On Energy, Now is no Time for Acquiescence
By William Warren
“Beyond restoring the ban on offshore drilling, the Obama transition team is also considering adding to the restrictions facing onshore drilling, something [incoming Secretary of the Interior] Salazar has pushed for in the Senate. He has also been instrumental in placing regulatory roadblocks in front of oil shale in Colorado and other states where it exists.”—Ben Lieberman, senior policy analyst at The Heritage Foundation.
The current $1.50 per gallon prices at the pump have considerably eased Americans' day-to-day financial woes. But, they may run the risk of rendering most of the nation blissfully ignorant—blissfully ignorant of the plans the Democratic Congress and incoming Presidential administration have for turning the national energy policy on its head.
As Heritage Foundation analyst Ben Lieberman warns, these plans pose a serious threat to both the low gas prices Americans enjoy as well as the efforts to ease America's dependence on foreign sources of oil. Perhaps the most ominous aspect of these plans contains provisions to reinstate the offshore drilling ban that expired on October 1st of last year.
Although it was rightly celebrated at the time as a great step towards energy independence, October 1st, 2008 ought to be viewed merely as one victorious battle in a larger war. Looking ahead to the remainder of 2009, it is abundantly clear that the war is far from over—especially if Barack Obama and his cohorts have way with domestic production.
Months ago, when gasoline topped four dollar a gallon, a reinstatement of the drilling ban would have been nothing short of political suicide. Now, with gas prices at a comfortable low, Obama and company are operating under a “political cover of darkness” to bring back the ban.
Moreover, two of Barack Obama's recent appointees—Senator Ken Salazar and Steven Chu to the posts of Secretary of the Interior and Secretary of Energy respectively—are anything but reassuring to those who value energy freedom and low gas prices. As Mr. Lieberman points out in the linked article above, Senator Salazar opposed repealing the offshore ban—even if gas prices soared to $10 a gallon.
Equally troubling are Mr. Chu's words. He has said that “somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe.” As they stood at the time, European gas prices were over $8 a gallon. Obama appointees desire higher energy prices to advance their radical environmentalist agenda.
This troubling reality, coupled with the fact that “Global Warming” paranoia continues to propagate despite growing evidence to the contrary, does not bode well for the nation's energy future. Those who doubt the depths to which the global warming zealots will stoop need look no further than America's own children. For out of the mouths of babes now come the words of those who have put indoctrination above substantiation.
Featuring the letters various students have written to President-elect Obama, a recent CNN video painfully illustrates how the false “global warming” narrative—and the fear campaign on which it relies—has been foisted on America's youth. One girl mentions that she is “very uncomfortable hearing about global warming and how bad it is getting” while another boy bemoans the looming extinction of all penguins and polar bears. Going even further, one child indicates just how severely misplaced his—and most likely the rest of his generation's—priorities are. As he says:
“If you think you should stop war first, think again. Because if the polar ice cap melts, the world will flood.”
This dire urgency is obviously misplaced—and unscientific. And, these misplaced priorities may ultimately determine if the American people have access to oil, coal, and natural gas at all in the future. Or, if today's children may one day face a new Dark Age, made all the more sinister by the perverse preachments of those who, for political gain, turned out the lights on centuries of human progress.
The stakes have never been higher, and the battle lines are clearly drawn: If Messengers Obama, Salazar, and Chu are allowed to stop the drilling, oil prices will rise—and inflation will soar.
Hopefully, the memories of $4 per gallon gasoline may still be fresh enough in Americans' minds for them to force the politicians to let the drilling continue—regardless of the doomsayers' increasingly strident demands and their shameless children's crusade.
William Warren is a contributing editor of ALG News Bureau.