Pain at the pump has become the norm for all those owning a vehicle. Filling up, we sit and watch the dollars and cents quickly rise as the gallon counter lags behind at a snail’s pace. Most of us can clearly harken back to the good ol’ days of dollar-a-gallon gasoline and sub-$20 fill-ups. Even four years ago, gas prices were averaging half as much as they currently are. That was then, this is now. Many Americans are out of work. Many must take long commutes back and forth to the only job they could find. At a time when the cost of living is skyrocketing, it is essential that our leaders find ways to alleviate the costs that can be controlled. With gas and oil, President Obama has had that opportunity time and again.
But he says no.
The President, as he also does on the subject of nuclear weapons, visualizes a utopia without fossil fuels. In that utopia, fields of electricity-generating windmills twirl and mountains of solar panels soak up every ounce of the sun’s rays to power the nation. Our roads are covered in nothing but Chevy Volts and other plug-in vehicles the size of a Matchbox car. The problem with this vision is twofold: it is not realistic, nor can it sustain our nation.
We can all agree on the fact that we should move forward with exploration of other energy options that may be cleaner and more cost-effective. However, at the same time, we cannot totally discontinue or forcibly raise prices on today’s available and necessary energy sources. President Obama has made clear that he is against the usage of coal-fueled electricity and would do what was necessary to ultimately eliminate it completely. With this vision in mind, and with a plan to excessively tax all companies that emitted greenhouse gasses, the nation’s percentage of coal-created electricity dropped from 49% in 2008 to 36% this year. This caused electricity rates around the country to rise – for the first time in over two decades.
This digs deep into the mindset of our leader, who prefers to push agendas over supporting and sustaining the people in a time of steep economic downturn.
No energy affects our lives quite like oil and gasoline, which fuels everything required to travel. Cars and motorcycles to take us where we need to go. Eighteen-wheelers travel down the highways to deliver necessities from one corner of the nation to another. Planes fly coast to coast, allowing this fast-paced world to keep moving. As fuel costs have rapidly increased, so have the costs of plane tickets, shipping fees, and goods as a whole. Cause and effect in action. You can never forget that every issue is tied to so many others. When the dominoes begin to fall, the results can be disturbing.
Prior to 2010, expanding the anti-fossil fuel agenda needed sufficient cover before it could be fully-implemented without widespread outrage. In April of 2010, that cover presented itself in the form of the BP oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico, which led to a massive release of oil flow into the waters. As then-Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel had stated a year earlier: “never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that is it’s an opportunity to do things you couldn’t do before.” The President finally had the opportunity to implement his plan under the guise of safety and investigation.
He immediately went into action. First, he began to ban offshore oil drilling. This included areas in the eastern Gulf of Mexico, where two-thirds of the available oil and natural gas in the Gulf is sitting untapped. This ban wasn’t just for the time-being. It was for a minimum of seven years. Seven years?! This was on top of the current ban on drilling in the Pacific Ocean, which is prohibited until at least 2017. Then, in 2012, the Obama administration released a proposal that would ban drilling in 85% of the available oil areas until at least 2017. This is a President who constantly preaches independence from foreign oil, but bans our ability to produce our own here. This one example makes obvious that his vision has become a reality.
Nearly two years had passed and most of the cover provided from the 2010 oil spill had been removed. Now, at a time where the jobless rate refused to shrink, Obama had an opportunity to not only create jobs, but also to help supply the US with more cost-efficient oil from Canada instead of the Middle East.
He said no.
The Keystone Pipeline, which was set to be built from Canada to oil refineries on the Gulf coast, would have delivered 900,000 barrels of oil per day to the United States, along with creating thousands of jobs to build and maintain the pipeline. It was a win-win situation.
The reasoning behind “no” was as preposterous as anything: they didn’t have sufficient time to study the effects of the pipeline on the nation. The truth was, they had received 10,000 pages worth of proposals from Keystone THREE YEARS EARLIER, yet stated they didn’t have enough time to come to a decision. This again clearly verified Obama’s motives behind the decisions made. Ideology trumps everything else.
And, if you didn’t already know, Keystone decided to deliver the oil to China instead.
Too often, our lives and the prices we pay are determined by the choices of our leaders. Are we willing to stand back and let ideology overpower the will of the people? The NEEDS of the people? We will always need energy sources to keep America moving. While we continue to seek energy independence from other nations and explore new alternatives in the future, we must use all currently available options to keep prices low and keep America moving. We must not stifle job creation and price reduction for the sake of a vision that cannot become a reality.
For now, the proof, and the pain, is at the pump.