By Tom Quiner
Let us assess our situation.
Unemployment rates continue to hover around nine percent with no relief in sight.
The Mideast, the source of the bulk of our energy needs, is in chaos. And the 2-football-field-wide Suez Canal, through which all Mideast oil must pass, is controlled by a country that just overthrew their ruler.
Gasoline prices relentlessly approach $4 per gallon. The middle class, already reeling from the great recession, are going to get hammered even more.
The solutions to these problem areas are all interrelated. Let us create jobs by developing domestic sources of energy that make us less reliant on an unstable region of the world.
Unfortunately, the President has a skewed vision on how to accomplish this. His vision is a massive infusion of taxpayer money into the creation of “green jobs.” The liberal Apollo Alliance guestimates it’ll take 20 times the annual budget of the Department of Energy to create five million jobs. So how much will all this job creation cost us? Five hundred BILLION dollars, or $100,000 per job.
I’ve got a better solution. Let us unleash the private sector to produce more energy and create more jobs, all at the same time, without putting taxpayers more in debt.
Can it be done? Of course it can. Ever heard of oil?
Did you know the oil industry pays our government $95 million a day in taxes, rent, and royalties? If we expand domestic production of oil, we increase government revenues that will help reduce our deficit.
Oil and gas exploration jobs pay well, too, about double the national average.
The American Petroleum Institute tells us we’re sitting on 100 billion barrels of untapped oil reserves. But the President won’t let us tap it.
At the same time we’re sitting on all of this oil, it turns out we’re also sitting on huge reserves of natural gas, a whopping 100 year supply of the stuff. We’re able to tap more of these reserves than ever through newish technology called “fracking.” We have so much natural gas that we can actually become an exporter of energy.
Here’s the rub. The EPA is going make it hard to harvest all of these reserves, thanks to the President. Mr. Obama was unable to get his “cap and trade” scheme through Congress that would have imposed high taxes on carbon-based energy. Instead, he has allowed the EPA to treat carbon as a “pollutant,” something it was never intended to do. Even Democrat, John Dingell, who co-wrote the Clean Air Act, acknowledges the law was never meant to address climate change.
The regulations and mandates imposed by Mr. Obama’s EPA will slow the harvesting of energy reserves, increase costs, and reduce job creation in the energy industry.
The President and his administration seem to be working overtime to keep us dependent on foreign oil. And yet solutions are so within our grasp.