Reality is a hard taskmaster. When Pres. Obama assumed office all the talk and legislation regarding energy supply and use was focused on “cap and trade,” a scheme to dramatically reduce carbon emissions.
In July 2010 the Senate killed Sen. John Kerry and Sen. Joe Lieberman’s comprehensive climate change and energy bill. Though this legislation would have granted concessions to expand offshore oil and gas drilling, it also would have allowed states “to veto offshore drilling in a neighboring state and opt out of drilling that would occur in waters within 75 miles of its shores,” according to a May 13, 2010 article in Time.
Last week, as pump prices inched toward the $4 per regular gallon mark even in the Midwest, Pres. Obama called for expanding drilling in Alaska and potentially exploring more drilling options off the Atlantic coast.
Prior to this announcement no amount of pleading from Alaskan government officials or oil company executives could persuade the President to relinquish the federal government’s stranglehold on drilling in our forty-ninth state.
This latest turn of events is also a change from current administration policy that calls for no Atlantic Seaboard offshore drilling until 2018.
These are great steps in the right direction. At least for the short term, by which we mean the next one hundred years barring some miraculous invention, America will remain reliant on oil and gas as sources of energy.
Transitioning from fossil fuels to cleaner energy is a worthy goal, but we cannot afford to cut our collective nose off to spite our face, as the saying goes. This is one of two hard realities with which the Obama administration has apparently come to grips.
The other reality no doubt dawning on Mr. Obama is the fact he will not likely succeed himself as President if he isn’t seen as doing everything he can to reduce the price of a regular gallon of gas.
— Loné Beasley