04/26/11 7:02 PM By: George Allen
In answering a college student’s question about high gas prices last week at Northern Virginia Community College, President Obama told Americans he believes the only real way to reduce our energy costs is to spend money on research and development of clean-energy technology.
Well guess what, Mr. President, America is blessed with the most plentiful energy resources in the world – right here under our land and water. If we are serious about saving family’s money and reducing dependence of foreign oil, what we ought unleash and utilize our resources cleanly and creatively for American jobs, quality of life, balance of trade and national security.
Sadly, the president and his liberal allies in Washington seem more concerned about tilting at intermittent, expensive windmills and throwing up bureaucratic roadblocks to using our American resources than the crippling impact of high energy costs on Virginians and Americans already struggling to keep afloat in a slow economy. These counterproductive policies are taking America down a path that is deeply flawed, unrealistic, harmful, and downright dangerous.
By almost every measurable indicator, the Obama Administration has launched a full-scale assault on conventional fuels – whether it is the EPA advancing the “train wreck” of draconian regulations affecting all facets of the energy that powers our lives and livelihoods, the Interior Department’s stalling effort to cut off access to Gulf of Mexico oil by withholding drilling permits, the substantial increase in bureaucratic red tape that has diminished productive activity, or the president’s termination of Yucca Mountain as a nuclear waste repository.
Such actions have led companies to question building of new coal and nuclear plants. Meanwhile, wind and solar power technologies remain costly and years away – if ever – from widespread use, despite the tens of billions the U.S. Department of Energy has spent on renewable energy technologies since 1978, when Jimmy Carter was in the White House. All of which foreshadows a future of higher energy costs for American families and businesses, and increased – not decreased – dependency on foreign oil.
The good news is America’s energy future does not have to be bleak. Fortunately, there are achievable solutions to lower fuel costs for American families and businesses and take control of our own energy destiny with practical conservation and innovation as well as production.
First we should produce our own oil – from Alaska to the Gulf of Mexico to resources off the shore of willing coastal states. Virginia has been trying to move forward for six years.
But even with the expiration of the legislative moratorium, the Obama Administration is blocking lease sales for exploration for oil and gas off Virginia’s coast and the rest of the Atlantic coast.
Second, we ought to feel fortunate that we are the “Saudi Arabia of coal” three times over and focus our creativity on finding ways which deliver clean, affordable power for our homes and businesses.
Even if we pursue innovative alternatives like battery technology for ground transportation, then the affordable, reliable electricity that will be needed to charge those batteries which can be supplied by plentiful coal from the Appalachian Mountains to the West.
Third, if we view natural gas as a key component of our energy strategy – and we should – then the sensible policy is to allow natural gas and coal-bed methane production from Virginia and abundant shale gas to be tapped and developed throughout America from the Appalachians in Pennsylvania to Louisiana to the high plains.
The simple truth is that we have the resources under our land and water. What we need is to remove the self-imposed barriers to safe and responsible production of American energy from American resources.
That, Mr. President, is how we will help families and businesses from skyrocketing gas and diesel prices, generate new jobs for Americans and new revenue for the U.S. Treasury, and ensure energy freedom for the United States of America.