The Daily Caller

The Daily Caller

The counteroffensive to President Obama’s war on fossil fuels begins

Deneen Borelli
Director of Outreach, FreedomWorks

At long last, Congress is launching a counteroffensive to President Obama’s war on fossil fuels.

A bipartisan group of senators recently grilled Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar about bureaucratic delays in approving deep-water oil drilling permits in the Gulf of Mexico. And, following an Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on the impact of EPA regulation of greenhouse gas emissions on jobs, legislation was introduced to block that agency’s regulatory authority.

Obama has been undeniably consistent in his unrelenting and unapologetic attack on our nation’s traditional forms of energy — coal, oil and natural gas.

While running for president, Obama famously said he sought to make electricity prices “necessarily skyrocket” through cap-and-trade legislation and “bankrupt” power plants committing the progressive crime of using coal as an energy source.

When cap and trade failed to pass Congress before the 2010 midterm elections, Obama shifted gears. In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Obama said: “One of my top priorities next year is to have an energy policy that begins to address all facets of our overreliance on fossil fuels. We may end up having to do it in chunks, as opposed to some sort of comprehensive omnibus legislation.”

One such “chunk” is Obama wielding his executive powers through the EPA to discourage the use of fossil fuels. The EPA’s end-run around Congress to regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act is a prime example of this new administrative assault.

Coal is a cheap and abundant natural resource currently providing about half of our country’s electricity. By cracking down on emissions such as carbon dioxide, released when fossil fuels are burned, the EPA’s new regulation would raise the price of energy. It would have a particularly devastating effect on coal-fired electricity generation.

Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming derive more than eighty percent of their electricity from coal and, not surprisingly, these states have among the lowest energy prices in the country.

Left unchecked, EPA’s backdoor effort to limit carbon dioxide would hit these states hard.

Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) and Representatives Fred Upton (R-MI) and Ed Whitfield (R-KY) are leading the charge to blunt Obama’s regulatory assault. They are the lead sponsors of the Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011. By removing the EPA’s regulatory authority under the Clean Air Act, their legislation would prevent the EPA from forcing factories and power plants to cut emissions. It does not, however, change a deal stuck between the Obama administration and the auto industry to reduce vehicle emissions.

Importantly, this effort to rein in the EPA is not limited to Republicans — Democrats also back the legislation. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Representatives Dan Boren (D-OK), Collin Peterson (D-MN) and Nick Rahall (D-WV) are co-sponsoring the bill.

Resistance from Obama’s own party to his war on fossil fuels is not restricted to limiting the EPA’s power. During the recent Senate hearing on the Interior Department’s budget, Secretary Ken Salazar faced harsh questions from Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) about his department’s failure to approve a backlog of deep-sea drilling permits in the Gulf of Mexico.

Landrieu pressed Salazar to explain what he was doing to speed up approvals, telling Salazar that the uncertainty surrounding the permitting process could impede new drilling applications.

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  • old man

    On a bright note — All of the opposition to using our resources(oil, coal), at cheap prices, has left us with a great resource for the future. Now is the time to start using these. If congress(not EPA or dept of energy) starts permitting the extraction,using this income to pay down debt,part of fed expenses,and requiring no spending above this income. We could reduce taxes and ensure a future for our children. It will take a congress that will stand up to the liberals. We should only be funding the basics, not arts and feel good programs. These need to be funded by people who like them, not by people who are barely making it. It is time to stop all the government sponsored state and federal, baseball,tennis parks, bike path and other nice to have things. Federal and state are BROKE

  • jdw

    Remember those ads with the older man and his wife talking about heatlh care, well we need the same thing. A young couple, with children playing in the back ground, looking at their utility bills and wondering how they are going to pay it this month and still find a way to put food on the table, put gas in their car in order to get to work, all the while blaming Obambi and his policies on energy. And at the end, play the video where he wants to bankrupt the coal, oil and gas industries and increase our utility bills. They need to start with these type of ads now!

  • MacWell

    Please, we the people MUST support those congress critters who are fighting back against this marxist in chief. Write, e-mail, phone in your support. We the people MUST take America back from these evil minded commies.

  • 1TrueOne55

    This president does not care because this is his intention to take down the Financial “Imperial Power” that our finances have provided in the past. And nobody seems to want to see that. Dinesh D’Souza wrote a book about what drives Obama to do what he is doing, along with his Progressive Cabal surrounding him in the White House this is personal for him. If you read Obama’s biography, Dreams “FROM” MY Father he believes that if you are receiving any sort of Federal money then the government is able to “Tax” you up to 100% if they need to, this is the thinking that his father had when he was part of the Kenyan Gov’t in the 60′s and one reason that Obama Sr. lost his post in the Kenyan Gov’t because he refused to change his attitudes.

    Wished that some politician or rich lawyer would start impeachment hearings to find out if he should be removed from office for lieing under oath in front of millions of americans in ’09

  • lilium

    Any one against producing our own oil. coal, and nuclear is clearly
    for foreign energy production……..don’t kid yourself and I don’t
    “useful idiots”. The alternative energy is a scam. They are bought
    by foreign interests.

  • Dee2008

    How ironic that while the Obama Administration pursues his agenda to “necessarily skyrocket” the cost of electricity, the government is offering a $5,000 rebate to anyone purchasing a GM Volt, which runs on…electricity?

    • kingfish

      An electric industry spokesman said last week on the radio that the power companies can barely keep home electricity going; they are DEFINITELY UNABLE to provide the power necessary for a nation of Electric cars.

    • mapletree

      Most electricity in this country (probably about 90%) is generated by burning fossil fuels: coal and natural gas. So you could say that the Volt and the leaf are fossil fuel powered. Building the infrastructure to produce enough electricity to power a nation of electric cars would be extremely expensive and nobody is talking about that cost. I’ve heard that it costs about $8000 in electrical plant infrastructure to produce every 1000 watts. And each electric car would require tens of thousands of dollars in new electrical plants. Do you think the environmentalists are going to allow the building of new plants? Fat chance! Just about as unlikely as new refineries for gas.

  • voted against carter

    DRILL BABY DRILL!!!!
    the BIG LIE.
    by Steve McCann (Full article at americanthinker dot com)

    Yet the United States is sitting on the world’s largest untapped oil reserve.  A natural resource that would not only mitigate the over $400 Billion sent overseas to other countries but could create untold millions of jobs and put the country on a sound financial footing.

    The untapped reserves are estimated up to 2.3 Trillion barrels, nearly three times the reserves held by the OPEC countries and sufficient to meet 300 years of demand, at today’s levels — for auto, truck, aircraft, heating and industrial fuel, without importing a single barrel of oil. 

    The US could become the single largest exporter of oil and oil related products in the world, thus potentially eliminating its trade deficit, and increasing the national standard of living as well as making a massive dent in the national debt.  

    Here is a look at some of the largest untapped reserves:

    The Bakken Fields in North and South Dakota.  New drilling and oil recovery technology is making the capture of this oil feasible and some development is now underway.  It is estimated that there is at least 200 Billion barrels of oil in this region.  At a price of $100 per barrel the value of this find is $20 Trillion.

    The Outer Continental shelf.  It is estimated that around 90 billion barrels of oil sit beneath the ocean bed 50 to 100 miles off the shore of the Atlantic, Pacific and Gulf coasts.  The value: $9 Trillion.

    The Alaska National Wildlife Refuge.  About 10 billion barrels are locked up here with a current value of $1 Trillion.

    Tar Sands:  Around 75 Billion barrels of oil could come from these areas which are similar to the Canadian tar sand fields and which now produce about 2 million barrels per day.  The value:  $7.5 Trillion

    Oil Shale.  This is the most massive area of potential oil production in the world with an estimated 1.5 Trillion barrel potential.  The technology necessary to extract this oil is now in place and being operated on a pilot project basis.  The value of this resource:  $150 Trillion

    There also the very real potential that further finds will be discovered as technology continues to improve.

    In total the value of the potential oil reserves of the United States listed above exceeds $187 Trillion.  The current national debt is $14.2 Trillion or less than 8%.

    Despite the protestation of President Obama and the environmentalists the world and particularly the United States is not running out of oil.  Their foolish tilting at windmills and solar will never produce energy sufficient to operate a $14Trillion and hopefully growing economy.  It will be decades if not the rest of the 21st Century before any meaningful substitute for fossil fuels will be developed and additional time and investment will then be necessary to distribute the product.

    Just say’n.

  • kingfish

    Thank goodness somebody in Congress finally got a brain. Obama was proceeding FURIOUSLY with CAP & TRADE despite no law being passed, using new EPA rules to get his way, CLOSING DOWN current coal plants and refusing to give operating authority to new clean-coal plants. This already resulted in electricity blackouts across TX to include HOSPITALS. The hospitals were FURIOUS.

    Obama’s purpose was to drive up heating and electric costs. He, Al Gore, Maurice Strong, and the CARBON GURUS already have their carbon trading corporation set up in Chicago based on all the university and climate change false data…guess where Rahm comes in as Chicago mayor?

    Obviously, Obama intends to reek as much destruction to the U.S. as possible. WOULD SOMEONE “PLEASE” INITIATE IMPEACHMENT PROCEEDINGS on the basis of “Crimes against humanity” BEFORE HE CAN DO ANY MORE DAMAGE?