With gasoline prices quickly surging to $4 per gallon and beyond, pinching the pockets of families and business across the country, it’s no surprise that gasoline has become a regular talking point in President Barack Obama’s stump speech. Yet instead of offering real solutions, the president is telling the American people that there’s “not much we can do” about high prices. He’s waving the white flag of defeat — essentially telling Americans to get used to paying more than $4 for gasoline.
It’s not just about what President Obama can do tomorrow to address higher prices, it’s about what he’s done over the past two years to get us to this point. The president’s attempt to deflect criticism and his ‘don’t blame me’ attitude expose how out-of-touch he is with reality and the everyday needs of American families. President Obama has an energy plan — it’s just not one to increase American energy production. Instead, President Obama’s plan is to block, delay and tax American energy.
When President Obama took office, the national average price of gasoline was $1.84 per gallon — and it’s been steadily climbing ever since. That’s because over the past two years the Obama administration has never missed an opportunity to block access to our American energy resources. For example:
When President Obama was elected, nearly all of our offshore areas were open to offshore drilling. Since then, President Obama has systematically locked-up the entire Atlantic Coast, the Pacific Coast and much of Alaska — preventing the creation of over 1.2 million jobs.
The Obama administration imposed a real and then de facto moratorium on drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, which according to its own estimates cost 12,000 jobs.
The Obama administration has delayed permits for renewable energy projects, such as wind and solar, on public lands.
Just weeks after taking office, the Obama administration withdrew 77 areas available for oil and natural gas leasing in Utah — eventually leasing only 17 and cancelling 60. According to a Uintah County commissioner, this prevented the creation of approximately 3,000 jobs.
The Obama administration first delayed and then significantly altered the oil shale research, demonstration and development (RD&D) lease program. As a result, sales of these RD&D leases declined by 85 percent and cost high-tech jobs in Colorado, Wyoming and Utah.
The Obama administration’s Environmental Protection Agency retroactively withdrew an approved permit for a coal mine in West Virginia. This cost 250 jobs that were ready to get working to create more American energy.
The Obama administration is aggressively pursuing sweeping new changes to mining regulations. These regulations, according to calculations in the government’s own study, will cost thousands of American jobs and decrease American energy production in 22 states.
The Environmental Protection Agency ordered the cancellation of a permit for a Navajo Nation power plant in New Mexico that was expected to create 400 permanent jobs and generate $50 million per year in revenue.
The Obama administration is blocking several energy projects in Alaska. It is slow-walking permits for production in Alaska’s north slope, which is necessary to keep the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) running. The administration is also stopping permits for oil development in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A).
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.