During his reelection campaign, the president boasted that domestic oil and gas production was at an all-time high, with the implication that he was somehow responsible for this accomplishment. In fact, Obama has done everything possible to retard oil and gas exploration, including a 40% decline in production on federal lands, a continued moratorium on East-Coast drilling, and refusal to approve the Keystone XL pipeline. Obama also continues to drag his feet on a decision to allow the export of liquefied natural gas to non-Free Trade Agreement countries.
The sad irony is that this administration has practically doubled the Department of Energy’s budget (including a supplemental $38 billion from the 2009 stimulus bill) but that much of that revenue has been squandered on failed green energy projects. The cost of each one of the president’s green energy jobs has been estimated at $23 million per permanent employee. If those funds had been retained by taxpayers to spend as they wished, GDP would have recovered at a higher rate than the anemic average of 2% we have seen since 2009.
Imagine a future in which the U.S. was not only energy-independent, but a net exporter of oil and gas. If not for Obama, we would already be close to that milestone. Instead, what we have to look forward to is a future of subpar growth and structurally high unemployment. America is paying a high price for Obama’s ruinous energy policy.