Examiner Editorial: Green Christmas gifts America did not need

With national attention focused on the Senate’s drive to socialize America’s health care system, other stories of immense significance have been missed.

This is especially so on the energy front, where the Obama administration has been working all year to advanced its green agenda. In the process, it has become clear that energy to heat and cool our homes and to power our vehicles will cost much more in the near future.

And President Barack Obama is moving steadily to hamstring the nation’s ability to generate the electricity it needs to sustain the American way of life.

Oil, natural gas and coal provide 84 percent of America’s energy production, with another 12 percent coming from nuclear and hydropower sources. Obama’s favored renewables only account for 4 percent of our energy production. With those facts in mind, consider these developments from recent months:

–Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar has all but stopped approving new leases to explore and develop America’s vast oil and gas resources underneath the outer continental shelf. To grasp just how profoundly energy production has been affected by Salazar’s dithering, federal revenue from oil and gas lease sales in the last year of the Bush administration exceeded $10 billion. In the first year of the Obama administration, the total is less than one-tenth that amount. This means America’s dependence on foreign oil is growing, not declining, under Obama.
–Despite the fact that oil and gas leases generate billions of dollars in tax revenue, Salazar’s department announced earlier this week that it will begin collecting fees for conducting inspections of off-shore production facilities. The fees will be comparatively nominal in the first year, but it won’t be long before Congress starts raising these levies in an effort to generate new revenue to help close its $1.4 trillion annual budget deficit.
–Even as it slows development of critically needed offshore oil and gas resources, the Obama administration has poured more than
$80 billion into federal subsidies for developing new renewable energy resources. Obama has promised that his programs will enable the U.S. to generate a fourth of its electric power using renewable energy resources by 2025. But the Energy Information Administration’s latest report projects that demand will increase 10 percent for oil, 7 percent for natural gas and 12 percent for coal. Meanwhile, energy produced by renewable resources will increase a mere 8 percent.

Obama is restricting present and future supplies of “old” energy resources while pouring billions of tax dollars into politically correct “new” sources that for decades to come simply won’t be able to generate enough energy to sustain the American standard of living. This is hardly the change America voted for in 2008.

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