Wow. After President Obama's energy speech this morning, someone better get some snorkels up to the North Pole pronto for all the poor polar bears, because it's starting to look like Obama's coronation didn't mark "the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and the planet began to heal,” after all.
In fact, as soon as Obama said "my administration is encouraging offshore oil exploration and production…" I picked myself off of the floor and instantly started building an ark. And then I mailed my life savings to Al Gore for good measure, because it never hurts to secure a little extra indulgence from the climate gods.
Just kidding. I have a policy of watching an Obama speech only if it gets me out of doing something really unpleasant, like having bamboo slivers shoved up my fingernails. But I can read, and this is quite a turn-around for a president who up until now has been guarding our national storehouse of untapped oil reserves like Ebenezer Scrooge guarded his gold.
If only he were as miserly with taxpayer money, but I digress. Anyway, with today's change in attitude you'd almost think Obama really had been visited by three ghosts: The ghost of presidents past, perhaps, with Bill Clinton shaking his finger at Obama, calling drilling delays "ridiculous." Then, the ghost of present Cajun misery with images of impoverished Gulf Coast families on Food Stamps being kicked out of their homes because of Obama's job-killing drilling moratorium. Then perhaps a trio, named Quinnipiac, Gallop, and Rasmussen, waving tanking job approval numbers and showing Obama his Election Day Future, with voters riding bicycles and hitchhiking to the polls to register their outrage with Obama's schizoid Middle East policy of bombing the throat-cutting psychos on Mondays and sending them a bazillion dollars for their oil on Wednesdays.
Anyway, just speculation of course. But one thing is clear. Our very own petroleum Scrooge didn't have anything close to a real conversion. More like an "I think I can bamboozle simple-minded Americans into believing that I have always supported drilling, and drilling will commence immediately when I have no intention of doing so, but maybe the illusion will solve all my problems at least until after I'm re-elected."
From there the speech devolves into a series of jaw dropping claims, including one where the president boasts that he is “working to expedite new drilling permits,” but only for companies that “meet new standards.” There have, for the record, been a grand total of seven deep water permits issued since the official moratorium ended, mostly for work already in progress. […]
The tag lines for this speech make it clear that Obama has heard the calls from across the nation and is aware of the problem. And some of the initial descriptions make it sound like he’s talking the talk. But buried underneath there is little to no indication that he plans on walking the walk any time soon. Perhaps I’m wrong, and I’ll be more than happy to eat my words if he surprises us in a positive fashion. But thus far, I’m just not seeing it. This “plan” looks like more of the same to me.
Unfortunately, if you read the whole speech, it becomes clear that nothing has really changed. The polar bears are still safe. The sad part is that, like most red herrings, they were never in danger in the first place. Too bad we can't say the same thing for unemployment and gas prices.
Anyway it was nice while it lasted. In the meantime, Senate leader, Mitch McConnell (R-KY), had strong words Obama's attempts to solve his political problems with semantic gymnastics:
“In his remarks today, the President is also expected to call for decreasing imports of foreign oil. Yet just last week he told Brazilians that he hopes America becomes a major customer of Brazilian oil. Well, which is it? Clearly, on this issue, the President is telling people what he thinks they want to hear.
“Over the past two years, the administration has undertaken what can only be described as a war on American energy. It’s canceled dozens of drilling leases. It’s declared a moratorium on drilling off the Gulf Coast. It’s increased permit fees. It has prolonged public comment periods. In short, it’s done just about everything it can to keep our own energy sector from growing. As a result, thousands of U.S. workers have lost their jobs, as companies have been forced to look elsewhere for a better business climate.
“Consider this: just three of the areas we could tap in Alaska are thought to hold enough oil to replace our crude imports from the Persian Gulf for nearly 65 years. So the problem isn’t that we need to look elsewhere for our energy. The problem is that Democrats don’t want us to use the energy we have. It’s enough to make you wonder whether anybody in the White House has driven by a gas station lately.
UPDATE: Lady Impact Ohio at Unified Patriots takes Obama's statements, adds facts and common sense, shakes well, and… it's not looking good for the president. Read it here.