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environmentalist-in-chiefAmerican Spectator:


In Ancient China, the Emperor went out every spring and walked the fields to bless the harvest and encourage the crops to grow. Sure enough, when the peasants put the seeds in the ground, the crops appeared and the Emperor took credit.


The job of President of the United States is often much the same. According to the legend embraced by some, he is responsible for just about everything good that happens in the country. If a group of wildcatting oil geologists in North Dakota, for instance, use 3-D seismographic to discover a whole new strata of shale oil, and if "fracking" techniques developed in Texas should make these deposits accessible for the first time in history -- well then, it must be the President who made it all happen.


This was the mantle, at least, that President Barack Obama was willing to assume last week when he declared in his State of the Union address:


Over the last three years, we've opened millions of new acres for oil and gas exploration, and tonight, I'm directing my administration to open more than 75 percent of our potential offshore oil and gas resources. Right now -- right now -- American oil production is the highest that it's been in eight years. That's right -- eight years. Not only that -- last year, we relied less on foreign oil than in any of the past 16 years.


Now those with long memories might be wondering at this point from whence this new enthusiasm for fossil fuels. They might remember the President's Inaugural Address three years ago when he proclaimed:


We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories.

They remember that the words "oil" or "gas" or "fossil fuels" were never mentioned on that January afternoon.Scissors-32x32.png

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