alone created 150,000 jobs last year – about 9 percent of all new jobs created in 2011, according to a new study from the World Economic Forum, though the industry accounts for only about 5.2 percent of total employment.

One little tidbit stands out: Pipeline employment has risen 4 percent since June 2009.  Imagine how many more jobs we might get if the Obama administration were actually in favor of this sector, and Keystone.

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