Which word was missing from Obama’s speech last night?

posted at 9:25 am on September 9, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Barack Obama’s supporters praised him for having it in his joint-session speech last night on job creation.  A national economy needs plenty of it in order to expand.  Consumers consider it one of the most pressing economic issues they face.  Yet Obama’s speech was curiously absent of any mention of one word … energy.

That’s right; you could look it up.  There wasn’t one single mention in a speech about jobs and economic stimulation that addressed the need for the energy necessary to support it.  Never mind that part of the problem in the economy comes from a blunted demand that can be directly associated in part with the erosion in buying power created by rapidly-rising fuel costs, or that a significant share of the reluctance to invest in American economic expansion comes from the considerable uncertainty of regulatory assaults on energy production and the impact on future energy costs.

Obama simply acted as if the problem doesn’t exist at all.

If there was one change from his first stimulus proposal, it’s the omission of energy as a closely-linked issue.  In 2009, Obama tried to argue that his assault on domestic production and use of coal and oil would be offset by an explosion of green-energy production that would replace our need for hydrocarbons.  He threw billions of dollars into subsidies for companies to pursue solar, wind, and biomass energy, technologies that have been around for decades and have never proven sustainable on a cost or on a mass-production level, promising that this time it would work.

How did that pay off?  Taxpayers just lost over a half-billion dollars on way-below-market-rate loans to Solyndra, which turns out to be connected to an Obama donor who spent a lot of time at the White House, and who will get his money out of Solyndra before taxpayers do thanks to a curious structure to those taxpayer-funded loan guarantees.  Hint: when the FBI raids a company that the President heralded as the vanguard of the new green-energy revolution, it’s not exactly a rousing validation of that administration’s policies.

With the FBI raids taking place just hours before Obama’s speech, it’s perhaps understandable that the President didn’t want to mention his earlier, disastrous foray into green-energy speculation.  However, it’s inexcusable to ignore energy while talking about job creation.  Not only do we need a plentiful and reliable supply of energy to support an economic expansion of any significance, we could be creating hundreds of thousands of jobs right now by simply rolling back the attack on domestic exploration and extraction in oil, coal, and natural gas that has been going on under the Obama administration the last two-plus years.

If Obama was serious about economic expansion, we’d have heard a serious approach to domestic energy production last night.  The fact that we didn’t demonstrates Obama’s lack of depth in economics, perhaps even more than his retread of Porkulus did.

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How about showing us a green jobs plan that has actually worked on a significant level….been able to stand on it’s own…..and will provide the jobs…lower cost levels….and profitability that is required to determine something a “success”….

Baxter Greene on September 9, 2011 at 10:39 AM

Lets go further…..can you come up with a green plan that’s not enviromentally distructive as well?

Wind turbines in California have found to be killing thousands of Golden Eagles, and there’s no real plan to fix this. They think they can slow them down and that would stop the carnage but they have no evidence to back up such a proposal.


Solar panel production can create many of the same toxic byproducts as those found in semiconductor production, including silicon tetrachloride, dusts, and greenhouse gases like sulfur hexafluoride.


Finally, electric cars are a serious drain on electric grids. Reports predict an electric car population of 1/10 of all cars will effectively overtax the electric grid. (Can’t find the link, sorry)

One more thing: these energy sources produce hazards at a fraction of the foot-pounds produced by conventional oil, gas, or coal. It seems from Green technologies we’re getting a sorry return on the risk.

itsspideyman on September 9, 2011 at 11:28 AM

The reason why energy wasn’t talked about was because President Obama didn’t want to talk about the EPA. You can’t talk energy while the EPA is doing everything possible, much of which is beyond its power, to shut down energy production.

LFRGary on September 9, 2011 at 11:32 AM

itsspideyman on September 9, 2011 at 11:28 AM

Appreciate that…thanks for the upgrade.

Funny how none of the people who say they “care so much” seem to give a dam# about all the people on fixed incomes…unemployed….injured….and not able to make it day to day, having their costs of living going through the roof along with less opportunity to get a job.

Baxter Greene on September 9, 2011 at 11:39 AM

Excellent piece, Ed.

John the Libertarian on September 9, 2011 at 11:42 AM

Speaking of energy, all of San Diego, Tijuana, Orange County, and parts of Baja California were without power last night.

Thanks for the basic headline mention, guys……..

Just sayin’.

Hawkins1701 on September 9, 2011 at 11:45 AM

Baxter Greene on September 9, 2011 at 11:39 AM

You’re welcome. Your points are dead center; many of the things that greenies support directly impact those that are the least able to afford it, driving them deeper into poverty. Driving up oil prices increases the price of energy on the consumer, forcing lower income individuals to have even less disposable income, a drag on the ecomony and reducing their standards of living.

It’s wonderful to say you’re drinking organic milk and you’re driving hyprid cars but it’s easy to say that when you have that money to waste. To demand the rest of society to conform to this by driving up prices and forcing green solutions when they’re not energy efficient is a practice devoid of common sense.

itsspideyman on September 9, 2011 at 11:49 AM

Which word was missing from Obama’s speech last night?

I resign?

honsy on September 9, 2011 at 11:52 AM

WARNING! Toxic Dose of Irony. Obama’s “historic” speech lacked the word “energy”, while millions of Californians went without power last night during an “unprecedented” blackout and could not hear his speech.

Mutnodjmet on September 9, 2011 at 11:54 AM

Stocks Decline as Traders Weigh U.S. Jobs Plan

Great speech, champ.

petefrt on September 9, 2011 at 12:00 PM

Republicans should be hammering the fact that Obama is letting us go bankrupt rather than exploit the tremendous amounts of mineral and natural resources this country has.

Iblis on September 9, 2011 at 12:09 PM

This is more like a work of genius than any major media reporter on the speech. And it was not bitter or caustic.

I never analyze this way. And I am great.

IlikedAUH2O on September 9, 2011 at 12:09 PM

Why oh why do we let Arab countries destroy their environments just to provide energy for our consumption?
It’s racist I tell you.
Stop exploiting them- drill here, drill now.

justltl on September 9, 2011 at 12:11 PM

petefrt on September 9, 2011 at 12:00 PM

It is hard to tell since the day was so weird with the 9/11 anniversary and all but…it seemed that several players were working to keep stocks up and gold down.

The terror was played down. Sinking gold prices were reported. A rumor of a run up was circulated and I honestly believe that a billionaire or two were trying to help their buddy out.

It did not work.

You have to be into the day trader media to sense it.

IlikedAUH2O on September 9, 2011 at 12:13 PM

Vacation ?

Zero went yammering on for how many minutes and he didn’t even mention vacation? Or how about Uncle Omar and Aunt Zucchini and their triumphs over the system and how just one phone call to nephew in the White House can make all the problems go away?

viking01 on September 9, 2011 at 12:16 PM

Silly me, I forgot that the Arabs and Russians and other oil producing nations are much better stewards of the environment than we are here in the USA.

justltl on September 9, 2011 at 12:18 PM

To help out Ernesto, I’m going to list all the irreparable environmental destruction that US energy producers have wrought upon our environment.


justltl on September 9, 2011 at 12:20 PM

Not to mention all the documented profound negative health effects created by US energy producers as listed here:

justltl on September 9, 2011 at 12:25 PM

justltl on September 9, 2011 at 12:20 PM

ROFL!!! Excellent!!!

capejasmine on September 9, 2011 at 12:27 PM

Ah, but you say, “Don’t just look at the hazards of energy production.” “Look at the documented health and environmental destruction wrought by energy consumption”.

OK, well check out these well documented sources:

justltl on September 9, 2011 at 12:29 PM

Ernesto: have you even SEEN a coal mine? Here’s a hint: the vast majority are a hole in the ground.

I live within 50 miles of two coal mines, one of which is usually the biggest raw producer of coal in the US. It produces more coal than any other single mine, or at least that is what they say.

Listening to Ernesto, you’d think it was a holocaust of waste, glowing massive pits, with birds falling out of the air from the sheer pollution of it all.

I’ve taken a tour of the place. It’s a hole in the ground, and goes into the side of a plateau. There’s over 20 miles of tunnels in there. They use longwall coal mining technology, and they mine with over a thousand feet of solid rock and dirt over head.

I’ve also ridden ATV’s right over where they are mining, on land a friend of mine owns as part of a ranch. THERE IS NO SIGN of any mining at all.

There’s enough coal here in Utah–clean coal, low sulfur coal, the best kind of coal–for hundreds of years. And that’s in Utah. Let alone Pennsylvania. Or others. And to get it–all it takes is a small hole in the ground and longwall technology. Because ernesto’s horror show of strip mining doesn’t work so good when your seam of coal is 2000 feet deep in the ground over a hundred square miles or more. Not even the most rapacious “kill the earth” fiend that liberals can dream up would want to do it–who wants to rip out a thousand feet of rock and dirt over hundreds of square miles?

So, ernesto, I’ve proven you wrong with my own experience. Coal mining does not require destroying mountains. It happens right next door, and the only signs I see that the largest by volume coal mine in America is right there is the trucks hauling the extracted coal to the railyard.

Vanceone on September 9, 2011 at 12:31 PM

He can’t afford to lose the greeny idiots…hopefully he’ll lose 40 states anyway.

Schadenfreude on September 9, 2011 at 12:35 PM

Lastly, no need to thank me, ernesto.
I’m just doing my own small part to return the world to the Pleistocene epoch, when the quality of life and the life spans of humans was much better than during our current Gaia-destroying industrial age.

PS: thank you, capejasmine.

justltl on September 9, 2011 at 12:39 PM

I would really like to see this meme become fruitful and multiply:

cheap energy + freedom = a booming economy

It blows away all other (i.e. keynsian, marxist, socialist, statist, liberal, and otherwise crackpot) economic theory.

ZenDraken on September 9, 2011 at 12:58 PM

Greenies. May the $OBs (to borrow a phrase from Jimmy Hoffa) starve to death … in the dark.

el rey on September 9, 2011 at 1:09 PM

Which word was missing from Obama’s speech last night?

Well, I can guess several words that weren’t missing:

I, me, humbly, please, infrastructure, invest, education, tax, upper, “those who can afford”, corporations, “regulations that we have identified” (and will do nothing about, of course)…

Am I close?


I know, it’ll never happen before we rid ourselves of these idiot State-ists from office.
So, in other words: Conservatives, VOTE, BABY, VOTE! (Also, please do everything you can to educate your friends, neighbors, co-workers, etc., as to why we must change direction NOW.)

hillbillyjim on September 9, 2011 at 1:11 PM

Well energy may have been the word/topic missing form his “speech last night, but here’s something he DID say….


tencole on September 9, 2011 at 1:12 PM

I am all in favor of an oil derrick in the reflecting pool if research shows that there is oil in DC. Cheap energy brought us the industrial revolution, and it is the industrial revolution that the perversely-named progressives want to undo.

We should reopen the coal mines that Billy Clinton closed for his Indonesian friends, we should do shale oil, pipelines to Canada, drill in the ANWR, offshore in the Arctic, in the gulf, and we should allow strip mining for coal. We should put together a program to open mines in America where there are rare-earth elements.

slickwillie2001 on September 9, 2011 at 1:19 PM

Vanceone on September 9, 2011 at 12:31 PM

Even where strip mining is practiced, for years reg’s have been in place that insure that the land is either restored or improved by the companies doing the mining, and I have seen the results.

It works.

Sure, there are scarred mountainsides left from the bad old days, but that has nothing to do with how strip mining is practiced today. These eco-nuts need to educate themselves before they go off on their doom-filled rants and dire predictions. Ignorance is unnecessary in the internet age, from anyone with access to the technology to educate themselves.

So in other words, do some reading before you blather on about that which you don’t understand, Ernesto.

hillbillyjim on September 9, 2011 at 1:20 PM

Just a piece of advice for all you good folks trying to argue with Ernesto. He’s got a kool-aid manufacturing lab in his basement for his own personal supply. FYI.

Mahdi on September 9, 2011 at 1:24 PM

If the President would sign an executive order today, 10,000 folks in Texas and Lousiana would be in boats on their way to new jobs drilling in the gulf as early as next week. Many more would soon follow. Too bad but it ain’t gonna happen.

Vanceone on September 9, 2011 at 12:31 PM

I have been to that mine in Utah or one like it. I don’t know for sure which one he ment but Vaceone is telling it straight.

el rey on September 9, 2011 at 1:27 PM

itsspideyman on September 9, 2011 at 11:28 AM

can I copy and use your URLS?

pabo on September 9, 2011 at 1:48 PM

Don’t mind ernesto and his strawmen. We’re getting down to the year-end clearance. Due to a factory error, he’s overstocked with 2011 models and has to practically give them away in order to make room for the 2012’s.

Left Coast Right Mind on September 9, 2011 at 2:12 PM

Speaking of energy, all of San Diego, Tijuana, Orange County, and parts of Baja California were without power last night.

Thanks for the basic headline mention, guys……..

Just sayin’.

Hawkins1701 on September 9, 2011 at 11:45 AM

You should have seen the look on peoples faces as it started to get dark…

… Those of us who were prepared were very popular.

Seven Percent Solution on September 9, 2011 at 2:45 PM

itsspideyman on September 9, 2011 at 11:28 AM

can I copy and use your URLS?

pabo on September 9, 2011 at 1:48 PM

Sure! Knowledge needs to be spread around. The interesting quote is the one from the solar panels; that comes from a pro-solar supporter. :)

itsspideyman on September 9, 2011 at 5:00 PM

Perhaps the missing word was “Brazil”.

Dhuka on September 9, 2011 at 5:26 PM

I keep hearing rumors that Obama gave a speech last night. With this thread I’m starting to wonder: Could these rumors possibly be true?

MaiDee on September 9, 2011 at 6:46 PM

“Solyndra!” is what Obama’s opponents should chant every time he talks about “green jobs.”

disa on September 9, 2011 at 9:07 PM