Planet Gore, meet Planet Obama. Following the president’s daily schedule is like tracking an alternate universe. Divorced from Washington, the president flits about the country — consuming a gallon of fuel a second aboard Air Force One — while delivering a message that America’s economy is growing thanks to his green investments.
His remarks in Austin, Texas, last week were typical.
“Think about the progress we’ve made,” he said before thunderous applause (and not just from the White House press corps). “A lot of this was because of the resilience and hard work of the American people. But some of it had to do with decisions we made to build our economy on a new foundation. For the first time in nearly 20 years, we produce more oil here at home than we buy from abroad. The world’s largest oil and gas producer isn’t Russia; it’s not Saudi Arabia — it’s the United States of America. At the same time, we’ve reduced our total carbon pollution over the past eight years more than any country on Earth. We’ve tripled the amount of electricity we generate from wind.”
Never mind that Obama applauds an oil boom that defies his claim that the economy is being built on a new, renewable energy foundation. What’s really shameless is taking credit for a carbon revolution that his administration has actively opposed.
From Bakken oil field pioneer Harold Hamm’s 2011 account of his visit to the White House (as told to the Wall Street Journal’s Stephen Moore):
When it was Mr. Hamm’s turn to talk briefly with President Obama, “I told him of the revolution in the oil and gas industry and how we have the capacity to produce enough oil to enable America to replace OPEC. I wanted to make sure he knew about this.”
The president’s reaction? “He turned to me and said, ‘Oil and gas will be important for the next few years. But we need to go on to green and alternative energy. [Energy] Secretary [Steven] Chu has assured me that within five years, we can have a battery developed that will make a car with the equivalent of 130 miles per gallon.’” Mr. Hamm holds his head in his hands and says, “Even if you believed that, why would you want to stop oil and gas development? It was pretty disappointing.”
Washington keeps “sticking a regulatory boot at our necks and then turns around and asks: ‘Why aren’t you creating more jobs,’” he says. He roils at the Interior Department delays of months and sometimes years to get permits for drilling. “These delays kill projects,” he says.
“We produce more oil here at home than we buy from abroad,” says the president. We?