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AS I SEE IT

Posted 9/22/15 (Tue)

By Neal A. Shipman
Farmer Editor

President Obama, and those in his administration, seem to be on a mission in his waning months as president of the United States to destroy this nation’s production of coal, as well as this country’s oil and natural gas industries.
And at a time when the United States needs to be producing more of its energy needs and being less reliant on foreign energy producers, Obama seems to be hell-bent on destroying this country’s energy industry. It’s a path that will lead to less economic growth for the United States and much higher energy costs for consumers.
Following Obama’s push for more green energy from wind and solar, the Environmental Protection Agency has unleashed its regulatory authority in crafting new emission standards for coal-fired electric generating plants that the vast majority of coal plants will not be able to meet. In his 2008 campaign, Obama promised that his new energy policies would spell the economic ruin of anyone who wanted to build a coal-fired power plant.
The president understood what he was saying then when he said that the electricity rates for Americans who rely on electricity would skyrocket.
Did he care about destroying the country’s coal industry, killing American jobs and passing on massive electric rate hikes to all Americans when he gave the EPA the go-ahead to roll out the new emission standards? Apparently not. In Obama’s opinion, the coal industry had to go. And if the coal-fired plants could make the retrofits needed to meet his standards, the increased cost to the American consumer, estimated at $150 per year, was simply the price they would have to bear.
Now, Obama is turning his attention to destroying this nation’s oil and gas industry.
For a full seven years, Obama has failed to act on TransCanada’s permit application to build the Keystone XL pipeline. The new pipeline, which would create thousands of jobs in the United States, is critical not only to move Canadian oil into the United States, but would carry 100,000 barrels a day of North Dakota’s Bakken oil to oil refineries.
It is obvious that Obama intends to let the Keystone XL pipeline permit die a slow and agonizingly painful death on his desk.
Rather than build the infrastructure in the United States, through projects like the Keystone XL pipeline, where the U.S. would obtain oil from friendly countries like Canada, Obama seems to want this country to be more and more reliant on OPEC and other countries.
Obama is sending a very strong and clear message to foreign energy producers that he values them more than he does the American energy industry. Not only does he not want to build pipelines in the United States, but he is also making it very clear that he is not interested in lifting the ban on the exporting of United States oil.
If that message isn’t clear enough of what Obama wants to see happen to the United States energy industries, then one only has to look at the thousands of pages of new regulations that will negatively impact the nation’s and North Dakota’s oil and gas industry.
Obama may be a champion for clean energy, such as wind and solar, and wants to be remembered as being a “green” president, but destroying the nation’s coal, oil and natural gas industries in the process is hardly going to be a legacy that he can ever be proud of.