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Energetic president

J. G. Azarcon, Esq.J. G. Azarcon, Esq.

Easter is over and done this year. A few devotees in the Philippines have fulfilled their vows to suffer penitence by crucifixion. In America, we continue to suffer our penitence at the gas pump.

Realizing the anguish of consumers, Pres. Barack Obama has engaged in a messaging offensive telling that the policy of his administration is to support production from all sources of energy, including oil, gas, wind and solar. He tries to deflect blame on the rising gasoline price by bragging that oil production during his administration has actually increased.

That sounds pretty to hear, until you are confronted with facts indicating that none of Pres. Obama’s policies caused the increased production. Some pundits point out that the increased oil output came from private lands of which Pres. Obama has no say. Oil production in government controlled lands actually decreased. Furthermore, the ability of oil drillers to maximize extraction of oil is also due to new technology called hydraulic fracking, a technique that is being opposed by Obama’s environmental supporters.

Business TV anchor Lou Dobbs reported data indicating that oil drilling permits increased by 58% during the Pres. Bill Clinton’s term.  It further increased by 116% during the term of Pres. George W. Bush. It decreased by 36% during Pres. Obama’s term.

It seems that Obama’s public pronouncements of support for all sources of energy are more rhetoric than reality. The reduction of drilling permits in the Gulf of Mexico and prohibitions in Alaska demonstrate a hostility to oil and coal and a favorable bias in favor of renewable energy like solar and wind power.

Just last month, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) passed new regulations imposing limits on carbon emissions from newly built coal-powered plants. The new rule will limit emissions to slightly more half of the current levels of emissions of existing plants. Considering that the technology needed to be able to comply with the new rule does not exist at this time, this practically prevents the building and operation of new coal powered plants. In 2011, coal was responsible for supplying almost 45% kilowatt hours in the U.S.

The EPA’s regulatory assault on coal powered plants stems from its belief  articulated on its website that CO2 emissions from these plants contribute to global warming and climate change with the potential to alter the severity of extremes such as heat waves, cold waves, storms, floods and droughts. It relies on the United Nations (IPCC)  2007 report.

The problem with the UN report however is that it has been debunked by the same UN (IPCC) agency when it released a new report last month stating that “there is medium evidence and high agreement that long-term trends in normalized property losses have not been attributed to natural or anthropogenic climate change.” If the new UN report is to be relied upon, the Obama administration’s obsession to curtail consumption of fossil fuel at a time when alternative sources are not adequate to meet energy demand will only bring financial misery to consumers with no palpable consequence to climate change.

The Obama administration’s bias against fossil fuel leaked from the mouth of its Energy Secretary Steven Chu when he said in 2008 that we have to find a way to increase gasoline prices to the levels in Europe to wean America from fossil fuel in favor of alternative energy.

Recently, Pres. Obama mentioned another bright idea. Algae can be a possible source of energy. Well, Mr. President, the people are not picky. They don’t mind even if energy is produced from earthworm urine. They just want their affordable electricity and gasoline.

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