More On Keystone, Solyndra and Energy Policy

Barack Obama’s blocking of the Keystone pipeline project continues to draw criticism from nearly all quarters. At Energy Tomorrow, Mark Green writes:

The fact is you can’t be for infrastructure and for jobs – and be against actual projects that create jobs. You can’t be for working men and women and then deny them and thousands of other Americans real jobs with real paychecks. Laborers’ International Union of North America General President Terry O’Sullivan:

We are completely and totally disappointed. This is politics at its worst. Once again the President has sided with environmentalists instead of blue collar construction workers – even though environmental concerns were more than adequately addressed. Blue collar construction workers across the U.S. will not forget this.

Neither should other Americans as they judge this administration’s performance on energy and jobs. It has talked a good game but has little to show for it. It has dithered, studying the Keystone XL for more than three years, including two environmental reviews – contradicting the president’s suggestion Wednesday that the project hasn’t had enough review.

Obama’s Keystone decision was an important crossroads. Once again, Obama played the to the farthest-left portion of the Democratic base and, consistent with press reports that seemed hard to believe at the time, showed that he has written off blue-collar Democrats as part of his re-election coalition.

In the Washington Post, Robert Samuelson headlines: “Rejecting the Keystone pipeline is an act of insanity.” Samuelson makes the same point that Steve did earlier today: even if you buy the global warming hokum, Obama’s decision makes matters worse, not better. He continues:

The big winners are the Chinese. They must be celebrating their good fortune and wondering how the crazy Americans could repudiate such a huge supply of nearby energy. There’s no guarantee that tar-sands oil will go to China; pipelines to the Pacific would have to be built. But it creates the possibility when the oil’s natural market is the United States.

President Obama knows that he is vulnerable, to say the least, on energy policy. In fact, I would say that the administration’s grotesque energy policies guarantee his defeat in November, if the Republicans don’t screw things up (which looks increasingly possible). So Obama’s first campaign ad focuses on energy and, astonishingly, he begins with an attack on the Koch brothers! They are, I assume, the “secretive oil billionaires” who are responsible, in Obama’s telling, for criticism of Obama’s energy policies–not, apparently, the fact that gas prices have doubled during his administration. Once again, Obama pays attention to a handful of far leftists, not mainstream Americans who worry about our economy:

Amazingly, Obama’s ad includes a reference to Solyndra. Maybe his next ad will feature Fast and Furious. The last claim in the ad is that Obama has reduced reliance on foreign oil. What actually has happened is that Obama’s policies–along with other factors, to be fair–doubled the price of energy, which incentivized development of America’s super-abundant energy resources. What also happened was that Obama has done his utmost to suppress domestic production of energy, just as he has suppressed the Keystone pipeline.

Finally, a group of far-left Democrats is proposing a “Reasonable Profits Board” to govern the petroleum industry:

Six House Democrats, led by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), want to set up a “Reasonable Profits Board” to control gas profits.

The Democrats, worried about higher gas prices, want to set up a board that would apply a “windfall profit tax” as high as 100 percent on the sale of oil and gas, according to their legislation. The bill provides no specific guidance for how the board would determine what constitutes a reasonable profit.

Of course, if they were actually worried about higher gas prices, they would stop blocking energy development and would root for the oil companies to make more money, since more profit means more exploration and development, and therefore lower prices. One wonders what century these liberal dopes are living in.

And that is only a small sliver of one day’s news on the energy issue. If Republicans spend half their time between now and November talking about energy, we will have a new president in 2013.

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