- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Here’s a fact President Obama doesn’t want you to know: America’s collective energy resources have no equal. Despite a half-hearted promise last week to do something about skyrocketing gas prices, the president has walled off the nation’s conventional energy resources while promoting purported “sustainability” over affordability. That’s something to keep in mind while watching the dollar digits flash by at the gas pump. It doesn’t have to be that way.

A recent Congressional Research Service (CRS) report found American fossil-fuel reserves exceed those of Saudi Arabia, China and Canada combined. Only Russia possesses resources that come close to America’s. The O Force wants you to think we’ve run out of oil at home, but it’s just not so. According to CRS, the United States possesses 135 billion barrels of recoverable oil. That’s enough, at the current rate of consumption, to replace Persian Gulf oil for the next 50 years. Our country also has 262 billion tons of recoverable coal - 28 percent of the world’s total and enough to last several centuries. Natural-gas deposits are pegged at about 2,047 trillion cubic feet, or enough to last about a hundred years. With technological advances, it may be possible to access other energy sources such as methane hydrate, which is methane locked in ice, unlocking a supply that would last 400 years.

As a result of the phony shortage scare, Uncle Sam bought 23,000 supposedly fuel-efficient vehicles in 2010, yet the Federal Times reported the government’s gas consumption increased 7 percent over the previous year. That hasn’t stopped the administration from continuing down the same path. Mr. Obama announced last week that starting in 2015, all vehicles purchased on the federal tab will be hybrids and electric-plug-ins. Plug-ins don’t generate their own energy. They run on batteries charged by tapping into the electric grid, which is powered primarily by good old-fashioned - and economical - coal.

Exempted from the hybrid/electric-car order, however, are the president’s vehicles, which will remain gas-guzzling Cadillacs. For a select few, functionality trumps sustainability. The rest of us will be stuck in the silly “Smart” cars regulators are foisting on the public.

In this bountiful land, the choice between being a consumer and an environmentalist is a false one. Most people are both, balancing an appreciation of nature’s beauty with the economic necessities of raising a family. Unencumbered of White House diktats, American business would reflect that balance by providing energy products that are sustainable and affordable. If Mr. Obama refuses to believe that, voters should recycle him next year.