September 28 2011
Enough with the Meddling in the Energy Markets!
Nicole Kurokawa Neily
We get it – President Obama thinks “green jobs” are the jobs of the future. Everyone’s entitled to have an opinion – I mean, my dad thought that Dippin’ Dots were the ice cream of the future – but President Obama’s a little bit different than my dad, because Obama’s put OUR money where his mouth is.
The government has been subsidizing alternative energy companies like Solyndra and products like ethanol with taxpayer funds, whether you like it or not. (Turns out the vast majority of Americans do not – a recent Rasmussen poll shows that 59 percent of Americans say the government should not provide money for an alternative energy company after private investors refuse to invest in it.)
At the same time, Obama has punished other sources of energy deemed “evil,” like oil, coal, and natural gas – largely, through the regulatory code. Based on dubious “environmental concerns,” natural gas fracking has been attacked, drilling permits haven’t been issued, and the Keystone pipeline has been stopped in its tracks. (On a related note – if you haven’t read it yet, Carrie has a great article out today that contrasts the Keystone Pipeline with the Solyndra debacle… it’s like “A Tale of Two Cities” in the energy market!)
I hate to break it to the President, but we are still an oil, coal, and natural gas-based economy, period. Although Obama may not approve of them, these projects are financially viable on their own merits (no government money needed – how novel!) and will provide lasting jobs – because there is a genuine market demand for the goods that are being provided. The pipeline’s construction will create an estimated 13,000 jobs, while another 340,000 jobs will be created in related manufacturing and service industries. According to the trade association Energy in Depth, oil and gas producers directly employ more than 1.2 million Americans.
It’s no secret that the government can’t create wealth – it can only transfer money from one pocket to the other. (As a point of reference, consider all those jobs that were “created” during the stimulus, many of which then went away after the money stopped.) Accordingly, I’ve delayed reading the President’s “Jobs” bill because I’m not into fiction these days. President Obama can give all the darn speeches he wants, but at the end of the day, the facts aren’t behind him.