With gasoline prices quickly surging to $4 per gallon and beyond, pinching the pockets of families and business across the country, itís no surprise that gasoline has become a regular talking point in President Barack Obamaís stump speech. Yet instead of offering real solutions, the president is telling the American people that thereís ďnot much we can doĒ about high prices. Heís waving the white flag of defeat ó essentially telling Americans to get used to paying more than $4 for gasoline.
Itís not just about what President Obama can do tomorrow to address higher prices, itís about what heís done over the past two years to get us to this point. The presidentís attempt to deflect criticism and his Ďdonít blame meí attitude expose how out-of-touch he is with reality and the everyday needs of American families. President Obama has an energy plan ó itís just not one to increase American energy production. Instead, President Obamaís 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 ó and itís been steadily climbing ever since. Thatís 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 ó 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 ó 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 administrationís 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 governmentís 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 Alaskaís 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).
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.