The PJ Tatler

Obama Says He Won't 'Let Oil Companies' Make Energy Policy

If they did, at least it would be an energy policy — something the president has failed to offer during his term.

Obama promised a lot with regard to energy and delivered…Solyndra. Unfair? Not hardly. The president promised 5 million green jobs would be created by his “investments” in renewables. Politico looks in askance at the administration numbers on “jobs created or saved.”

Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers suggests 225,000 clean energy jobs were either created or preserved through the third quarter of 2010 thanks to more than $80 billion in the economic stimulus package. But those are estimates at best.

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The White House figures 825,000 Americans should be building electric car batteries, retrofitting homes or doing other green collar work by the end of 2012. But that too is an extrapolation.

“It’s certainly a good thing if those numbers are believable,” said Jerry Webman, chief economist at the Oppenheimer Funds. “But they’re not a large enough number for the nation or Obama’s job creation problem.”

“Investments” in wind, solar, and other green energy sources is not an energy policy — not when 83% of our energy is generated by the use of fossil fuels. And on that, the president would just as soon we not think about it:

During President Obama’s acceptance speech he tore into Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s energy plan for letting “oil companies write this country’s energy plan.”

“But unlike my opponent, I will not let oil companies write this country’s energy plan, or endanger our coastlines, or collect another $4 billion in corporate welfare from our taxpayers,” Obama said during his speech.

Instead, Obama promised to invest more in renewable sources, energy efficiency measures, and development of natural gas.

“We’ve doubled our use of renewable energy, and thousands of Americans have jobs today building wind turbines and long-lasting batteries” the president said.

“We’re offering a better path,” Obama continued, “a future where we keep investing in wind and solar and clean coal; where farmers and scientists harness new biofuels to power our cars and trucks; where construction workers build homes and factories that waste less energy; where we develop a hundred year supply of natural gas that’s right beneath our feet.”

On Thursday Obama’s deputy assistant for energy and climate change, Heather Zichal, told reporters that the president will focus on clean energy programs and efficiency initiatives if he’s re-elected in November.

“The big issue will remain engagement with Congress,” she told reporters. “The president has talked continuously about the need for a long-term energy policy, and I think that will be something that he will obviously remain focused on in the second term.”

“Clean coal?” Now there’s a trick. Shut down power plants and prevent others from being built that are to be run on coal and then talk about something that doesn’t exist? Coal is not “clean” in any way and is only rendered less an environmental problem via expensive scrubbers. And getting at all that natural gas is going to require Obama’s EPA to allow fracking — a dubious probability given that agency’s hostility to the process.

But really, the issue is the lie that Romney would allow oil companies to write energy policy. It’s nonsense and he knows it. I guess the fact checkers take the weekend off because I haven’t seen anyone from any publication call the president out for this whopper.