Today’s Questions for the President

by Peter Kirsanow

The EPA is in the process of issuing  new emissions rules affecting coal-fired power plants, which rules will cause one-fifth of such plants to shut down.

The U.S. imports nearly 65 percent of its oil — more than 4 billion barrels a year at a cost of approximately $440 billion. Imported oil accounts for 62 percent of the U.S. trade deficit. In recognition of those facts, you gave a speech a few months ago about moving the nation toward energy independence. You set a goal of reducing oil imports by one-third over the next decade by “finding and producing more oil at home, and reducing dependence on oil with cleaner alternate fuels and greater efficiency.” Among the alternate fuels you cited was natural gas.

Yet, despite your speech:
  • You continue to oppose drilling in several regions in Alaska, including ANWR — estimated to hold 10.4 billion barrels of oil.
  • As reported by Robert Bluey, deepwater oil drilling permits are down 71 percent from their historical average.
  • Your administration has canceled or stalled the development of oil shale leases in the mountain west.
  • Shell Oil canceled plans to drill for an estimated 27 billion barrels of oil off the Alaskan coast after the EPA denied a permit.
  • No new construction of nuclear power plants has begun in 30 years.
  • As reported by Kevin Mooney, ten oil rigs have left the Gulf of Mexico since you imposed the deepwater drilling moratorium and 8 other planned rigs were moved elsewhere (i.e., the coasts of Africa, South America).
  • The shut down of coal-fired plants noted above will add tens of billions to energy costs and the Commerce Department estimates tens of thousands of jobs will be lost.

What specific steps has your administration taken  to increase, rather than impede, energy produced form oil, gas, coal, and nuclear resources?

Does the jobs plan you expect to release in September  seriously address requirements? If not, why should the plan be treated as credible?

Assuming that your jobs plan does contain a significant energy component, will the jobs you expect to be created consist primarily of “green” jobs?

What evidence do you have that these “green” jobs are any more likely to materialize than the 4 million ”shovel-ready” jobs you promised would materialize upon passage of the $814 billion stimulus package?

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