Paul Chevalier: State of the Union speech missed mark on energy

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In his State of the Union address, President Obama boasted about how we Americans had reduced our dependence on foreign energy sources and made our country “number one in oil and gas.” Which is true enough, only he had nothing to do with it.

Not only did he have nothing to do with it, but the increase in domestic production and resulting decrease in dependence on foreign oil actually occurred in spite of his active and ongoing opposition to energy development efforts in the private sector: his war on coal, his support for increasingly stringent air quality standards, his moratoria on Gulf drilling, his diversion of federal funds to the alternative energy boondoggles of his cronies, his refusal to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline, etc.

The President not only claimed credit for visible accomplishments he had nothing to do with. He also dodged blame for unseen failures that he is responsible for. I’m talking about all the additional progress in energy security, national security, and national prosperity that almost certainly would have been made if not for Obama’s obstructionism.

What if the President had supported all realistic opportunities for energy development, and not just the ones destined for failure?

What if he had encouraged coal production instead of trying to destroy a vital industry? What if he had insisted that environmental regulations be justified by science rather than ideology? What if he had opened up more offshore resources to development, in lieu of trying to shut down the one area that’s productive?

What if he had offered real incentives for viable energy projects instead of graft for his friends? What if he had approved the Keystone pipeline early on and oil was already flowing through it from Canada to refineries on the Gulf Coast?

Things would be quite different than they are now.

We could be energy independent already, our military men and women relieved of a burden they’ve borne too long of risking their lives to preserve access to energy in corrupt and chaotic countries. Our employment rate might be back to normal levels, without writing off the poor souls who’ve given up and left the workforce.

The American Dream might still be something we all can aspire to, instead of the unreasonable expectation it’s become over the last few years.

The President’s address may not have told us much about the real state of the union, but it did make some of us wonder what it might have been if not for him.

(Sergeant Major Paul Chevalier of Hudson, USMC, is a member of



Author: Paul Chevalier

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