Ed Driscoll

Say, Who's Up for $5.00-Gallon Gas?

As expected, Obama tacks hard left, rather than center-right, in the face of an incoming GOP Congress, slapping a seven year ban on offshore exploration, Ed Morrissey writes, linking to a Washington Post story on the news and then adding:

The official explanation will be that the Gulf oil spill requires a lot more reform in regulatory practices, which we certainly discovered in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon explosion and spill.  The White House began backpedaling on this policy almost immediately after the disaster in April, even before Obama bothered to spend more time addressing the issue than the Arizona immigration-enforcement law.  The complete reversal was almost inevitable, and delaying it until after the midterms even more so.

That doesn’t make the new policy any less inane.  America needs to develop its own energy resources regardless of the state of the MMS.  That’s why it’s incumbent on Obama to make those reforms as quickly as possible.  Why should it take seven years to reform MMS and to fix the regulatory apparatus on offshore drilling, especially after the demonstration of incompetence and impotence shown in the BP disaster?   For that matter, why penalize those companies who are performing well in offshore drilling for the mistakes made by BP and MMS?

This is an admission of further impotence, and not just in reforming a regulatory structure that Obama wants to expand across the entire economy.  It’s a gesture of impotence on Obama’s part in defending any centrist moves to challenges from his hard-Left base, to which he’s caving with this new seven-year moratorium.  When gasoline starts hitting $4 a gallon again, Obama will have much more criticism to handle as a result of this policy reversal.

Of course, $5.00 per gallon elsewhere means $6.00 a gallon here in California — if only for social justice, Sacramento style. But wherever you live in the US, it sounds like the return of the Pelosi Premium of 2008, this time as Obama’s Energy Inflation:

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Or as the New York Post asked in June, how ’bout seven dollar a gallon gas?

President Obama has a solution to the Gulf oil spill: $7-a-gallon gas.

That’s a Harvard University study’s estimate of the per-gallon price of the president’s global-warming agenda. And Obama made clear this week that this agenda is a part of his plan for addressing the Gulf mess.

So what does global-warming legislation have to do with the oil spill?

Good question, because such measures wouldn’t do a thing to clean up the oil or fix the problems that led to the leak.

The answer can be found in Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel’s now-famous words, “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste — and what I mean by that is it’s an opportunity to do things that you think you could not do before.”

As Obama told MSNBC in mid-2008, he’s totally cool with high gas prices, as long as their rise is “gradual” — and in December of 2008, NBC, the Washington Post, and the New York Times were all egging Obama on to jack gas prices through the roof.

And we know current Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar is fine with idea as well:

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If WikiLeaks didn’t complete Obama’s transformation into Jimmy Carter as William A. Jacobson wrote this week, this new executive order finishes the job. Will the misery it could bring the rest of us write a similar conclusion to the current administration as Carter’s feckless environmentalism, know-nothing economics (but I repeat myself) and pacifistic defense policy did back in 1980? Moe Lane predicts that “having gas prices go through the roof in 2012 will likely have a different, and much more satisfying, political result in 2012 than it did in 2008…”

Update: Speaking of Ken Salazar, the Institute for Energy Research adds in a press release:

Institute for Energy Research President Thomas J. Pyle released the following statement in advance of the Obama Administration’s expected announcement that they will not include any areas for leasing offshore in the eastern Gulf of Mexico, Pacific, or Atlantic coasts in their next five year plan, effectively placing those resources under a permanent moratorium.

“It is now abundantly clear that the Administration and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar will stop at nothing – lost jobs, tax revenue or a threat to national security – to enforce their vendetta against domestic energy production.  Despite promises made to Senator Landrieu and the thousands whose livelihood depends on energy development, they continue to pursue an “all or nothing” approach to alternative energy that will do nothing more than weaken our economy, increase our dependence on foreign oil and eliminate thousands of well paying, secure American jobs.”

Of course, it was abundantly clear that Salazar held similar views back when he was a senator, as the above clip from the summer of 2008 highlights.

Update: at Commentary, Abe Greenwald adds, “Because what America needs right now is a loss of jobs and a constriction of the economy in response to a one-off accident that left no long-term damage.”