The big question in conservative circles these days is whether or not Barack Obama is an ideological genius determined to destroy the economy, or a naïve narcissist who couldn’t tie his shoelaces without instructions. The President’s theory on energy is a case in point.
The seriousness of the situation in the Middle East cannot be exaggerated; the potential that Yemen, Kuwait, Qatar or even Saudi Arabia may eventually fall pray to radical Islam is very real. But the more pressing matter, at least for the moment, is that prolonged unrest in the region may continue to adversely impact oil prices here at home.
Yet in the face of all evidence to the contrary the President remains loyal to a “green” energy policy that continues to hamper job growth and threatens to put the U.S. in a potentially catastrophic position, should even one OPEC nation fall to an Iranian-style theocracy.
On the one hand it is ludicrous to believe that Obama doesn’t know that green energy is a myth; the technology has not yet been developed that comes close to seriously competing with fossil fuel as a staple energy source. Even the most liberal expert on energy development knows that biofuel is decades away from reaching that goal. And beyond the feasibility is the possibility that biofuel does more harm than good; that its greatest effect may be a negative impact on world hunger.
So it would seem clear that something else is going on, i.e. that the President is deliberately trying to collapse the economy by, among other things, creating an oil dearth. This is a theory that both Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck have floated.
The argument is still not convincing. Just when Barack Obama starts to look like an evil genius, the likes of which exits only in fiction, he comes off with a shuck-n-jive theory that defies credulity.
“[R]ight now, the industry holds leases on tens of millions of acres –- both offshore and on land –- where they aren’t producing a thing,” The President informed us in his weekly address. “So I’ve directed the Interior Department to determine just how many of these leases are going undeveloped … People deserve to know that the energy they depend on is being developed in a timely manner.”
There goes the Dr. Strangelove theory right out the window. Even Bill Clinton, no friend to Hummer driving capitalists, recognizes that restrictions on offshore drilling must be relaxed immediately, if the nation’s economy is to be set on course for recovery.
The tracts that the petroleum industry have left undeveloped remain so largely because they have either proved geographically to be low-yield or financially prohibitive for immediate recovery. Technology improves annually, and oil companies often lease sites based on the prospects of future technological gains. In other words, Shell wants to lock up as many as prospective tracts as it can before Texaco grabs them. But even with advances in technology, land and offshore petroleum exploration is at best a crapshoot. In is not rational to assume that large recoverable reserves lie under every square foot of land permitted, or even under most of it.
Hundreds of years of fossil fuel exist within the boundaries of the continental United States and Alaska. Much more exits off our shores being sucked up by nations unfriendly to America.
Whether Barack Obama is an entrenched ideologue or a political neophyte is irrelevant at this point. By failing to release restrictions on domestic drilling, both offshore and on land, he is placing the United States in the precarious position of have to rely on the unreliable.