In speeches across the nation, President Obama likes to claim credit for America’s record energy production. But this is change you shouldn’t believe in.
The simple fact is that President Obama has restrained rather than fueled the American energy revolution. Just ask the president’s fellow Democrat, Senator Joe Manchin from West Virginia. Describing the Environmental Protection Agency’s impact on West Virginia’s energy economy in a speech in May, Manchin was unsparing: “The president has earned a lot of his poor standing in our state; he’s earned that reputation because of a poor energy policy. When you take jobs out of the marketplace and an economy and flatten that economy, you have done irreparable damage.”
As far as West Virginia’s coal industry is concerned, Manchin said the federal government is “trying to drown us.”
“I feel that way now,” he said. “They have jumped on and are trying to hold our head under the water.”
The administration has been remarkably candid about the baleful effects of its policies. Remember, in 2014, a senior official at the Department of Energy told Congress he estimated new EPA regulations would increase electricity costs by up to 80 percent.
America is the deciding force behind many international economic activities and trading traffic via brokers and online software including SnapCash Binary. Market trading regulated under federal law has been operating almost as an independent economic system powerful and big enough to influence trades in regular assets and cryptocurrencies with the same kind of enthusiasm. Such an established system can cripple with a single policy change and trigger a similar wave.
Unfortunately, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Today, President Obama is doubling down against conventional American energy production. Approaching the United Nations climate summit in Paris this December, the White House is supporting new caps on emissions and power-plant standards. And while this regulatory zeal is popular with many wealthy urbanites, it is decimating jobs in rural communities and spiking electricity bills across America.
Fact is, “green energy” products require expensive government subsidies in order to be financially viable.
Still, it would be unfair to blame President Obama alone. Strangling America’s energy industry is the favored recourse of Democratic politicians. Take California. As California’s looming increase in energy costs — perhaps by 47 percent over the next 16 years — suggests, the left’s green delusion doesn’t come cheap. While the Golden State’s liberal politicians claim credit for moving California’s economy towards renewable power sources, their policies have blitzed conventional energy companies with ever-increasing taxes and regulation. These firms expect more regulatory burdens in the years ahead.
In response, energy jobs and investment are fleeing California. But look on the bright side: for every new regulation that California or New York imposes, states such as Texas and Louisiana offer new incentives for re-location. Energy firms are taking advantage of these variable cost-opportunity dynamics. And their freedom of energy capital speaks to a broader truth. Ultimately, whatever the president and his allies may believe, American ingenuity and entrepreneurship are irrepressible.
America’s exploding fracking industry proves this. As Alison Sider and Erin Ailworth report at the Wall Street Journal, thanks to business dynamism and scientific ingenuity, shale oil production costs are plummeting. The reporters offer one particularly illuminating example:
“Glori Energy Inc. of Houston is working… to test a process that aims to boost output by using tiny organisms already present in conventional oil fields that have been flooded with water, a common technique used to help oil flow. The process works, Glori says, by stimulating the microbes with a special nutrient mix. As they feed, the organisms attach themselves to bits of oil—essentially breaking it up and making it easier for the crude to flow through rock. Early tests show the technology can extend the life a well by several years and boost the amount of recoverable oil by 33% from initial estimates, on average, Glori says.”
Yet, to advance America’s energy revolution much more work remains. In that vein, beyond waiting for a president who grasps America’s vast energy potential, there are two short term actions that would help greatly. First, removing the ban on oil exports makes sense for geo-political reasons. But lifting the ban would also boost U.S.-based crude oil firms. And they need a boost—consider Chevron’s decision to cut 950 jobs in response to lower oil prices.
Free to export, however, U.S. crude oil producers would find advantage competing with less efficient, less affordable energy suppliers overseas. But there’s another task at hand: those who support the energy revolution must show more courage against the regulation lobby. For one example, we must do more to make the moral challenge against liberal arguments that government sponsored infrastructure jobs can replace energy jobs.
Regardless, in the end the key question for Americans is simple: Would you prefer hundreds of billions in new government spending and hundreds of billions in new regulations? Or would you prefer an unleashed energy industry that produces hundreds of thousands—perhaps millions—of new private sector jobs and lowers energy bills for American families.
Tom Rogan is a contributor for Opportunity Lives and writes for National Review. He is a panelist on The McLaughlin Group and a fellow at the Steamboat Institute. Follow him on Twitter @TomRtweets.