President Obama’s 2014 State of the Union Address made early, prominent mention of energy and climate policy. However, it was the same old, same old. Much to the dismay of the environmental left, he continued to tout an “all of the above,” energy strategy, which he claimed as his own. However, as I detailed earlier, when the President was running for reelection against Mitt Romney, his policy would be better described as: “I’ll take undue credit for the growth in domestic oil and gas production, while continuing to throw good money after bad subsidizing expensive, unreliable renewable energy sources.”
Oil and gas production is up private and state lands thanks in no part to the President, but leases and new production is down on federal lands — all due to Obama administration policies.
The President called on Congress to boost funding on infrastructure, calling it critical to continued job growth and economic progress, yet he alone, for five years, has held up one of the most critical infrastructure projects the U.S. could undertake: the Keystone XL pipeline. With a stroke of the pen, President Obama could have already initiated the pipeline running from Canada to Texas, without spending a dime of taxpayer money or adding to the deficit. Yet, beholden to his radical environmental constituency, the President has erected roadblock after roadblock to the pipeline, at the costs of thousands of new jobs and greater energy security. Keystone’s study and approval process has now dragged on longer than World War II.
Finally, the President touted his continuing end-run around Congress on climate policy. Ignoring the Constitution he swore to uphold and the will of the people as expressed through the action (or inaction as it may be) of the legislature on carbon emissions, the Administration has already proposed CO2 emission limits that threaten the reliability of electric power delivery for millions and that will contribute to increased and increasingly volatile costs. In the 2014 State of the Union he threatened more of the same, expanding the number of industries covered by emission limits proposing to make the limits tighter.
If this wasn’t so sad for our economy and the Constitutional idea of divided powers, it would be funny, especially since Japan, Europe and Australia are backtracking on their climate commitments (having already experienced the economically costly impacts that result from them).