Though the economy continues to sputter along and many families are struggling, the Obama administration and Senate Democrat leaders are once again pushing policies to make energy even more expensive for Americans.
According to The Wall Street Journal, “Gasoline prices took a big bite out of Americans’ pocketbooks in 2012. The average U.S. household paid an estimated $2,912 for gasoline last year, sucking up nearly 4% of the average household income before taxes, according to government data out Monday. That is the highest percentage in three decades, with the exception of 2008, when the rate was nearly identical.”
And yet Democrats are once again calling for oil and gas tax hikes. Senate Democrats are again apparently looking towards the same oil and gas tax hike that has been defeated with bipartisan opposition multiple times. President Obama has also called for this tax hike in the past.
In addition, the Obama administration continues to delay construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, which could help lower energy prices and create jobs, after blocking it for over a year.Politico reported last month that “White House press secretary Jay Carney said the administration will not be pushed into making a hasty decision on whether to approve the Keystone XL pipeline. More than half the Senate — 53 senators — signed a letter to President Obama on Wednesday urging quick approval.” As Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said at the time, “The President rejected Keystone last year because he didn’t want to offend his environmentalist base in a political year, but the election is over. With [the latest] hurdle now cleared, the President should give the green light to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, which would create thousands of good jobs as well as help make our nation more energy independent. The President says he’s for an all of the above approach to energy and now it’s time for him to live up to it.”
Meanwhile, BuzzFeed writes, “During his inaugural address last month, President Barack Obama vowed firmly and explicitly to make tackling climate change a top priority in his second term.” But opposition in Congress means “Obama will have to act unilaterally via executive orders and the Environmental Protection Agency — circumventing the legislative process entirely.” Reutersadds, “Energy industry experts expect Obama will sidestep Congress and use executive power to enact his second-term environmental agenda. By April, they say, the EPA could issue carbon emission standards for new plants that would effectively prevent new coal-fired generators from being built. Next would come a more controversial effort, setting standards for existing plants, a measure sure to provoke industry lawsuits.”
Indeed, the Obama administration has made it more and more expensive to generate electricity using coal. “A Reuters survey found that almost 100 coal-fired power plants have closed since 2010. Some 150 others have announced plans to close before the decade ends.
Coal generated 50 percent of the United States’ electricity in 2005, a figure that fell to 38 percent in 2012, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration,” Reuters reports. In the same story, “Robert Murray, chief executive of Murray Energy Corp, said he fears for the end of coal, prodded by a U.S. president who has promoted wind and solar power while cracking down on emissions from coal-fired power plants. ‘There are no coal-fired plants being built. Mr. Obama took care of that. I think we’re totally eliminated by 2035,’ said Murray . . . .”
In this economy, the last thing Americans need is policies that make it more expensive to fill up their car or heat their home, and yet that’s all they seems to get from the Obama administration and the leadership of the Democrat-controlled Senate.