The Corner

Today’s Questions for the President

During the 2008 presidential campaign, you said, “Under my plan of cap-and-trade system, electricity rates would naturally skyrocket.” You also stated that the operation of coal-powered plants and natural gas would cost more.

When you took office, gasoline prices averaged $1.84 per gallon. Your Energy Secretary Steven Chu said, “Somehow, we have to figure out how to boost the price of gas to levels in Europe.”

Your cap-and-trade plan stalled, but at various times your administration has (among other things) threatened to impose cap-and-trade by regulatory fiat, slowed, suspended, or revoked numerous coal-mining permits, delayed development of oil-shale leases (estimated by your administration to contain approximately 2 trillion barrels of oil equivalent), forced Shell Oil to abandon plans to drill for oil off the Alaskan Coast (estimated to contain 27 billion barrels of oil) and declared a moratorium on drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and the Outer Continental Shelf. Meanwhile, today’s average gasoline prices are $3.85 per gallon.

How are these actions inconsistent with your and Secretary Chu’s stated objectives (whether direct or indirect) of increasing energy costs for Americans?

How have these actions made America less dependent on foreign energy sources?

How have these actions improved the economy? Specifically, how many jobs have been ”saved or created” by these actions? Does that figure include Louisiana?

What’s your back-up plan if a hiccup in the Arab Spring reduces oil production in — or exports from — that region?

If it it isn’t your objective to increase current energy costs to drive Americans toward alternative energy sources, what specific measures has your administration taken to lower energy costs and what’s been the calculable effect of those measures?

Bonus question: Approximately how long will it take for alternative energy sources to replace the energy lost from the abandoned Alaskan oil leases?

Peter Kirsanow — Peter N. Kirsanow is an attorney and a member of the United States Commission on Civil Rights.

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