Ambrose: Obama’s real concern his re-election
Thursday, November 17, 2011
President Barack Obama, who has persistently been asking the rich for a tax sacrifice for the sake of their country, is hardly stopping there. He also wants thousands of America’s jobless to make sacrifices, but not for the national good.
No, these would be sacrifices to help secure Obama’s re-election, and the fact is, when you stop to do long-term analysis, he wants every single one of us to sacrifice for that end, which is, after all, massively important. To him.
The issue is energy, or more specifically, for starters, the Keystone XL oil pipeline that would stretch from Canadian deposits to Texas refineries, which the New York Times says would create thousands of construction jobs right off the bat and the Canadian Energy Research Institute estimates will support close to 85,000 U.S. jobs in 2020.
But wait — we want this project to be environmentally sound, don’t we?
We do, indeed, which is why the State Department oversaw an investigation that consumed three years and involved 11 other agencies as scientists left no stone, no particle of dirt, no stray leaf unturned. Adam J. White says in WeeklyStandard.com that the final report was eight volumes worth of details, even to the extent of a 100-page appendix answering concerns expressed by the public.
And hey, this pipeline will be safe, the examination assured us, though there were then complaints that an addition of one-third of 1 percent to national carbon emissions would induce an Armageddon that supposedly would not occur if we declined this bargain and let China have it. On top of that, nature would simply disregard her regular rules so that aquifers could be damaged. This last watery argument came from a not-in-my-backyard crowd in Nebraska, which the pipeline would cross.
Obama was caught in the middle.
Over here were radical environmentalists and some Nebraskans spouting nonsense and over there were bothersome union members and others wanting higher employment numbers, fewer people on food stamps and greater energy security.
The commander in chief had said he’d decide on the project by year’s end, but that would upset one group of voters or the other prior to next year’s election, and so he endorsed further study that would not be finished until 2013, thereby at the very least postponing a significant $200 billion economic windfall.
If that were that, it would still be a despicable, hurtful act of political chicanery, but there are still other projects he has put on hold for the same devious reason, such as drilling for oil in the Arctic. And then we happen across Stephen Moore’s Wall Street Journal interview with the CEO of an oil company, Continental Resources.
This man, Harold Hamm, thinks oil fields in Montana and North Dakota could become “the Saudi Arabia of oil and natural gas in the 21st century” if government will let it happen. It doesn’t seem Obama will. Hamm was invited to a White House function for rich people agreeing to give at least half of all they have to charities. When Hamm told the president that American oil and gas capacity could enable us to “replace OPEC,” he replied that “we need to go on to green.”
Maybe that’s hapless ideology talking, but as the Moore article shows, the result could be to thwart a booming future, not passively, but actively, as in the government bringing criminal charges against Continental for killing a single migratory bird of a species not the least bit endangered.
Turn next to Manhattan Institute energy expert Robert Bryce, whose online efforts to educate show how threats of industry tax hikes make us more dependent on foreign oil, how ethanol subsidies raise worldwide food prices with no benefit, how a moratorium on deep-water drilling in the Gulf of Mexico cost us all dearly and how an Obama-directed, demagogic search for price-manipulating fraud came after careful probes showing there was none.
You want to find fraud? Look in the White House.