Obama Talking the Talk on Energy Independence

posted at 2:55 pm on March 30, 2011 by Jazz Shaw

This week brought us the long awaited and highly anticipated occasion of President Obama finally giving a speech to clarify our energy policy. Given rising gas prices, unrest in the major oil producing locations on the planet and the endless calls at home for him to do something, we were certainly more than ready for it. So what does Mr. Obama have in mind?

So today, I’m setting a new goal: one that is reasonable, achievable, and necessary. When I was elected to this office, America imported 11 million barrels of oil a day. By a little more than a decade from now, we will have cut that by one-third.

Well, so far so good, even though I’ve heard that same promise from every president going back to at least Jimmy Carter. But how do we propose to do that? Clearly some big changes will be required to the administration policies we’ve seen thus far.

Meeting this new goal of cutting our oil dependence depends largely on two things: finding and producing more oil at home, and reducing our dependence on oil with cleaner alternative fuels and greater efficiency.

From there the speech devolves into a series of jaw dropping claims, including one where the president boasts that he is “working to expedite new drilling permits,” but only for companies that “meet new standards.” There have, for the record, been a grand total of seven deep water permits issued since the official moratorium ended, mostly for work already in progress.

And if we’re supposed to be working to promote domestic production, why is the President busy telling Brazil we look forward to being their best customer? Jenifer Rubin identifies these talking points as nothing more than raw hypocrisy, and highlights some snarky but salient comments on the topic from Mitch McConnel.

You can’t make this stuff up.Here we’ve got the administration looking for just about any excuse it can find to lock up our own energy sources here at home, even as it’s applauding another country’s efforts to grow its own economy and create jobs by tapping into its own energy sources.

For two years, the administration has canceled dozens of oil and gas leases all across America. It’s raised permit fees. It’s shut down deep-water drilling in the Gulf. It won’t even allow a conversation about exploring for oil in a remote, 2,000-acre piece of land in northern Alaska that experts think represents one of our best opportunities for a major oil find. And it continues to press for new regulations through the Environmental Protection Agency that would raise energy costs for every business in America — and lead to untold lost jobs for more American workers.

In other words, in the midst of average gas prices approaching four dollars a gallon and a chronic jobs crisis, the White House plans to make the climate for job growth worse. And that’s why Republicans, led here in the Senate by Senator Inhofe, have proposed legislation to prevent this new energy tax from ever taking effect without congressional approval.

When you add in the rest of Obama’s “plans” for energy independence – which focus on more “green energy,” bio-fuels, wind, solar, etc. – it becomes clear that this big change is no change at all. It’s precisely the same policy that he’s been pursuing for two straight years.

Now, I’ll be the first to admit that consistency is an admirable trait in politicians, and one that we find all too infrequently. But the noble nature of that trait is somewhat diminished when the person is consistently wrong.

The tag lines for this speech make it clear that Obama has heard the calls from across the nation and is aware of the problem. And some of the initial descriptions make it sound like he’s talking the talk. But buried underneath there is little to no indication that he plans on walking the walk any time soon. Perhaps I’m wrong, and I’ll be more than happy to eat my words if he surprises us in a positive fashion. But thus far, I’m just not seeing it. This “plan” looks like more of the same to me.

This post was promoted from GreenRoom to HotAir.com.
To see the comments on the original post, look here.

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Meet the new energy plan….same as the old energy plan…

PatriotRider on March 30, 2011 at 2:57 PM

More windmills, solar panels, ethanol, tidal energy, mice running on miniature bicyle generators, etc…

PatriotRider on March 30, 2011 at 2:59 PM

He also said his administration isn’t to blame for the high gas prices.This man is never responsible for anything….

sandee on March 30, 2011 at 3:00 PM

The only honest response I’ve heard to the “What will you do about energy independence? question was Fred Thompson’s back in 2008: “Probably not much. Two terms isn’t long enough.”

agmartin on March 30, 2011 at 3:01 PM

The tree-hugging environmentalists will fight him on the wind and solar thingy. Too many dead birds (wind) and snakes/tortises (solar). Everything is good unless it infringes on your pet projects. NIMBY brother! NIMBY! Let’s hear him talk about energy independence that is not just pie-in-the-sky. Drill here. Drill now.

DuctTapeMyBrain on March 30, 2011 at 3:03 PM

If he starts getting any more creative, I’m gonna have to start collecting dried cow dung so I can cook dinner.

CPT. Charles on March 30, 2011 at 3:05 PM

Meet the new energy plan … way worse than the old energy plan.

PatriotRider on March 30, 2011 at 2:57 PM

And this after two years of an energy plan that consisted of open contempt for all energy production companies.

Jaibones on March 30, 2011 at 3:08 PM

I always thought it was walking the Talk…

(Old AA phrase)

golfmann on March 30, 2011 at 3:10 PM

Aerosmith responds

ted c on March 30, 2011 at 3:11 PM

All it’s going to take to WIN THIS OFFICE is for a decent Republican candidate to promise to open up our national resources to the full extent, (with the quest to put gasoline back to $2 bucks a gallon).

A grateful nation will put him or her in charge—and send this pathetic socialist back to Chicago.

Rovin on March 30, 2011 at 3:17 PM

(Barack H. Obama on high gas prices, 2008):
I think that I would have preferred a gradual adjustment. The fact that this is such a shock to American pocketbooks is not a good thing.
Mission accomplished!

rogerb on March 30, 2011 at 3:17 PM

Hey…Everyone knows we achieve energy indpendence by financing Brazilan oil exploration and production while, at the same time, cutting US production and forbidding exploration for new oil resources like ANWAR.

It is hard to believe that many Americans are still buying into his crapola.

sdd on March 30, 2011 at 3:19 PM

I’m gonna have to start collecting dried cow dung so I can cook dinner.

CPT. Charles on March 30, 2011 at 3:05 PM

OMG do I have a DEAL for YOU!

Badger40 on March 30, 2011 at 3:21 PM

It is hard to believe that many Americans are still buying into his crapola.

sdd on March 30, 2011 at 3:19 PM

Barnum was right. There is one born every minute.

Badger40 on March 30, 2011 at 3:21 PM


and tens of millions of morons will swoon

Jeddite on March 30, 2011 at 3:25 PM

I’m noticing a frustrating character trait with Obama. Something you’d expect to find in a grade school kid, not a nearly 50 year-old man who happens to be leader of the free world.

Obama gets an idea in his head and wants it made into a reality. Take the green economy for example or Qaddifi no longer being in power. Then he gives a brief statement or speech and expects it to magically be made so. And if that doesn’t work, he takes a minimal action like federal subsidies for green energy development and more burdensome regulation for domestic drilling or in the case of Libya, air strikes. If that still doesn’t work, he goes back to giving speeches. And if necessary, he takes the same minimal action all over all.

It’s petulant and redundant and completely ineffective, yet that’s all we seem to get from the guy. Any sensible person would understand that a green economy is at best decades away(I’d personally put it at a century from now minimum), but he wants it now and if making oil prices crippling to a family’s budget is the only way possible, then so be it. Same with Qaddafi. Unless dude decides voluntarily to step down(and why would he do that?), it’s gonna take ground forces to get rid of him. But Obama is hellbent on doing things his way, which means we only provide air strikes and the rest is up to Europe.

Doughboy on March 30, 2011 at 3:25 PM

This is a lead in to C4C2. I’m glad to keep my suv and F350, but don’t want to have to do it through buying my neighbor a battery powered pregnant roller skate. These people are so impractical as to be beyond moronic.

Kissmygrits on March 30, 2011 at 3:28 PM

Doughboy on March 30, 2011 at 3:25 PM

Unicorns & fairy farts.
That’s how it’ll get done.

Badger40 on March 30, 2011 at 3:30 PM

We’ve been paying over $4.00 per gallon for over a month up here on the Northcoast. This is killing an already sick California economy.

Rovin on March 30, 2011 at 3:38 PM

Sarah Palin has already responded:
Sarah Palin’s Notes

JimK on March 30, 2011 at 3:39 PM

Maybe I’m wrong, and I didn’t hear this first hand from Obutthead, but I did hear someone on the radio say…he plans on the U.S. to import more oil than ever? How in the he!! will that help us? Other oil producing nations, yes. Us? Nope!

Meaning…he’s deliberately destroying jobs in this country and no one is immune from losing their job. Even if you do support this doofus.

capejasmine on March 30, 2011 at 3:41 PM


Welcome to the Leftist mind. It is called, I believe, teleogenics. It’s the idea that something can just be willed into existence. To the Leftist, if solar, wind, geothermal, etc. technologies aren’t enough to power America, it’s because we don’t believe it can be done. When you point out the fact that no other energy sources other than fossil fuels have the energy capabilities that we need, you are then an evil person, because you don’t join the general will to believe that solar cars are feasible. Therefore, you can be dismissed to the gulag, because you’re not helping us achieve energy independence (from fossil fuels).

It’s all a part of the collectivist utopia, that all problems can be solved rather easily, and the only reason they’re not already is because They want to make a fortune off the suffering of others.

This explains why conservatives see liberals as stupid (because they don’t acknowledge basic truths i.e. the US is broke, we need to drill, lower taxes rates generate growth which generate higher tax revenues, etc.) and liberals see conservatives as evil (because we want babies and puppies to die because we want to make a buck off their suffering). It’s also the reason why you can’t argue with a liberal.

Badger in KC on March 30, 2011 at 3:43 PM

You left off his HUGE SLAP at “Drill Baby Drill” !!!!

His Energy policy to reduce oil usage/etc just means MORE cutting America down to size!!!

I hate to say it but Rev. Jeremiah Wright was right……Amerikahs chickens have come home to woost……and the eggs are being laid in DC!!!!

PappyD61 on March 30, 2011 at 3:44 PM

52% of the populace elected an idiot. We’ve got to live with it for the next two years.

Exit question: Has the general public’s intelligence level risen in the past 2 years?

GarandFan on March 30, 2011 at 3:47 PM

FLASHBACK: What We Were Saying One Year Ago About Obama’s Failed Energy Policy
by Sarah Palin on Wednesday, March 30, 2011 at 10:44am
It’s unbelievable (literally) the rhetoric coming from President Obama today. This is coming from he who is manipulating the U.S. energy supply. President Obama is once again giving lip service to a “new energy proposal”; but let’s remember the last time he trotted out a “new energy proposal” – nearly a year ago to the day. The main difference is today we have $4 a gallon gas in some places in the country. This is no accident. This administration is not a passive observer to the trends that have inflated oil prices to dangerous levels. His war on domestic oil and gas exploration and production has caused us pain at the pump, endangered our already sluggish economic recovery, and threatened our national security. Through a process of what candidate Obama once called “gradual adjustment,” American consumers have seen prices at the pump rise 67 percent since he took office. Meanwhile, the vast undeveloped reserves that could help to keep prices at the pump affordable remain locked up because of President Obama’s deliberate unwillingness to drill here and drill now. We’re subsidizing offshore drilling in Brazil and purchasing energy from them, instead of drilling ourselves and keeping those dollars circulating in our own economy to generate jobs here. The President said today, “There are no quick fixes.” He’s been in office for nearly three years now, and he’s about to launch his $1 billion re-election campaign. When can we expect any “fixes” from him? How high does the price of energy have to go?

So, here’s a little flashback to what I wrote on March 31, 2010, at National Review Online’s The Corner:

Many Americans fear that President Obama’s new energy proposal is once again “all talk and no real action,” this time in an effort to shore up fading support for the Democrats’ job-killing cap-and-trade (a.k.a. cap-and-tax) proposals. Behind the rhetoric lie new drilling bans and leasing delays; soon to follow are burdensome new environmental regulations. Instead of “drill, baby, drill,” the more you look into this the more you realize it’s “stall, baby, stall.”

Today the president said he’ll “consider potential areas for development in the mid and south Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico, while studying and protecting sensitive areas in the Arctic.” As the former governor of one of America’s largest energy-producing states, a state oil and gas commissioner, and chair of the nation’s Interstate Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, I’ve seen plenty of such studies. What we need is action — action that results in the job growth and revenue that a robust drilling policy could provide. And let’s not forget that while Interior Department bureaucrats continue to hold up actual offshore drilling from taking place, Russia is moving full steam ahead on Arctic drilling, and China, Russia, and Venezuela are buying leases off the coast of Cuba.

As an Alaskan, I’m especially disheartened by the new ban on drilling in parts of the 49th state and the cancellation of lease sales in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas. These areas contain rich oil and gas reserves whose development is key to our country’s energy security. As I told Secretary Salazar last April, “Arctic exploration and development is a slow, demanding process. Delays or major restrictions in accessing these resources for environmentally responsible development are not in the national interest or the interests of the State of Alaska.”

Since I wrote the above, we have even more evidence of the President’s anti-drilling agenda. We have the moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico as well as the de-facto moratorium in the Arctic. We have his 2012 budget that proposes to eliminate several vital oil and natural gas production tax incentives. We have his anti-drilling regulatory policies that have stymied responsible development. And the list goes on. The President says that we can’t “drill” our way out of the problem. But we can’t drive our cars on solar shingles either. We have to live in the real world where we must continue to develop the conventional resources that we actually use right now to fuel our economy as we continue to look for a renewable source of energy. If we are looking for an affordable, environmentally friendly, and abundant domestic source of energy, why not turn to our own domestic supply of natural gas? Whether we use it to power natural-gas cars or to run natural-gas power plants that charge electric cars, natural gas is an ideal “bridge fuel” to a future when more renewable sources are available, affordable, and economically viable on their own. It’s a lot more viable than subsidizing boondoggles like these inefficient electric cars that no one wants. I’m all for electric cars if you can develop one I can actually use in Alaska, where you can drive hundreds of miles without seeing many people, let alone many electrical sockets. But these electric and hybrid cars are not a quick fix because we still need an energy source to power them. That’s why I like natural gas, but we still have to drill for natural gas, and this administration doesn’t like drilling or apparently the jobs that come with responsible oil and natural gas development. They don’t have a coherent energy policy. They have piecemeal ideas for subsidizing impractical pet “green” projects.

I have always been in favor of an “all-of-the-above” approach to energy independence, but “all-of-the-above” means conventional resource development too. It means a coherent, practical, and forward-looking energy policy. I wish the President would understand this. The good news is there is nothing wrong with America’s energy policy that another good old-fashion election can’t solve. 2012 is just around the corner.

– Sarah Palin

ny59giants on March 30, 2011 at 3:58 PM

Sarah Palin has already responded:
Sarah Palin’s Notes

JimK on March 30, 2011 at 3:39 PM

great smackdown. Now if only the other 99.9% of the Gop would grow a pair and attack Obama like this.

unseen on March 30, 2011 at 3:58 PM

– Sarah Palin

ny59giants on March 30, 2011 at 3:58 PM

It’s for reasons like this that she has my full support.

unseen on March 30, 2011 at 3:59 PM

unseen on March 30, 2011 at 3:59 PM

Sarah has been rolling along at an increased pace since the week of her “World Tour.” She is responding in less than 12 hours in some cases. I wonder why?!?

ny59giants on March 30, 2011 at 4:02 PM

The new energy plan:

Wrap the remains of the Founders in copper wire.

Put permanent magnets on either side of their coffins.

The energy from their spinning in their graves will power the Nation!

ajacksonian on March 30, 2011 at 4:03 PM

For 2 years (say 8) Odumbo has been ragging on, tearing down, devastating and bad-mouthing domestic oil and big oil and our desperate need for offshore etc. His czar has turned down hundreds of requests for drilling. Now, the SOB stands there and with a straight face LIES to us all as though he has been in favor of drilling all along. OMG how long can we stand this???? I have proud to be an American every day of my life – until you took office you POS lying roach.

highninside on March 30, 2011 at 4:11 PM


Make all funding for EPA contingent upon new domestic energy production actually achieved. No new energy, no funding. And any energy subsidies come out of the EPA budget.

A 10% increase in domestic production should be required each year in order for the EPA to get the same funding as the previous year: otherwise, EPA budget should get cut 11% for each percentage point domestic production increase falls below 10%.

With such a mandate in place, everyone will quickly figure that our current policies won’t work, that we NEED MORE domestic oil production, and that proven coal, oil, and nuclear power MUST be a major component of our domestic energy production. But instead of blocking windmill production and/or other technologies, this method of keeping domestic production the primary objective would let the proponents of other technologies discover the truth for themselves (and for the rest of us) very quickly.

landlines on March 30, 2011 at 4:14 PM


You go girl! Keeping me busy today, but when he went after you, he had it comin’. He knows about this issue as much as space exploration: Nada.

You betcha 2012 is around the corner. America will right what has done wrong.

ProudPalinFan on March 30, 2011 at 4:26 PM

Obama is really stupid. He just pitched Sarah Palin a nice, fat, juicy soft ball right over the plate that she knocked out of the park.

karenhasfreedom on March 30, 2011 at 4:57 PM

So his “solution” is turning buildings and homes into thermos bottles, uh? Yea, that’ll “create” lots of jobs! Pity all oil workers!!

jamesgreenidge on March 30, 2011 at 5:29 PM

Shemp Smith is trumpeting little Bammie’s ‘plan’ like it’s another Manhattan Project. What a jerkoff.

slickwillie2001 on March 30, 2011 at 7:15 PM

Why would anyone with an IQ higher than a kumquat think that the Federal Government is going to be smart enough to “solve” our energy problems? Powering an economy this vast and this dynamic is a problem of absolutely staggering complexity and these gumbas can’t even balance a budget, much less put together an energy policy.
In fact, why should the federal Government even have an energy policy in the first place? What fool decided that this was a good idea? It seems to me that these folks need to be told that their job ends with removing force and fraud from the market and then just “sit down and shut up”, thank you very much.
You can’t tell me that a lightly regulated free market would do a worse job of it than these bozos have done!

Lew on March 30, 2011 at 9:34 PM