You know who the “mean greens” are. They are those curmudgeonly misanthropes who begrudge and bewail humankind’s economic progress and the high standards of living attained in the modern era.
President Obama is a mean green. Indeed, he sounds like one of their leaders when he tells us there is something wrong with Americans living so comfortably when there are poor nations in the world. In his words: “We can’t drive our SUVs and, you know, eat as much as we want and keep our homes, you know, 72 degrees at all times … and then just expect that every other country is going to say OK … [when we] keep using 25 percent of the world’s energy.”
Given that Obama disapproves of Americans’ affluence, it isn’t surprising that he appointed one of the meanest greens of all to be his science advisor—John Holdren, who comes from the extreme branch of environmentalism that openly advocates the “de-development” of the United States.
Since abundant, relatively inexpensive energy has literally powered America’s unprecedented economic development, naturally, one of Obama’s principal goals as president has been to curtail Americans’ access to cheap energy. He seems to agree with Holdren’s some-time writing partner, Paul Ehrlich, who burnished his misanthropic reputation by fulminating, “Giving society cheap, abundant energy would be the equivalent of giving an idiot child a machine gun.”
Obama’s preferred strategy has been to implement whatever policies increase the price of energy to American consumers. He proved this by striving mightily to impose a cap-and-trade program on fossil fuels so that “if somebody wants to build a coal-fired plant, the can, but it will bankrupt them, because they’re going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted.”
Obama’s animus against fossil fuels explains why he chose Dr. Steven Chu to be his Secretary of Energy. Chu’s most famous policy goal is encapsulated in his statement, “Somehow we have to figure out a way to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe.”
To help Chu achieve his goal of hammering Americans with much higher fuel prices, Obama appointed the like-minded former Colorado senator Ken Salazar to be his Secretary of the Interior.
In his first week as president, Obama rescinded a Bush executive order that permitted drilling on the continental shelf. A few weeks later, Salazar unilaterally canceled 77 oil and gas leases in Utah, expressing his dread that some poor soul might catch a glimpse of drilling equipment from a national park more than a mile away.
Team Obama continued the assault on domestic oil development, first by adding two million more acres to the 107 million acres of designated wilderness to block the extraction of fossil fuels from those tracts; then using the Deepwater Horizon explosion in the Gulf of Mexico as a pretext to block or delay the return of American oil rigs to the Gulf; then delaying the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline to transport Canadian oils sands to be refined in Oklahoma. Most recently, Salazar’s department disclosed a new plan to offer only 15 offshore drilling leases. That is a record low, and appears to be the absolute minimum that can be offered under existing law.