America runs on energy. As the candidates for the 2012 presidential election present their credentials to the country, voters should keep in mind that any pledge to put the nation back to work necessarily starts with a plan for ensuring an abundant supply of affordable power. As with all the issues at stake in November, the difference between the Republican and Democratic hopefuls couldn't be more stark.
President Obama's record is disturbingly clear. Not long after he made himself comfortable in the Oval Office, he yanked out the power cord on American-made energy, delivering a secondary blow to an economy already reeling from a global downturn. In contrast, GOP candidate Mitt Romney has offered a strategy for reconnecting the supply, offering relief to struggling families and businesses from coast to coast. This jolt can't come soon enough.
True to his radical roots, the president has thwarted the production of affordable, reliable fossil fuels. He's only interested in diverting the public treasure toward expensive and impractical energy projects that strike the fancy of his true-blue, self-styled "green" supporters. The damage this policy has done is all too clear from the prices at the pump and on electric bills. To play to the public in an election year, Mr. Obama reluctantly has changed his tune and is promising an "all of the above" energy plan. The words on his teleprompter are empty, however. The only boost in oil and natural-gas production has come in spite of White House policies, not because of them. Blowing billions of taxpayer dollars on disasters like Solyndra is still the norm.
It's tempting to conclude that Mr. Obama's energy policies have failed, but that's only partially true because the overall direction is by design. Placing a stranglehold on American fossil fuels has been his intention in order to pave the way for liberal pipe dreams such as windmills, solar panels and algae. The president is shackled to the past, clinging to liberal dogma borrowed from 1960s-era gloomsayers who believe Planet Earth is running out of resources and extreme conservation is essential to mitigate impending deprivation.
Outdated ideas are swept away by new knowledge. We now know the United States isn't running out of energy but is awash in it. The Congressional Research Service reported in 2011 that U.S. fossil-fuel reserves exceed those of Saudi Arabia, China and Canada combined. We possess enough oil at its current rate of consumption to replace petroleum from the Persian Gulf for 50 years, enough natural gas for 100 years and sufficient coal to last several centuries.
Mr. Romney's energy platform is in tune with the 21st century. Outlining a comprehensive plan in a speech in New Mexico's oil and gas country two weeks ago, he said more drilling and less red tape would trigger an economic renaissance that could add 3 million new jobs. "This is not some pie-in-the-sky kind of thing. This is a real achievable objective," he said.
The Republican nominee has pledged to give a green light to the Keystone XL pipeline, which would deliver Canadian oil to refineries along the Gulf of Mexico, a project Mr. Obama has largely blocked. Mr. Romney vowed to open the Outer Continental Shelf in the mid-Atlantic region for oil drilling as well as Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, where liberals have placed billions of barrels of oil off-limits.
Economic renewal requires a leader who has the vision to shake off benighted beliefs of the past and plug into the nation's bounty of energy resources. It's time for America to tank up and take off.
The Washington Times
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