Last week’s partial lift on the domestic oil drilling moratorium was an almost comical concession to the private sector from a president who has proven himself to be openly hostile to the free market. President Obama’s policies of unprecedented deficit spending, regulation and nationalization have instilled uncertainty in the market, crowded out private sector growth and deepened the recession. According to the Wall Street Journal, the recent healthcare bill has forced a slew of companies to predict nightmare scenarios of profit loss, with AT&T losing $1 billion, Deere & Co. $150 million, Caterpillar $100 million, AK Steel $31 million, 3M $90 million and Valero Energy $20 million. In addition, unemployment remains stagnant at 9.7 percent, despite nearly 50,000 new temporary census jobs, and the average length of unemployment has risen to 31 weeks. The economy is going up in flames; meanwhile, Obama presses forward with his newest plan to destroy domestic energy production.
Putting restrictions on oil production has no other affect than to drive up the price of oil, whereas expansion of oil drilling serves as a counter to rising prices. When the cost of oil goes up, the market naturally expands the supply. However, while Obama’s plan opens up drilling off the coast of Virginia and within the Gulf of Mexico, it expressly forbids drilling in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas, as well as along the West Coast. As Middle Eastern oil becomes increasingly scarce and Arab oil companies cut production to artificially raise their prices, our domestic oil industry will be unable to discover the new reserves needed to reduce consumer costs. The remaining moratorium under President Obama will only stymie potential job creation, increase the cost of living and lengthen our national recession.
Yet restricting oil production is only a single facet of the Obama administration’s anti-growth energy policy. The Democratic Congress intends to pass cap-and-trade legislation, a massive new federal energy tax that will put a cap on how much carbon can be emitted from energy producers. The scheme will artificially constrict the energy supply, raise prices and drive out smaller competitors, creating massive corporate monopolies. The Heritage Foundation estimates that the economic dislocation resulting from cap-and-trade will cost American families over $3,000 a year through higher prices in electricity, gas, groceries, clothing and even haircuts. It will kill jobs and suffocate the private sector with bureaucracy at a time when innovation and free economic activity is desperately needed.
While American businesses are hemorrhaging thousands of jobs, President Obama continues to twist the knife of government intrusion deeper into the heart of our economy. His stimulus package-saddled future, unborn generations with enormous debt, his healthcare bill effectively nationalizing one sixth of our economy and his effort to control the very production of energy will affect every last American down to the poorest citizen. Half-hearted deregulations cannot disguise the radical, destructive agenda of this administration.