Well, I certainly hope everyone is enjoying President Obama’s “Recovery Summer II – The Empire Strikes Out.” Unemployment hovers just below 10 percent. Of course, that’s the number the Department of Labor is willing to admit. Any economist outside the Department of Labor will acknowledge the real rate is closer to 15 percent.
Inextricably linked with the falling number of Americans who are gainfully employed is the rising number on the sign at your neighborhood Gas’n’Go. The average price of a gallon of gasoline is headed back toward $4-ville. Obama’s much-ballyhooed release of strategic reserves — predicted to fail by everyone outside the White House — failed. Oddly, the Democrats — who pointed to fuel costs nearly $1 per gallon lower as proof that President George W. Bush was blowing kisses to the dishdasha delegation — have fallen silent as Obama’s lack of a coherent energy policy has not only helped force the nation’s economy off the road, but has put it up on blocks and stolen the stereo.
Last week, Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency proudly announced its plan to deliver the coup de grâce to the coal industry. You see, coal is bad. You have to dig holes in the ground to get to it, and the United States has so much of it that we’re essentially the OPEC of coal. And that’s where the problem lies. Hard work and independence from foreign-energy sources are as anathematic to Obama and the Democrats as… well… hard work and independence from foreign-energy sources.
The EPA has announced the replacement of 2005’s Clean Air Interstate Rule with an all-new Cross-State Air Pollution Rule. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said: “By maximizing flexibility and leveraging existing technology, the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule will help ensure that American families aren’t suffering the consequences of pollution generated far from home, while allowing states to decide how best to decrease dangerous air pollution in the most cost effective way.”
Translation: “We’re going to turn off the lights; ask your States for candles.” It gets worse. The “flexibility” to which Obama (via Jackson) refers doesn’t exist, thanks to the Democrats’ fealty to foreign-oil interests. The “existing technology” is hampered by the same problem, at least until someone gets the keys to the Enterprise back from Captain Kirk. Before some of our liberal friends get their panties in a wad about the benefits of electric car technology, I have two words: Chevy Volt. But hey, enjoy that green living — at least until you have to recharge your $40,000 golf cart. And there’s always the “SmartCar” – as long as you don’t have to haul… anything.
Keep in mind that you won’t be hauling much; nor will anyone else, for that matter. At least the children will frolic amid green fields under blue skies, because we’ve maximized flexibility and leveraged existing technology. Granted, the children can do that now, except for in Detroit. But with this new layer of bureaucracy beamed down from the Obama mothership, they’ll be able to do it more often, since mom and dad won’t be able to afford to pay the PlayStation®Network bill. Actually, with Obama and the EPA standing on the economy’s neck and now grinding their heels down, mom and dad may be able to supervise the kiddies 24/7, since their jobs will ultimately be jeopardized by rising energy costs.
While Jackson claims that the EPA’s guillotining of the coal industry will create jobs (a dubious claim, at best), the highly regarded, non-partisan firm National Economic Research Associates has concluded that the EPA’s anti-coal rules will cost four jobs for every one it creates. Before our liberal friends get their panties in a wad about “global warming,” I have two more words: Al Gore. Also — ManBearPig! That’s an extra word. I’ll buy some rhetorical carbon credits.
What Obama and his Democrat cronies fail to acknowledge — either by socialist delusion or sinister design — is that the current tragic trifecta of rising unemployment, social unrest and general malaise has roots in energy policy (or lack thereof). In keeping with their strict policy of bowing and scraping before OPEC, the Democrats have stepped in front of every effort to maximize exploitation of domestically available resources. Now, Obama and his cronies are squeezing the trigger on the coal industry.
But that’s the future of the entire nation in the crosshairs.