Do you remember the terrible things the left was saying about President George W. Bush when gas prices soared under his watch? Yet President Obama, whose policies and actions are actually contributing to rocketing gas prices today, gets the usual mainstream media pass.
Is it that the liberal media exempt Obama from accountability because they're on his team in general? Is it because they think he's blameless in the equation even though they sprang to the unfounded conclusion that Bush was culpable? Or could it be that they aren't critical because they share his bias against conventional energy and believe the pain caused by his policies is necessary to move us toward alternative energy sources?
During Bush's term, gas prices went down 9 percent, adjusted for inflation. Yet, preposterously, he was excoriated for allegedly colluding with "big oil" to drive up prices. When prices spiked later in his term, he took proactive steps to increase our supply and reduce prices, and they worked. But Obama has taken action to impede conventional energy sources and shove us into alternative ones. Even so, liberals ignore any possible causal links.
Obama told us he would bankrupt the coal industry. He's pushing high-speed rail down our throats despite the lack of public demand for it and our inability to finance it. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said the administration intended to coerce us out of our cars. Energy Secretary Steven Chu said, "Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe."
In view of exploding gas prices, why aren't these statements seen as scandalous? Where are the calls for investigations?
Obama demeans "big oil," pushes alternative energy every time he gets a chance and does everything in his power to suppress domestic oil production, then looks us in the face and tells us he's increasing domestic production — kind of like how he says his budget won't add a penny to the national debt. The audacity is of Hollywood magnitude, and so is the lack of scrutiny that enables it.
Behind the smoke and mirrors of his rhetoric, it's hard not to conclude that Obama's on a mission to suppress or shut down the existing oil infrastructure in the United States in pursuit of his stated alternative priorities.
The Heritage Foundation's Rory Cooper reports that, as of February 2011, at least 103 permits were awaiting review by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement. And since February, the administration has issued on average only 1.3 permits a month, a 78 percent reduction in the monthly average according to the latest Gulf Permit Index.
Obama even reversed an earlier decision to open access to coastal waters for exploration, placing a seven-year ban on drilling in the Atlantic and Pacific Coasts and in the eastern Gulf of Mexico. Oil production in the Gulf is expected to drop by 220 thousand barrels per day in 2011, which is going to cost the U.S. some $1.35 billion in revenues in 2011.
Not only are we losing oil production and revenues, the administration's actions are destroying jobs in the oil industry and elsewhere. Many companies are going out of business. The Heritage Foundation reports that Seahawk Drilling, of Houston, laid off 632 employees before recently filing for bankruptcy as a direct result of Obama's moratorium and subsequent "permitorium." Seahawk owned and operated 20 shallow-water rigs in the Gulf. Randall Stilley, president and CEO of Seahawk, said, "As an American, you never want to look at your own government and say they're hurting you personally, they're hurting your business and they're doing it in a way that's irresponsible. I'm not very proud of our government right now and the way they handled this."
Cooper explains that these crippling policies are having a negative rippling effect throughout the economy. Many vendors, suppliers, restaurants and retailers are losing revenues or going out of business. More than 30 deepwater rigs, which each employ around 200 people, have moved from the Gulf to other markets. While the industry is on "life support," Obama is at war with it, brazenly spending billions to support foreign oil and jobs in Brazil.
Making matters worse, the administration and congressional Democrats are considering legislation that would further damage energy businesses by significantly increasing taxes on domestic oil and gas concerns. And just in the past few days, we've been reading that the administration is floating a plan to tax cars by the mile.
Can you imagine the insanity and insensitivity of raising taxes on this ailing industry and its consumers (drivers) at a time when both need all the relief they can get?
Obama is no less determined to cram his preferred energy alternatives down Americans' throats than he was to force feed us socialized medicine. Again, where is the outrage?
David Limbaugh is a writer, author and attorney. His new book, "Crimes Against Liberty," was No. 1 on the New York Times best-seller list for nonfiction for its first two weeks. To find out more about David Limbaugh, please visit his website at www.DavidLimbaugh.com. To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.