Middle East turmoil rages, the price of oil rises and at the pump, your wallet shrinks. President Obama has effectively cut the U.S. off from its own supply of oil just as an untimely crisis takes place putting a crimp on global oil supplies.
In reaction to this crisis, President Obama is making two major mistakes. First, he’s considering tapping our strategic petroleum reserves (SPR).
The second mistake the president is making is, rather than allowing our own oil industry to get back to work, he’s asking other nations to increase their oil production. Think about that for a second. He doesn’t want us to drill for our own oil, but he’s happy for other nations to drill for theirs and sell it to us. Either he’s being deliberately punitive to his own nation, or he’s the world’s biggest green hypocrite.
If he is against our “addiction to oil,” why would he ask other nations to provide us with more of it? The president is caught between a political rock and a reality hard place.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to wean ourselves from foreign sources of oil, and I applaud the search for new sources of cleaner, more efficient energy. But for the foreseeable future, our nation runs on fossil fuels. To cut off our own supply before finding a new source of energy is folly of the worst kind. It’s like unplugging the refrigerator and then telling it to find a new way to keep the beer cold.
In February, Chevrolet sold 281 units of their new electric car — the Volt. Consumer Report magazine had a scathing review, saying it “really doesn’t make a lot of economic sense.” An electric car is a fabulous idea, but it’s not a feasible solution to fossil fuels at this time. As long as we continue to get so much of our nation’s power supply from coal, you are simply shifting the energy burden from one form of fossil fuel to another.
If President Obama were truly interested in reviving the economy and at the same time, transforming us into a global leader in clean, renewable energy, he would be taking an entirely different track altogether.
He’s already offering incentives for certain types of energy research, but he should broaden his approach and get off the wind and solar kick. Both are unreliable and only capable of providing 1 percent of our national energy need. At the same time we should be drilling for our own oil, everywhere we can.
You cannot have energy both ways. If you want economic growth, you have to come to grips with the reality that any increase in economic activity necessarily goes hand in hand with an increase in energy use. Economic growth is necessary to spur the innovation to find new sources of energy.
The president has to try and accomplish his goal of clean energy by seeking a new supply, while simultaneously letting us use what we already have. He’ll have to explain this to his hard headed environmentalist supporters — that will take real leadership.
Meanwhile, his constituents continue to have the mortgage the house every time we fill up the gas tank. Our nation’s current energy policy is insane.
Leland Conway is co-founder and executive editor of www.conservativeedge.com and host of the Pulse of Lexington on News Radio 630 WLAP. He can be reached for comment at Leland@conservativeedge.com.