Jim covered Congress and The White House during the George W. Bush administration for The Washington Times, and worked as a reporter, editorial writer and columnist for newspapers in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and California. He has appeared on the Fox News Channel, CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, and many local and national talk radio shows to talk politics and policy.
Latest posts by Jim Lakely (see all)
The debate continues: Does President Obama cling so tightly to his leftist ideology that he will continue to laugh in the face of Americans struggling with rising gasoline prices? Or will take the kind of constructive actions necessary to ease the pain of American drivers?
Will he continue to insist that we can hope, pray and subsidize our way into a “green economy” fueled by windmills and solar panels? Or will he do the sensible thing, and allow the United States to take a more active role in the global oil-producing economy?
This story suggests he’s at least open to the possibility of the latter.
WASHINGTON — President Obama, facing voter anger over high gasoline prices and complaints from Republicans and business leaders that his policies are restricting the development of domestic energy resources, announced Saturday that he was taking several steps to speed oil and gas drilling on public lands and waters.
It was at least a partial concession to his critics at a time when consumers are paying near-record prices at the gas pump. The Republican-led House passed three bills in the last 10 days that would significantly expand and accelerate oil development in the United States, saying the administration was driving up gas prices and preventing job creation with antidrilling policies.
Before today, Obama was satisfied to merely (smugly) mouth some nonsense that under his watch, more drilling permits are active than there were when his predecessor was in office. But I guess it dawned on Obama that more and more Americans knew the truth — that all the drilling permit approvals were put in place by the Bush administration. And with an election coming soon, it’s time to “Drill, Baby, Drill.”
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is proposing to open vast expanses of water along the Atlantic coastline, the eastern Gulf of Mexico and the north coast of Alaska to oil and natural gas drilling, much of it for the first time, officials said Tuesday.
In light of that story from more than a year ago, I have a hard time believing this is anything more than a feint — a political move that is not serious from a policy standpoint. And it appears to be, as the first block-quote in this story alludes, a rhetorical reaction to the Republican-controlled House of Representatives voting to reverse Obama’s moratorium on off-shore drilling.
I hope I’m wrong. If Obama was to announce tomorrow that US policy under his administration was to set the conditions so America could exploit every and all ways to get oil out of the ground, that would really make the global price of crude go down (and ruin the day of the “oil speculators” Obama likes to demonize). Obama will never do that, but we can dream.
Meanwhile, when it comes to Obama’s latest energy policy announcement, I like to go with what Ronald Reagan said: “Trust, but verify.”