EDITORIAL: Obama’s EPA colludes with radical environmentalists

Some ‘renewable energy’ is delivered on crony power

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President Obama’s campaign promise of an “all of the above” energy policy has vanished more quickly than his promise to enable everyone to keep a favorite doctor or a preferred health plan.

Settling into his second term, Mr. Obama has dropped the pretense of a balanced view of energy. He’s raising barriers to affordable fuels, such as oil, coal and natural gas.

Email messages made public as part of a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency shed light on how EPA officials are working closely with radical environmentalists to coordinate messaging, determine locations for public hearings and help gather public comment to beat the drum for expanded regulations.

The documents show that the Sierra Club and the Environmental Defense Fund schemed with EPA officials to attack natural gas in 2012. Regional EPA administrator James Martin emailed the general counsel for the Environmental Defense Fund of the advantage of setting up hearings in Denver.

“One last point in its favor,” he wrote, “it will make Roy Palmer nervous.” Mr. Palmer is an executive with Xcel Energy, a leading natural-gas utility in Colorado.

In January, the EPA reassured environmentalists that it would move ahead on implementing cumbersome rules concerning fracking, the advanced drilling technology responsible for making vast supplies of domestic natural gas accessible.

The administration’s close ties to environmental groups appear to be making an impact on domestic energy policy in other ways. New permits for energy development on government territories have fallen 33 percent, and hundreds of leases and permits for energy development on public lands granted by previous administrations have been revoked by the Obama administration.

The top priority for radical environmentalists has been trying to torpedo the Keystone XL pipeline, and the administration has stalled on making a decision on the project, even though it would bring lower gas and energy prices for Americans, create tens of thousands of new jobs, generate millions in new tax dollars and reduce by 40 percent American petroleum imports from unstable and unfriendly nations.

Keeping the pipeline unbuilt pleases one Tom Steyer. This hedge-fund billionaire and environmentalist has cultivated a cozy relationship with Mr. Obama, generous in supporting the president’s campaigns, funding scores of Democratic candidates and bankrolling liberal causes. The president strongly considered Mr. Steyer for energy secretary.

Mr. Steyer funded a recent series of television commercials arguing that Keystone would harm the environment, even though scientific study after scientific study indicates otherwise.

Mr. Steyer has had financial ties to the Trans-Mountain Pipeline System, which stands to make millions if competition from Keystone is eliminated. After the connection became public, Mr. Steyer said he sold his stake in the companies involved, but the crony policies remain.

The left has spread the myth that the world is running out of oil, but the reality is that traditional and affordable energy sources will remain necessary to fuel America for decades to come.

For every barrel of crude oil ExxonMobil sells, it finds sources for nearly two more. For the past 20 years in a row, reserves have grown, not shrunk. The Energy Information Administration reports that unreliable and expensive windmills and solar panels won’t even meet a fraction of the nation’s needs by 2040, despite billions in subsidies for well-connected companies.

Americans deserve a smorgasbord of energy options to generate needed jobs and to reduce the price of home electricity and heating, and gasoline. Americans don’t need an energy strategy where “all of the above” refers to all the things dreamed up by radical environmentalists and shady characters out to make a buck.

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