It was encouraging that President Obama’s State of the Union address this week opened the door to drilling for more U.S. oil to replace some of the oil imports that drain the nation’s wealth and prop up oil-rich tyrants.
This country needs an all-out, all-of-the-above strategy that develops every available source of American energy. A strategy that’s cleaner, cheaper, and full of new jobs.
Like Palin. His “all-of-the-above” policy, straight from the mind of Sarah Palin, was a complete reversal from last year’s State of the Union speech, which kept up the pseudo-liberal pretense that we somehow we’ll be able to do without oil within a generation.
Last year Obama mentioned the word "oil" twice, the first time to call for the United States to end its dependence on it, and the second time to call for funding clean energy development by decreasing tax breaks for oil companies.
This year he mentioned oil nine times (10 if you include a reference to a regulation that categorized cow milk as an oil). Gone was any sense that oil was an addiction, as his predecessor George Bush had called it, or something the United States had to reduce its dependence on. He praised the fact that the U.S. produced more oil last year than it had for eight years, and he said that he is opening more areas for offshore drilling. When he called for the development of alternatives to oil, his reason was that we just don't have enough of it in the United States.
Although Obama sounded supportive of oil, he did call for an end to subsidies for oil companies and for Congress to "double down" incentives for clean energy. He also said he would continue efforts to make sure oil companies can contain oil spills like the one in the Gulf of Mexico.
Last year, Obama said that U.S. oil dependency could be broken by turning to biofuels and electric vehicles. He didn't mention either this year.
Wealth or poverty. There have been recent breakthroughs in electric cars, which still are run indirectly by burning coal, and in other energy alternatives, and we can expect more advances in the next 20 or 30 years.
In the meantime, if we expect to compete globally and to build the wealth we need for better health care and the other necessities of democratic civilization, we’d better find all the domestic oil and natural gas we can.
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Note: In the speech, President Obama also mentioned freedom once and liberty once. That's low.