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Obama's Amazing Energy Spin Machine


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obamas-amazing-energy-spin-macAmerican Spectator:

The bankruptcy of Ener1, a "green energy" firm that got a $118 million stimulus grant, has brought the Obama administration's commitment to sinking billions of dollars into alternative energy boondoggles back into the spotlight. Unfortunately, President Obama remains committed to continuing down this wasteful path, as his statements about energy in his recent State of the Union Address made clear. While the president spent more time on the topic than any other policy area, he distorted the facts, misrepresented his plans, and ignored his record.

Obama announced that "tonight, I'm directing my Administration to open more than 75 percent of our potential offshore oil and gas resources." For those who favor energy production, this sounds great, but a close inspection reveals that this announcement was nothing new -- the sale should have been scheduled last year, and the only reason the administration is planning it now is that it is required under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act. In fact, he didn't direct his administration to do anything new -- he just recycled a plan actually released in November 2011 that actually kept closed key areas for future oil and gas exploration in Alaska, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Atlantic coastline.

The president claimed that, "over the last three years, we've opened millions of new acres for oil and gas exploration…. Right now, American oil production is the highest that it's been in eight years. That's right -- eight years." But that's no thanks to the federal government. In fact, oil production on federally owned lands has gone down during Obama's first three years. The administration didn't hold a single offshore lease sale in all of 2010 and canceled sales off the coast of Alaska and Virginia this year. It's the oil boom in North Dakota on private lands that's kept domestic oil production from falling -- not the president's policies.

Obama continued, "The easiest way to save money is to waste less energy. So here's another proposal: Help manufacturers eliminate energy waste in their factories and give businesses incentives to upgrade their buildings." But manufacturers already have huge incentives to reduce wasted energy. Airlines today, for example, use 110 percent less energy than they did in 1979 and 14 percent less than in 2000. No one needed to tell them to do that. Energy is only "waste" if it cost less to save it than to not. Forcing taxpayers to pick up the tab for manufacturers' energy costs isn't eliminating energy waste -- it's creating government waste.Scissors-32x32.png

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