Obama’s War on Energy Producers and Consumers

Regarding Barack Obama’s speech yesterday on so-called “climate change,” the Washington Post asks, “Is Obama waging a ‘war on coal’?”—and answers, “To a large extent, the answer is yes,” in that he is seeking to expand costly regulations of coal-fired plants.

But it’s worse than that.

Among other things, Obama also wants to expand the use of government lands to produce uneconomic “renewable” energy, and he wants to force auto manufacturers to produce vehicles that use less fuel—never mind the trade-offs in safety and performance.

What Obama is waging is not merely a war on coal, which would be horrific enough, but a war on energy producers and consumers.

To the degree that the economy continues to function at all amidst this sustained assault, it will be only because energy producers have already made enormous strides in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing (fracking), technologies that enable them to extract massive quantities of otherwise untappable oil and gas.

Obama, of course, has taken credit for the energy produced by these means, despite the fact that the government has relentlessly throttled the energy industry with regulations and taxes, and despite the fact that Obama’s environmentalist supporters have consistently demonized everyone involved in producing and delivering the life-serving goods.

Congress, too, deserves a share of the blame for the assault. As Brigham A. McCown writes for Forbes, Obama’s “plan is designed to sidestep Congress, by using a presidential memorandum” to control the Environmental Protection Agency’s actions. Congress has the constitutional power to pass legislation and to regulate (or refrain from regulating) interstate commerce, but it has inappropriately ceded its powers to the executive branch in this case.

Obama refuses to admit the Economics 101 fact that expanded controls of energy production will shut down power plants, require costly overhauls in those that remain operative, raise energy prices in general, and thus raise prices across the entire economy. Instead, a “senior White House official” told ABC News that Obama’s proposed regulations will make “power plants more efficient, which will save families money.” Such Onion-worthy claims would be humorous if there weren’t so much at stake.

Energy is the lifeblood of the economy; it supports our very lives. To get the electricity we need to run our electronics, light our homes, cook our food, cool our living spaces, clean our clothes, and live a civilized life, we must extract energy-dense forms of fuel—such as natural gas, coal, and nuclear material—and process them to suit our purposes. To run the vehicles we need to drive to work; to take the kids to school; to haul lumber, food, and millions of other things; to get to the hospital in an emergency; to travel for pleasure—and on and on—we must burn gasoline derived from oil. (Alternatives today cannot begin to meet our needs.)

We need energy to live and prosper. By waging a war on energy producers and consumers, Obama is waging a war on human life. What does that make him?

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Creative Commons Image: Geoff Livingston

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  • Anonymous

    The liberal rank and file, as well as most public school students, haven’t been taught economics. They understand that raising taxes on business and making energy more expensive will increase prices consumers pay. When they see prices shoot up, the liberals will blame end of this chain, the retailer, while remaining oblivious to to the root cause: government.

    • Patrick Black

      Not to mention calling for further programs to help the poor who can no longer afford to drive their cars, heat their homes or keep the lights on.
      This is precisely what has happened with food prices, which government policies help increase (i.e. paying farmers not to grow crops or confiscating “excess” crops, without compensation, to help maintain higher prices), and the growth in the food stamp program as illustrated in this years failed farm bill.

      • Anonymous

        Right. It’s all part of ratcheting up dependency. Government knows that most people will very quickly adapt to life on the dole and will resist being taken off it. Not all of them, but enough to make a difference at the polls. So government keeps pushing more people over the edge until it collapses from the expense.

  • Anonymous

    What does Obama’s policies make him? They make him a crook and an outlaw of the most overarching kind in history. The legislation, executive orders and ‘judicial’ decisions he relies on are not laws, because they all violate individual rights. Like thousands of others, he’s a crook occupying an elective office, elected by a majority vote of intellectually and philosophically unqualified hominids who are complicit with Obama. Mike Kevitt

  • Steven Butterbaugh

    In short, Barack Obama is an enemy of all people.

    • David Blankenau

      Yes, he is, but he is not the only one, nor the first. Most politicians of all political persuasions over the last 120 years (at the Federal level, at least) have been complicit to some extent in creating, maintaining, and/or expanding this entitlement mentality.

      We are witnessing the result of over a century of “progressive” political and educational policies enacted in the U.S. with little real opposition. If only there were some ideas, or a philosophy, that can reverse all this damage. Oh, wait… :^)