As he has done for many years now, President Obama has stated that he has presided over another year of strong economic growth—growth that has stemmed from the booming manufacturing and energy industries. Of course, the catalyst for the growth in these industries has been the shale revolution in states like North Dakota and Texas.
This is the one day of the year that Obama praises the industry that has given him the economic growth figures he likes to lean on for his recent State of the Union addresses. In 2012, he told the nation that “American oil production is the highest that it’s been in eight years,” proudly adding that the administration had “opened millions of new acres for oil and gas exploration”, before saying that in 2011, “we relied less on foreign oil than in any of the past 16 years.”
In 2013, he said that the U.S. was “poised to control our energy future,” due in no small part to the fact that “we produce more oil at home than we have in 15 years.” In 2014, Obama referenced “a manufacturing sector that’s adding jobs for the first time since the 1990s,” and “more oil produced at home than we buy from the rest of the world – the first time that has happened in 20 years.”
This year was no different……….
But as is always the case, what praise Obama gives the fuel and petrochemical manufacturing industries with one hand, he takes away with the other. As soon as he recognizes the oil and gas industries’ vital contribution—using the economic growth and energy independence statistics he likes to showcase every year—he then voices his intent to introduce drastic measures that only serve to curb that growth.
And sure enough,………….
As the President continues to shore up his legacy as an environmental evangelist, he would do well to look back at the industries that gave him his strong economic growth figures. Perhaps then he would realize that it is in neither his—nor the nation’s—best interests to impose stifling, expensive and unnecessary regulations on the oil and gas industry.