Power struggle

President's stance on energy runs counter to reality

Barack Obama’s secretary of energy openly pined for much higher gasoline prices. But that was once upon a time.

Now that they’re here, in an election year, the fairy tale is fractured, and he’s had a sudden change of heart.

“I no longer share that view,” he meekly told a Senate panel this past week.

Interesting.

What do you suppose changed his earlier view? And what will his view be, oh, say, after the November election? Will he return to his feeling of September 2008, when he said, that “somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe”?

Is his unexplained and complete change of heart an election-year retreat? Or has the Obama administration – populated generally with former academics such as Chu who may not have realized the pain their untested theories might cause real people – undergone a permanent change in its governing philosophy?

Maybe the bigger question is, can we afford to move into 2013 without knowing the answer?

We may face that risk. Barack Obama may be the most formidable campaigner this nation has ever seen. He uses exaggeration and smiling stabs to ridicule his opponents’ positions – distorting both their statements and the viability of his own. If you didn’t know any better, you’d think he’s right.

On energy, for instance, he insinuated Republicans were tantamount to the “Flat Earth Society” this past week because they support the expansion of domestic oil production – and because they rightly pooh-poohed Obama’s ridiculous suggestion that algae could soon replace oil as fuel.

Nor is anyone “talking down” alternative sources of energy, as Obama cynically claims. The truth is – and he knows it – that solar, wind and more aren’t yet viable for large-scale production of the type of energy a growing, vibrant, post-industrial society will need going forward. For now, like it or not, the world runs on oil. Many of us wish it were otherwise.

But to believe it is otherwise is to truly be in the Flat Earth Society.

Mr. Obama’s grinning sarcasm is hollow – without one microscopic bit of fact or real argument – and obscures a record on energy that is shameful, at best. He has stifled energy production as best he can here, while telling Brazil to drill there and, “we want to be one of your best customers”; and he has blown hundreds of millions of taxpayer funds on “green energy” failures such as Solyndra, Abound Solar Manufacturing and Ener1.

He argued recently that drilling isn’t the answer – but that algae is.

“If we can figure out how to make energy out of that, we’ll be doing all right,” he said.

Saying “that’s a big ‘if’” doesn’t quite capture it, does it?

But even if the answer to the “if” is “yes” – that someday we’ll drive algae-powered cars – the next question is “when?”

Most of us have to go to work on Monday.

Gasoline isn’t the only part of the energy sector where Barack Obama’s vision departs from America’s best interests. He once said that if he got his way, “electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.” What kind of misery would that entail?

And he’s making fun of Republicans on energy? Really?

A Washington Post-ABC News poll this past week reveals 65 percent – nearly two-thirds – of Americans give the president failing grades on gasoline, and 59 percent do on the overall economy.

When you’ve got this kind of record, and the kinds of public utterances Mr. Obama and his energy secretary have – Algae? That’s his answer? Algae? – one can see why the president uses derisive, cutting, specious humor to mock the opposition and create a diversion.

All sarcasm aside, you decide who’s living in the real world.

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Sat, 01/21/2017 - 22:00

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