Action on an ‘all-of-the-above’ strategy

If there is any question as to what Americans want in an energy policy, we need look no further than President Obama’s sudden shift in rhetoric as the election approaches. Who would have thought that the president who declared war on oil, gas and coal in this country would today be insisting that he’s for an all-of-the-above approach? The reason is obvious: Americans clearly want to take advantage of the tremendous resources that this country possesses. While he’s looking for votes, President Obama is talking the talk, but his record shows that he will never walk the walk. He’s not fooling anyone — even The Washington Post has called him out for being less than honest about his energy agenda.

American families, who are suffering from the economic pain of skyrocketing gas and electricity costs, know that the solution is to cut back on federal red tape so that we can increase American energy production and have affordable prices. This is a true all-of-the-above approach that Republicans have long advanced, but there is a huge disparity between Republicans genuinely advocating for this strategy and President Obama, who pretends to be for an all-of-the-above approach yet has an administration that is aggressively working to wage a backdoor assault on domestic energy production that will only stunt much-needed job growth while causing — in the president’s own words — energy prices to “necessarily skyrocket.” 

If we only developed our own resources, we could enjoy lower energy prices, create more American jobs and have increased energy security. Consider that the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service has revealed that America could be independent of imports from Middle East if we were just allowed to produce from our own oil and natural gas. Today America is the world’s third-largest oil producer and, contrary to the president’s intentionally deceptive rhetoric, is endowed with 161.9 billion barrels of recoverable oil. 

That’s enough oil to maintain our current rates of production and replace imports from the Persian Gulf for more than 50 years. Further, America’s future supply of natural gas is 2,047 trillion cubic feet. At today’s rate of use, this is enough natural gas to meet American demand for 90 years. The report also shows that America is No. 1 in coal resources, accounting for more than 28 percent of the world’s coal. 

The good news is that several states today are taking advantage of our wealth of resources. From North Dakota to Oklahoma, from Pennsylvania to Wyoming, energy production is providing thousands of new jobs and dramatically increasing revenue for states and local governments. No wonder President Obama flew all the way to Cushing, Okla., in an attempt to take credit for much of this development. Yet the fact is this energy boom is taking place exactly because the federal government is not involved. 

There’s no question that President Obama remains thoroughly committed to pursuing a war on fossil fuels with an agenda that is specifically designed to increase costs on traditional energy such as oil, gas and coal. But, you won’t hear him promoting his Environmental Protection Agency’s backdoor global warming regulations that would stop any new coal-fired power plants from being built; he won’t be touting his rejection of the Keystone oil pipeline; and he’s hoping no one will notice that he’s aggressively working to impose burdensome and duplicative federal regulations on hydraulic fracturing if he is reelected. And if that isn’t enough, new water policy coming from his administration will make drastic changes to the scope of the Clean Water Act that will dramatically affect states, local governments, property, small businesses and farmers — and not for the better. 

Earth Day is a time to reflect on how we can continue to make progress on improving our environment without harming our economy — clean air and water go hand in hand with economic growth. President Obama and the Democrats’ global warming green-energy agenda is not the answer: time and time again these policies do nothing to improve our environment, but do much to destroy jobs and cause energy prices to skyrocket. 

The bottom line is that everyone says they want to increase American energy production and reduce the regulatory burden imposed from Washington. But this fall, the American public will have the opportunity to get rid of those 

who only talk the talk, without walking the walk. 

Inhofe is the ranking member on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.