On President Obama’s announcement on energy policy:
That’s why what happened today was a quarter of a loaf. I give the president credit for defying the religion of those ecology people in his movement, his side of the aisle, who would object to anything and who believe that any activity at all ought to be off the table.
Nonetheless, what he did was really quite minimal. Yes, he opened up part of the Atlantic coast, a bit of the Gulf of Mexico. But the entire Pacific coast is shut down, the west [coast] of Alaska remains shut down, and the most important area, ANWR, the Arctic [National] Wildlife Refuge, which was shut down in the ’90s in the Clinton years, remains shut. And this is an unbelievably rich source of oil.
Now, the logic here . . . is simply overwhelming. It produces jobs. It will ultimately lower the price of world oil because it will increase supply. It reduces our dependence on nasty countries abroad. It reduces the amount of money that we are sending into the treasuries of Libya, Hugo Chavez, the Russians, and the Saudis, and it would help our economy. The arguments are overwhelming.
And even in terms of helping the environment, we are going to demand oil anyway. And we are either going to get it from the well- regulated, high-technology wells that Americans will be drilling in American waters, or it will be from the pollution in the Niger Delta or the Amazon Basin or off-shore [Equatorial] Guinea with none of these protections, none of these high-technology aspects.
In terms of saving the planet, it’s better to drill for the oil here. So on all of these counts the arguments are overwhelming, and I’m disappointed that we’re getting a quarter of a loaf at best.
On Hillary Clinton’s saying there is now unanimity in moving forward on sanctions on Iran among the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany:
There is an achievement — after a year and three months, the other guys have agreed to start drafting a resolution on sanctions which I can assure you is going to be useless.
If we have learned anything in 60 years of having U.N. and [other] international organizations it is that when you try to achieve unanimity you get mush. It’s a law of nature. It’s impossible otherwise.
You have the Chinese here who . . . have no intention of slowing Iran down. China has huge economic relations — investments in Iran. It . . . doesn’t want to see any damage. And Iran, in fact, it’s becoming a huge oil supplier [for China].
So it’s not going to help us in the end. And we know this in advance. So what we will have is a resolution that will have, at most, effects on the margin. It will not affect the program. It probably will not even slow it down. This is all a charade.