It may be tempting to feel worn down as we take one step after another towards the “fundamental transformation of America” that Barack Obama promised. But we mustn’t let our energy be sapped, even in the face of the mind-boggling leap the Obama Administration just took that fundamentally shifts us towards more reliance on foreign energy sources. Hang on to your hat and take a look at this.
Months ago I discussed Washington’s decision to allow U.S. dollars to flow to Brazil for that nation’s off-shore oil drilling projects, while D.C.’s attitude towards America’s own offshore developments appeared less-than-enthusiastic. We gained hope though when our President promised in his State of the Union address that he’d be “making tough decisions about opening new offshore areas for oil and gas development.” Most of us optimistically assumed that “making tough decisions” meant allowing at least some offshore drilling. In fact, on national television that night I said that the President deserved kudos for acknowledging our need for domestic energy development in his speech.
Turns out that was just more drilling doublespeak: America has been snookered again.
While everyone has been focused on Obamacare, the Obama administration took advantage of America’s distraction and quietly said that it’s planning to place a hold on offshore drilling on the outer continental shelf until at least 2012.
At a time when our country is desperate for job growth, deficit reduction, and energy independence, it’s simply astonishing that the administration refuses to allow additional offshore drilling, even while supporting energy development in foreign countries.
According to a study by the American Energy Alliance, opening the OCS to drilling could create as many as 1.2 million new jobs and add hundreds of billions of dollars annually to the US economy. Those are real American jobs – and great American opportunities – that can’t be outsourced. Offshore drilling would provide billions in revenue for our states, allowing them to reduce their budget deficits without raising taxes. It would help reduce our trade deficit, which spikes with each rise in the price of oil because we’re so reliant on foreign sources of energy. And because we have some of the best environmental standards in the world, we should be drilling for our own oil instead of buying it from countries with less stringent standards.
When the Obama Administration first delayed offshore leasing on the OCS to allow for “an extended public comment period,” the comments it received reflected what all the polling tells us – that Americans overwhelmingly support offshore drilling. (Curiously, those pro-drilling findings weren’t heavily publicized by the Administration and the press.) Americans understand that a true “all-of-the-above” approach to energy independence must include responsible development of our conventional resources. Even as we develop alternative energy sources, we’ll still rely on oil and gas for decades to come. If we don’t drill for it here, then we’ll just have to keep buying it from others.
Using executive power to lock up energy resources ignores the will of the American people who want to develop those resources and know that we can do so in an environmentally responsible manner.
Ignoring the American people is never good politics, but whether it’s energy independence or health care, our leadership in Washington is tone deaf to the commonsense solutions that Americans want.
Watching this potentially earth-shattering energy policy decision made quietly while health care transformation distracts us, it makes one wonder what else our politicians are up to. An old trick is to intentionally consume attention with a “crisis” so as to sap the public’s energy, and then to conveniently push through rash measures that would receive great scrutiny at any another time. Remember Rahm Emanuel’s Saul Alinsky-style of political operation: “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.”
America, we must resolve to stay engaged in what our politicians are doing. Don’t get tired and give up. All political power is inherent in the people. America can only be transformed into something unrecognizable if we get so tired that we give up our political power and close our eyes to what is going on. Find the energy to stand for what you know is right, including supporting leaders who don’t engage in energy policy doublespeak.
- Sarah Palin