Following the disaster that was the Senate Finance Committee's hearing with the CEOs of the top five oil and gas companies, with the Democrats looking like utter buffoons, the President of the United States decided to use his weekly radio address to change course and go with the notion that we do, in fact, need an adjustment in his destructive energy non-policy.
The Democrats who were supporting yanking the tax incentives given to the oil companies - though it is the same as what is given to all big businesses in our country - were so thoroughly discredited that there has been nary a peep from them.
Here's the thing - it's full out 2012 campaign season and Barack Obama is struggling. He got a bit of a bounce from killing Osama bin Laden in Pakistan but it is nowhere near what, say, either of the two Bush presidents received after the Kuwait war or capturing Saddam. He'll use it for all it's worth, of course, but there is little hope that it is enough to counter the dismal economic numbers which will no doubt follow him into re-election voting time.
So, Obama being the pol from Chicago that he is and forever being in campaign mode, looked at the polling numbers and noticed that the majority of Americans want to drill for our own oil. Most Americans don't want to be beholden to nations who wish us ill for our oil supply. Most Americans realize that to reap rewards of good energy policy decisions, the groundwork must be done years in advance.
Barack Obama took to the airwaves and video camera to announce a half-assed solution to the challenges we face today. Unable to admit he is wrong in his ideologically driven non-policy and that simply shutting down an entire industry is not the way to go. He should have fired Secretary Salazar and Secretary Chu and brought in common sense, trained experts. That is a long overdue necessity. Instead he made small steps while trying to make them sound like great strides for solely political posturing.
Let the teeth gnashing and arm flailing begin.
A little review from www.mullings.com :
On December 1 CNN reported that Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced
"Barack Obama will not be allowing new drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico for at least seven years" and "the exploration of drilling possibilities in sensitive areas of the Arctic will proceed 'with utmost caution.'"
According to the CNN report, that announcement - again five months ago -
"Effectively reverses White House plans announced at the end of March [14 months ago] to open the Gulf region - along with other large swaths of U.S. coastal waters - to oil and natural gas drilling."
President Barack Obama, who has switched to All-Campaign-All-The-Time mode, according to the NY Times' John Broder:
In his weekly radio and Internet address, the president said the administration would begin to hold annual auctions for oil and gas leases in the Alaska National Petroleum Reserve, a 23-million-acre tract on the North Slope of Alaska.
Obama will also
-- Accelerate a review of the environmental impact of drilling off the southern and central Atlantic coast;
-- Extend leases already granted for drilling in the Arctic Ocean off Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico that had been frozen after last year's BP spill; and, according to the Broder piece;
-- Will provide incentives for oil companies to more quickly exploit leases they already hold.
Barack Obama was for more drilling in our own waters before he was against it and now he's for it again. Re-election converts, anyone?
I agree with what Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee said of Obama's weekly address: “One weekend address announcing minor policy tinkering, while positive, does not erase the Administration’s long job-destroying record of locking-up America’s energy resources,” said Doc Hastings (R-Wash)