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A Man Of His Word

President Obama has developed a reputation -- well-earned -- for breaking his promises. It's even become a cliche' to talk about how all of his promises come with expiration dates. The question, it seems, is not whether he'll break a promise, but when.

But there are exceptions. There are cases where he keeps his promises. Here's an example:

Simply put, as part of Obama's energy plan, he intends to destroy the coal industry. And he's not that big a fan of oil, either, especially that drilled for off the Unites States shores. That's why he has decided to shut down a major coal mine in West Virginia after operating safely and legally for four years.

The mine in question uses the "mountaintop removal" technique -- it just blows off the top of the mountain and then scoops out the no-longer-buried coal. It's quite messy and not kind to the environment, and leaves the mountain... well, decidely un-mountainly.

But it is considerably safer for the miners. Scooping coal out of a pit is safer than digging tunnels hundreds or thousands of feet underground by several orders of magnitude.

Of course, that is only relevant if your priority is the safety of miners, and by extension the security of the coal industry. The coal industry employs a lot of people, and produces a huge amount of relatively cheap and fairly efficient fuel for energy.

If, on the other hand, you're more concerned with "the environment" than people in general and Americans in particular, then you do things like start whittling down the coal industry, bit by bit, piece by piece. You take a single disaster in the Gulf of Mexico to shut down all new offshore drilling, and start putting limits on existing wells that have never had a problem. You continue to subsidize and mandate ethanol for gasoline even while food prices skyrocket, resulting in half the nation's corn crop literally going up in smoke while gas prices also rise.

Official government inflation statistics don't include food and gasoline, but those are the easiest for average people to notice. Simply keep your eyes open as you drive past gas stations and go through grocery stores. It's getting ugly out there.

President Obama could stand to learn a lesson from the United States Navy. Up through the 1960s, warships had a clearly-defined naming system. For example, battleships were named after states, cruisers after cities, and submarines after fish. But in the 1970s, the Navy came to the realization that we hadn't built any new battleships in about 30 years, and cruisers -- which had taken over the state names -- were diminishing as well. So they decided to change things. Ballistic-missile submarines were given state names, and attack submarines were named after cities. Admiral Hyman Rickover allegedly explained the change in typically blunt language: "Fish don't vote."

Mr. President, fish don't vote. Nor do polar bears, for that matter. Americans vote. Americans who need affordable food and gasoline and electricity. Americans who need good, well-paying jobs doing things like digging for coal and drilling for oil, transporting coal and oil, refining coal and oil, and using coal and oil.

More specifically, you were elected to the presidency by Americans, not fish. And it's Americans who can turn you out of office in 2012 if you keep putting their well-being and independence and self-sufficiency below your concerns about "the environment" and "green energy" and other liberal pipe dreams.

If I were to map out a way to take our shaky economy even further down the drain and make life even harder for the average struggling American, I'd look for areas that are fundamental to Americans' lives, but not tracked by official government inflation statistics. And I'd look for areas in the economy that provide good-paying jobs to relatively unskilled and uneducated workers, jobs that require physical skills and stamina and involve degrees of physical risk.

In other words, I'd do what I could to drive up the costs of food, gasoline, and energy. And I'd crack down on the oil and coal industries, using some unrelated concerns, hoping no one makes the connection between the two.

In even fewer words, if I wanted to wreck the economy as badly as I could while maintaining some plausible deniability, and make more and more Americans dependent on the largesse of the government instead of being self-sufficient, I think I'd do exactly what President Obama is doing right now.


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Comments (12)

Finally I get to read what ... (Below threshold)

Finally I get to read what some have been saying.Thank you,Jay. If Obama is so smart...and he must be b/c people keep on saying that ...with no proof...he must be doing this on purpose. Gosh, do ya think!!! This is not stupidy it is agenda driven. I will be interested to see what the reaction will be in Washington and the media when our people start to complane about food and gas prices...I know blame Buuuusssh.

Decades ago an expert in en... (Below threshold)

Decades ago an expert in energy research gave a presentation in which he talked about the importance of energy production to the country. A kid from the university asked about renewable energy, and the expert said that the technologies were important, but that you couldn't sustain an economy with renewable energy. [Try calculating the number of windmills required to produce enough electricity to make the steel and aluminum.] He said, "If you drive an economy from renewable energy resources, you have to shut down heavy industry." That statement got thunderous applause from many. To which the expert added, "If you do that, you condemn a large segment of the population to permanent unemployment."

He was correct. We are solving our energy production problem and keeping the environment clean by shutting down heavy industry and moving it to China, where they were building a new power plant every week (mostly coal powered). Is that better for the world's environment? I doubt it. Is that good for our economy? Absolutely not.

Maybe the industries impact... (Below threshold)

Maybe the industries impacted by these various hotile actions of the government need to keep reminding home many tax dollars are genereated by the industry and employees, how many democratic votes they provide faithfully every election, and how much graft they kick back to congress and the president?

It's no so much oil and coa... (Below threshold)

It's no so much oil and coal that he seems to dislike, it is domestic energy independence.

If Seizer cant control it, ... (Below threshold)

If Seizer cant control it, He must destroy it for our own good.

Come November 2012, this da... (Below threshold)

Come November 2012, this dangerous idiot needs to be voted out of office with extreme prejudice.

When gas hits $4/gal the MS... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

When gas hits $4/gal the MSM had better be reminded who's policies are responsible.
No 'well the repubs took over one part of Congress 5 minutes ago so they are responsible for everything now' bullshit.
When it hits $5 we better hear bitching from advocates of the 'pore and starvin' about how badly it is hurting.

Kevino, excellent and inter... (Below threshold)

Kevino, excellent and interesting comments{as are many of the other comments). I have to disagree with you a little Jay Tea. Obama is not trying to intentionally collapse the system. Nor are most "progressives". They honestly (and foolishly) believe that global warming is killing the planet. Most of them truly consider themselves to be smarter and more informed and believe it is their duty to help the ignorant masses. I have had alot of interaction with these "inside the Beltway" types and many of them are quite smart intellectually but amazingly foolish and impractical. Our goal as conservatives, I feel, is to persuade those in the middle politically. We'll never do it by saying Obama is trying to crash the system.

Racist.Earth Hater.Oil pock... (Below threshold)

Racist.Earth Hater.Oil pocket inhabitor.
Did I miss any????

Up yours, Rich. I am gravel... (Below threshold)

Up yours, Rich. I am gravely insulted that you forgot "denier."

Give me my full due, dude.


Obama is a True Believer of... (Below threshold)
Jim Addison:

Obama is a True Believer of the Left. He thinks fossil fuels are ruining the Earth and must be abandoned. He further subscribes to the delusion that "alternative clean energy sources" like solar and wind power can easily replace the energy we now get from fossil fuels - if only the government "helps them along a bit" with heavy subsidies to reduce their cost, and heavy penalties on fossil fuels to increase theirs.

What he fails to understand is that there is no magic which will generate anywhere near the energy needed, no matter how much money the government throws at the problem. Coal is here to stay, and will supply half the world's energy for most of our lifetimes - barring some new and unforeseen technological advance.

Solar and wind cannot be the answer - ever. A small part of the answer, yes, but not a major component.

That said, the disposal of coal ash is a serious problem and quite pressing. It contains the concentrated toxins filtered out of the burnt coal and captured before going out the smokestack. These include arsenic, mercury, lead, antimony, cadmium, chromium, and selenium - all of which are persistent in the environment and never degrade into harmless substances.

The industry record in handling this stuff is abysmal, and so is the record of state regulators. It is an area which only the federal government can address and enforce, and as conservatives we must recognize there are such areas, else we wouldn't need a federal government at all.

"We'll never do it by sayin... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

"We'll never do it by saying Obama is trying to crash the system."

I think both sides of this are correct.

Obama, and others, ARE trying to crash the system; and yet you are correct that we'll probably never persuade 'those in the middle politically' about that.
So for the time being, we have to play the game of 'Oh, they really do believe in AGW and socialized med more welfare and big govt regulation' if we want to get anything done.

Some do believe.
Some want to crash the system.






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