Obama’s Cynical Energy Agenda

Rule of Law by from National Affairs, Summer 2012

The American economy is flagging, and desperately in need of greater productivity and innovation. One presumes that President Obama understands as much; he has in fact suggested that he knows where this needed boost might come from. In this year’s State of the Union Address, the president said that “nowhere is the promise of innovation greater than in American-made energy.” His speech seemed to acknowledge that the American economy needs plentiful, affordable energy to thrive, and that the energy sector has a great deal of room to grow. Indeed, in his remarks, Obama touted the possibility of 600,000 new jobs over the next decade from natural-gas development alone.

But for all his talk of boosting American-made energy and breaking our dependence on hostile powers abroad, the president’s policies have not matched his rhetoric. Again and again, the administration has had chances to support growth in America’s energy sector—by enabling greater electricity production, drilling for fossil fuels, promoting nuclear power, or pursuing other measures. But at nearly every turn, rather than taking advantage of these opportunities, Obama and his advisors have foreclosed them. Instead, the administration has embraced an agenda of radical constraint—severely limiting the development and availability of energy resources in the misguided belief that a clean environment, or a stable climate, requires that we use less energy. The result has been harmful not only to America’s energy sector, but to the nation’s economy more broadly.

To continue reading this piece from National Affairs, click here.