Monday, 09 May 2011

Barack Obama’s Seven-dollar-a-gallon Gas Ambitions

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“Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe,” said Steven Chu — the man Barack Obama would ultimately tap to be energy secretary — in September 2008. He was explaining to The Wall Street Journal that higher energy prices are the centerpiece of the Left’s energy overhaul. Well, I don’t know if they’ve figured out the Euro-boost yet, but we are halfway to Vienna.

Now, while I’m sure Barack Obama would love it if gas prices declined until November 6, 2012, there’s every reason to believe he shares Chu’s sentiments. And if the fact that he hired such a man in the first place isn’t enough for you, consider his campaign-trail implication that he wouldn’t have a problem with four-dollar-a-gallon gas (hey, it won’t cramp his lifestyle. Golf, anyone?). Consider also that he’s quite willing to subordinate the satisfying of energy needs to symbolic environmental deeds. For example, in 2008, he told the San Francisco Chronicle that his policies would bankrupt the traditional coal industry and said “Under my plan of a cap-and-trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket[emphasis added].” It’s amazing what comes out of his mouth — even on the campaign trail — off Teleprompter.

Given this attitude, it’s not surprising that oil rigs, denied permits to drill by the Obama administration, have been leaving the Gulf of Mexico for foreign shores. And don’t expect to see them back anytime soon, either. After all, moving a Walmart-size rig is no small feat, and not all countries have a national death wish that causes the afflicted to kill the golden goose like ghetto criminals who ensure that businesses will leave their neighborhoods.

It’s also not surprising that domestic energy companies, such as Seahawk Drilling, are going out of business. Seahawk operated 20 Gulf rigs but has just filed for bankruptcy — and has had to lay off its 632 workers.  

Thus, while the BP oil spill provided a good pretext for a drilling moratorium (remember, never let a good crisis go to waste?), Obama has long had the domestic energy industry in his crosshairs. As tells us:

Immediately after taking office in 2009, President Obama’s handpicked Secretary of the Department of Interior, Ken Salazar, canceled 77 leases for oil and gas drilling in Utah. The fact that this was one of the administration’s first regulatory decisions meant that American energy companies were immediately concerned about their ability to produce oil and gas in the future, injecting a level of uncertainty into the market that moves the country away from job creation and economic recovery. One year later, the administration canceled 61 more leases, this time in Montana, as part of President Obama’s war on global warming.

That, by the way, was the same Ken Salazar who lied and told Congress that he was in favor of a “robust” oil and gas industry, who lied and said that oil rigs weren’t leaving the Gulf, and who lied and said that Gulf oil and gas production was at an all-time high. Pay no attention to our new "Wizard of Is" behind the curtain!

And the evisceration of the domestic oil industry continues: Shell oil just announced that, after spending five years and four-billion dollars on plans to explore for oil in the Arctic Ocean off the Alaskan coast, it must abandon the project because the EPA has decided not to grant necessary permits.

Despite this, we’re told to blame high gas prices on oil companies and speculators. We’re told that removing rigs from production has no bearing on the matter whatsoever. Ah, my do we have short memories. Note that in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, there was hand-wringing over how a damaged rig or two could reduce oil supply and increase prices. Yet many of the same people who issued that warning now sing a different tune about the consequences of dormant oil rigs. I guess we first got situational ethics — now it’s situational supply and demand.

Obama’s energy policies are so nationally destructive (I would say self-destructive, but I don’t think Obama identifies with America enough to make this characterization valid) that they have given rise to the darkest suspicions. Many wonder, “Is he actively trying to undermine our nation?” For sure, his statements and those of his underlings bespeak of a belief that, in the least, the undermining of the fossil-fuel industry is necessary to spark the Green Revolution. And given the impracticality of such technology, some are more worried about a Red revolution. (Supported by the watermelon lobby — green on the outside and red on the inside!) But instead of covering old territory, I want to add some nuance — in the form of insight into the statist mind.

Statists often talk glowingly of “the people,” but this is just an abstract. As far as real people who you could actually meet go, they care nothing for them. In fact, they often hold them in contempt – whether those hapless souls cling to guns and religion or not.

You see, a statist social engineer will tend to think of himself as the “smartest guy in the room” (claimed about Obama and surely true — when he’s alone in it) and have great Utopian plans. And those plans would work, too, if only….

If only the great unwashed weren’t so ridden with frailty and would go along with the program. “If everyone were like me,” thinks the statist, “the world would be a great place.” Never mind that their ideology ignores the realities of man’s nature, that people won’t generally work without incentive or choose more expensive, impractical technologies. Statist Masters of the Universe can fancy that these aren’t realities for their, more noble, nature because they’ll never actually have to suffer the burdens of their agenda. Besides, they’re doing their part: They’re the guiding hand in a great mission.

And when they see that the commoners are throwing a monkey wrench into their lofty plans, they get angry.

Very angry.

This helps explain, mind you, why the Soviets purposely starved millions of peasants to death after procuring far less grain in 1932 than in 1931. The thinking is, “How dare you undermine the revolution! If you won’t do your part, you’re going to suffer — and suffer badly! We’ll teach you!”

And since you haven’t done your part to go green, you must suffer, too. There is little doubt in my mind that our statist overlords relish your pain. It is revenge, sweet revenge, for the pain you caused them by not being good enough to give them a world worthy of their presence. 

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