FLASHBACK: Obama's Failed Promise To Fix America's Energy Crisis

- August 1, 2012

It Didn’t Work….

FLASHBACK: Obama’s Failed Promise To Fix America’s Energy Crisis

Four Years Ago Today, Obama Promised To Solve The Energy Crisis And Create “Five Million New Green Jobs That Pay Well And Can’t Be Outsourced.” OBAMA: “But we do have a choice to make in November. We can choose to go another four years without truly solving our energy crisis; or we can make America energy independent so we're less vulnerable to oil price shocks and $4 a gallon gas. We can build an American green energy sector by investing in renewable energies like wind power, solar power, and the next generation biofuels. And we can create up to five million new green jobs that pay well and can't be outsourced. That's what we can choose to do in this election.” (Senator Barack Obama, Remarks At A Townhall, St. Petersburg,,FL, 8/1/08)

Obama Still Hasn’t Come Through On Energy

Four Years Later, Former Obama Advisor Steven Rattner Said “We Have Absolutely No Energy Policy.” RATTNER:”It’s a viable issue. But let’s look at the facts. The U.S., in fact, notwithstanding the fact we have absolutely no energy policy and we all including myself believe we should have one, has not really been that much a part of the problem lately.” (MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” 3/9/12)

Obama Didn’t Work On Energy

Gas Prices Costing More At The Pump: Yesterday, Gasoline National Average Hit $3.50 A Gallon. “Gasoline prices are inching up once again, with the national average hitting $3.50 a gallon Tuesday. For some consumers, that threshold is a breaking point where they take notice and begin to change their spending habits.” (Susan Salisbury, “Gas Prices Rising , Consumes Looking To Cut Back,” Palm Beach Post, 7/31/12)

Utilities Cost Still On The Rise: Under Obama,” Households Paid A Record $1,419 On Average For Electricity” And Have Sustained The Largest Increase For Electricity Since A Run-Up In the 1970s. “Households paid a record $1,419 on average for electricity in 2010, the fifth consecutive yearly increase above the inflation rate, a USA TODAY analysis of government data found. The jump has added about $300 a year to what households pay for electricity. That's the largest sustained increase since a run-up in electricity prices during the 1970s.” (Dennis Cauchon, “Electric Bills By State,” USA Today, 12/13/11)

  • As Prices Are Increasing And Some Companies Are Looking “To Raise Gas And Electric Rates by $144 A Year For The Typical Customer,” Obama’s Energy Department Is Left Scratching Its Head. “Electricity prices are forecast to rise slightly this summer. But any increase is noteworthy because natural gas, which is used to produce nearly a third of the country's power, is 43 percent cheaper than a year ago. A long-term downward trend in power prices could be starting to reverse, analysts say. Pacific Gas & Electric, for instance, is asking to raise gas and electric rates by $144 a year for the typical customer in 2014. ‘"It's caused us to scratch our heads,’ says Tyler Hodge, an analyst at the Energy Department who studies electricity prices.” (Jonathan Fahey, “Electricity Is Cheaper To Make, But Bills Are Still Rising,” Associated Press, 7/11/12)

Green Jobs Running On Empty: Despite Obama Doubling Energy Subsidies Since 2007, The “Fossil Fuels Overwhelming Market Advantages Have Produced A Litany Of Clean-Energy Failures, From Electric Cars To Solyndra.” “U.S. energy subsidies — spending, tax breaks, loan guarantees — increased from $17.9 billion in fiscal 2007 to $37.2 billion in fiscal 2010, according to the Energy Department. Yet fossil fuels’ overwhelming market advantages have produced a litany of clean-energy failures, from electric cars to Solyndra (Charles Lane, Op-Ed, “’Clean Energy’ Is Money Wasted,” The Washington Post¸ 6/18/12)

The Washington Post: “Obama’s Efforts To Create Green Jobs Are Lagging Behind Expectations At A Time Of Persistently High Unemployment.” (Carol D. Leonnig and Steven Mufson, “Obama Green-Tech Program That Backed Solyndra Struggles To Create Jobs,” The Washington Post, 9/14/11)

  • In 2010, In The Utilities Industry, Electricity Generated By Renewable Energy Sources Accounted For Only 4,700 Private Sector Jobs: 2,200 In Wind, 1,100 In Biomass, 600 In Geothermal, And 400 In Solar. “The other electric power generation industry, which includes electricity generated from biomass, sunlight, wind, and other renewable sources, had 4,700 GGS private sector jobs. Within this industry, electricity generated from wind had the highest employment with 2,200 jobs, followed by biomass with 1,100 jobs, geothermal with 600 jobs, and solar with 400 jobs.” (“Employment In Green Goods And Services – 2010,” Bureau Of Labor Statistics, 3/22/12)

Still Vulnerable From Lacking Energy Security: It Is “Absolutely Not True” That Obama’s Policies Have Helped Wean The U.S. From Foreign Oil. “When asked, though, whether the Obama administration’s policies have helped wean the U.S. from foreign oil, Gheit was equally emphatic. ‘Absolutely not true,’ Gheit said. ‘It was all market driven and all through American ingenuity….It was no thanks to Washington, not thanks to lobbyists, not thanks to anybody.’” (Josh Gerstein, “What Obama’s First Ad Doesn’t Say,” Politico’s “Under The Radar”, 1/19/12)

  • Much Of The Increased Oil Production Is On State And Private Lands Not Controlled By The Federal Government. “According to EIA, the production of tight oil has tripled in the past three years to about 900 thousand barrels per day as of November 2011, largely in North Dakota, Texas and Montana, but much of the production is on state and private lands and not land controlled by the federal government.” (Leigh Ann Caldwell, “Face The Facts: A Fact Check On Gas Prices,” CBS News, 3/21/12)
  • In Fiscal Year 2007, Permitting On Federal Lands Peaked At 7,124 Permits, While The Obama Administration Approved 4,487 Permits In 2009 And 4,090 In 2010. “Oil and gas permitting on U.S. land quickened under the Bush administration and hit a peak during the 2007 fiscal year, when Interior approved 7,124 permits to drill for oil and gas on federal lands. The Obama administration, by contrast, approved 4,487 such permits in 2009 and 4,090 in 2010, according to BLM data.” (Ryan Tracy, “Wind And Solar Projects Advance On A Fast Track,” The Wall Street Journal, 12/31/11)

Obama Rejected A Bid To Expand The Keystone Pipeline. “The Obama administration rejected a bid to expand the controversial Keystone oil sands pipeline Wednesday, saying the deadline imposed by congress did not leave sufficient time to conduct the necessary review.” (“Obama Administration Denies Permit For Keystone Pipeline,” CNN’s Political Ticker, 1/18/12)

  • Now, China’s State-Owned Cnooc Has Placed A Bid $15.1 Billion To Buy Canadian Energy Giant Nexen As A Post-Keystone XL Pipeline Move To Replace The U.S. As Canada's Biggest Energy Investor And Market. “President Obama may not want to exploit the energy buried in Canada's Alberta oil sands, but China sure does. Think of Monday's $15.1 billion offer by China's state-owned Cnooc to buy Canadian energy giant Nexen as a post-Keystone XL Pipeline bid to replace the U.S. as Canada's biggest energy investor and market.  Nexen offers Cnooc a sweeping North American energy footprint, with assets from heavy oil and shale gas in Alberta to offshore leases in the Gulf of Mexico. Part of the bet is also on Canadian politics, which could block the investment on nationalist grounds but which so far hasn't been captured by the anticarbon fevers that dominate Washington. “ (Editorial, “China’s Canadian Energy Play,” The Wall Street Journal, 7/24/12)

Obama’s Energy Department Perpetuated Uncertainty By Punting Final Decision For Liquefied Natural Gas Terminals Till After The Election. “In March the Department of Energy delayed an LNG exports study on which it will base the terminal decisions until later this summer. A public comment period will follow the study, which means a decision runs the risk of being delayed until after the election.” (Timothy Gardner, “Romney Campaign Hits Obama Admin’s Delay Of LNG Exports.” Reuters, 7/11/12)

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Commissioner Philip Moeller: “In Contrast To The Gradual Integration Of Wind And Solar, And Our Careful Work Studying That Topic, Upcoming EPA Rules Are Expected To Quickly Remove, Or ‘Dis-Integrate,’ Significant Amounts Of Coal Power From The Power Grid.” “In a letter Nov. 14, FERC's Moeller listed nearly two dozen questions that he believes should guide discussion of the regulations, including what other reliability studies can be used if FERC's analysis is considered ‘informal’ or ‘irrelevant.’ ‘In contrast to the gradual integration of wind and solar, and our careful work studying that topic, upcoming EPA rules are expected to quickly remove, or 'dis-integrate,' significant amounts of coal power from the power grid,’ he wrote. ” (Darius Dixon,, “Is EPA Rule Coal In Utilities’ Stockings?,” Politico, 11/22/11)

  • Energy Information Administration Expects 175 Coal-Fired Generators To Retire Between 2012 And 2016. “Plant owners and operators report to EIA that they expect to retire almost 27 gigawatts (GW) of capacity from 175 coal-fired generators between 2012 and 2016. In 2011, there were 1,387 coal-fired generators in the United States, totaling almost 318 GW. The 27 GW of retiring capacity amounts to 8.5% of total 2011 coal-fired capacity.” (“27 Gigawatts Of Coal-Fired Capacity To Retire over The Next Five Years,”  Energy Information Administration, 7/27/12)
  • EIA Attributed “The Cost Of Compliance With Anticipated And Existing Federal Environmental Regulations Such As The Mercury And Air Toxic Standards (MATS)” As A Factor To The Increase In Planned Coal Unit Retirements. “The cost of compliance with anticipated and existing Federal environmental regulations such as the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) is a factor. Particularly in the case of older, smaller units that are not used heavily, owners may conclude it is more cost efficient to retire plants rather than make additional investments.” (“27 Gigawatts Of Coal-Fired Capacity To Retire over The Next Five Years,” Energy Information Administration, 7/27/12)

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