TNR POLICYMAKER EDITORIAL - CONGRESSMAN DON YOUNG The Obama Energy Plan (or lack thereof)
With the Presidential election nearing full swing and the Republican Party in the midst of choosing its standard bearer, it won’t be long until the American people are faced with a stark choice -- do they vote for an incumbent President who consistently stands in the way of developing American made energy (even though he consistently and inexplicably says otherwise) or do we head in a new direction with a Republican candidate who is committed to developing America’s enormous resource base, putting Americans back to work, and recovering the fragile American economy.
Take for instance, last week’s State of the Union speech. Taken at face value, the President’s claims regarding energy sound like a proposition any Alaskan should support. However, when the curtain is lifted, sadly, we’re left with a string of deceptive or exaggerated statements. For example, he said, “American oil production is the highest that it’s been in eight years” True, but only if you include private and state lands, on which President Obama’s regulatory left-hook cannot land. Unfortunately, in Alaska, over 60% of the land is controlled by our benevolent federal landlords at the Departments of Interior and Agriculture.
In another instance, the President boasted that, this year, the U.S. has imported less oil than in the past 16 years. Sure, this is an achievement inasmuch as one thinks it’s positive that Americans have altered their behaviors because of the recession, high price of gasoline, and their own unemployment. Only in Washington D.C. would a result like this be touted as a success.
And remember, this is the same President who gave Brazil $2 billion for developing their offshore oil and then publicly proclaimed his ambition to be their best customer, all the while blocking drilling in the Arctic and off the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts in the Department of Interior’s newly revealed five-year plan. So much for the State of the Union promise that his Administration will open 75% of our potential offshore oil and gas prospects.
Alaskans look around our state and can see the many resources that God has blessed on us. They also know how to develop these resources responsibly, and for the benefit of the American people. Unfortunately, time and time again, President Obama has sided with environmentalists, helping them stifle the most powerful economic engine in Alaska, while claiming otherwise in the press and on the stump. It’s time for a change.
My number one priority this Congress has been to work with my colleagues to get this economy moving again. I believe the best way to achieve that is to start doing big things again – starting in Alaska. Whether we’re talking about stalled projects in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas or the President’s continued opposition to developing ANWR, these are projects that Alaskans overwhelming support for one simple reason – they will create thousands of well-paying jobs while also lessening the pain we all feel at the pump.
At the end of the day, the contrast between President Obama and whoever the Republic nominee turns out to be will be stark. That’s why I am confident that come January of next year, we will have a new President along with a Republican House and Senate committed to lowering gas prices and getting this country’s economy moving along again.