Reuters writes today, “U.S. consumer prices rose in September as the cost of gasoline surged, posing a threat to consumers’ spending power although inflation pressures look unlikely to derail the Federal Reserve’s ultra-easy policy path. . . . Most of the increase in consumer prices was due to a sharp rise in gasoline prices, which jumped 7 percent in September after climbing 9 percent the prior month. Higher costs at the pump force many American consumers to cut back on other spending.”
And yet the Obama administration continues to block energy projects like the Keystone XL pipeline, which would bring oil from booming oil fields in North Dakota and Canada to refineries in Texas, creating tens of thousands of American jobs in the process.
Instead, President Obama has insisted on funding “green energy” projects with taxpayer money that were hastily approved and poorly considered, such as Solyndra. Today, another such company has filed for bankruptcy. According to Bloomberg News, “A123 Systems Inc, a maker of rechargeable lithium-ion batteries for electric cars, filed for bankruptcy after failing to make a debt payment that was due yesterday. . . . ‘The company may not have sufficient cash to fund operations and may need to seek the protections provided under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code,’ A123 said.”
Bloomberg notes, “A123, which received a $249.1 million federal grant in 2009 to build a U.S. factory, needed a financial lifeline after struggling with costs from a recall of batteries supplied to Fisker, the plug-in hybrid luxury carmaker. A123 announced in August that it was working on a deal with Wanxiang Group Corp., China’s largest auto-parts maker, for financing in exchange for a majority ownership stake. . . . President Barack Obama called A123 Chief Executive Officer David Vieau and then-Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm during a September 2010 event celebrating the opening of the plant in Livonia, Michigan, that the company received the U.S. grant to help build. ‘This is about the birth of an entire new industry in America — an industry that’s going to be central to the next generation of cars,’ Obama said in the phone call, according to a transcript provided by the White House.”
The reality has fallen far short of the president’s promises, as Bloomberg points out, “Electric-vehicle sales since 2011 totaled fewer than 50,000 through September, just 5 percent of Obama’s target to have 1 million such vehicles on U.S. roads by 2015. . . . A123 has posted at least 14 straight quarterly losses. Its shares have fallen 85 percent this year to 24 cents at yesterday’s close in New York and traded at 16 cents at 8:29 a.m. before the start of regular trading.”
As Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said early this year, “With gas prices skyrocketing and growing turmoil in the Middle East, we can’t afford another year of foot dragging. It’s time for the President to move quickly to approve the entire Keystone XL Pipeline. This is a no brainer. An overwhelming majority of Americans support building the Keystone XL Pipeline in its entirety. The President should listen to them. . . . Look: Most Americans don’t think it’s particularly fair that the President of the United States is blocking them from tapping into our own natural resources, even as he uses their tax dollars to prop up failing solar companies likes Solyndra and to hand out bonuses to the executives that drive them into the ground. Most Americans don’t think it’s fair that their own president would want to drive up the cost of the gasoline they need to get around every day and build their families and their businesses and their lives even as he’s directing more and more of their money to risky solar schemes his own administration says will sometimes fail.”