'All of the above' Fails On Every Level
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By Drew Johnson
President Barack Obama spent much of the campaign touting his "all of the above" energy strategy -- a proposal which, to hear him explain it, will reduce America's reliance on foreign oil, save families and businesses money at the pump and position the United States as the global leader in clean energy.
Sounds great, right? Almost too good to be true?
That's because it is.
Obama's "all of the above" energy scheme will actually pump billions of tax dollars into economically unjustifiable green energy schemes, undermine America's coal industry, limit domestic energy exploration, and raise the cost of products and services through a series of mandates and taxes.
Worst of all, Obama's plan to tinker with fuel mileage regulations would actually kill thousands of Americans.
In order to reduce the use of fossil fuels, the president has pledged to increase the handouts and tax breaks available for renewable energy. Obama was apparently so pleased with the stimulus money spent subsidizing companies like Solyndra, that he believes billions of additional tax dollars should go towards wasteful and ineffective green boondoggles.
While Obama's energy plan is busy subsidizing green energy, it damages traditional energy suppliers by slashing the number of acres available for oil-shale mining by more than 75 percent and calling for a $27 billion tax hike on oil and gas over the next decade.
One of the central tenets of Obama's energy plan is to push out American coal production. Reducing the amount of coal available for power plants will substantially increase American's electric bills. The federal government's own studies estimate that recently adopted coal regulations pushed by Obama will cost American families $10 billion per year -- and that's only the beginning of higher electricity expenses if Obama has his way.
In August, the Obama Administration invented a new set of fuel efficiency standards, forcing auto makers to produce cars and light trucks that get 54.5 mpg by 2025. The stricter standards will increase the price of a new car by about $3,000, according to federal estimates.
Not only would this fuel economy mandate cost drivers money, it would cost thousands of American lives.
Since the simplest way to improve a vehicle's mileage is to reduce its weight, the new fuel efficiency standards will force drivers into "small, underpowered death traps," according to the National Center for Policy Analysis.
A study by Harvard University and the Brookings Institution found that, on average, for every 100 pounds shaved off new cars to meet fuel efficiency standards, approximately 3,000 additional people are killed each year. USA Today calculated that size and weight reductions of passenger vehicles required to meet current fuel efficiency standards resulted in more than 46,000 deaths. The Obama Administration's new fuel efficiency standards almost double the current standards. It's horrifying to consider the increased number of deaths that will result if Obama has his way and the new standards are implemented.
Obama's assault on America's energy producers and taxpayers is nothing new.
Despite pledging to work to extend the Keystone XL Pipeline, Obama rejected a permit to continue work on the project. The pipeline, which would transport oil from Canada, Montana and Oklahoma to refineries, distribution hubs and storage facilities, would expand America's supply of affordable, available oil. It would also result it 130,000 jobs -- including 20,000 union jobs -- according to the Houston Chronicle, while posing little environmental risk.
Additionally, the Obama Administration continues to resist efforts to open new areas to responsible oil exploration and issues fewer drilling permits than the historical average.
If Obama truly cared about addressing the future of America's energy needs, his "all of the above" energy plan would look a lot different. Actually, it would look more like his Republican challenger's. Romney's energy plan would've opened up more federal land for energy production, ended subsidies for windmills and other green energy sources, sped up the permitting process for drilling and encouraged finishing the Keystone XL Pipeline.
So, in the end, does President Obama's energy scheme mean fewer available fuel sources, more taxpayer subsidies to green energy companies, more dangerous vehicles, more regulations on successful energy providers or an even higher national debt? The answer, appropriately, is "all of the above." And this is an answer that Americans can't afford to accept for another four years.
Drew Johnson is a senior fellow at the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA), a nonpartisan, nonprofit educational organization dedicated to a smaller, more responsible government. Visit TPA online at www.protectingtaxpayers.org.