Nelson: Obama’s green fixation destroying economy

September 11, 2013 


— I can’t see how our economy can recover and remain healthy for long if those with a sweeping green agenda continue to gain the upper hand. Demonizing America’s major energy industries is not helpful when we get more than 80 percent of our energy from oil, natural gas and coal. Most of us would find ourselves in a precarious position if all we had were solar and wind power and conservation. Think about freezing in the dark or living without air conditioning in the summer heat — and without fuel for the car.

Scores of coal plants have closed prematurely. Oil and gas exploration along most of the Outer Continental Shelf is banned, and the Obama administration’s hydraulic fracturing regulations would prevent energy production on public lands. There’s little reason to think President Obama will approve the Keystone XL pipeline project. And he wants to clamp an additional $90 billion in federal taxes on an oil and gas industry that already pays $87 million into the U.S. Treasury each day.

Fortunately, the shale revolution has created 1.7 million new jobs and is energizing U.S. manufacturing, creating revenue for governments at all levels and improving our nation’s balance of payments. Even as oil and gas production on government lands has fallen 15 percent since 2003, it increased by 27 percent on private lands. That’s why U.S. dependence on imported oil has dropped to a 20-year low, a huge victory for energy security for which the administration deserves no credit. Thanks to soaring U.S. natural gas production and reserve levels, our country could be self-sufficient in natural gas for the next 50 to100 years.

The administration wants to increase government incentives for solar and wind power, which account for only 2 percent of U.S. energy production and are the least promising avenue to energy independence. Squandering $535 million in taxpayer money on Solyndra, a bankrupt solar company, was stupid and venal. How many other companies with Obama political connections have been rewarded?

Jeffrey Nelson

Hilton Head

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