Thursday, March 31, 2011

Fisking Obama’s Speech on “Energy Security”

President Obama gave a speech yesterday to the Hoyas of Georgetown University on the subject of energy. Since I haven’t fully examined all the nuances and subtleties contained in one of his speeches in a while, I thought I’d have a bit of fun today.

Understand that this isn’t hard to do. Dear Leader is still being trained while on the job: basically, what we hear is his childlike wonder at discovering things for the very first time. Community organizing is so hard, rousing that rabble leaves so little time to fully comprehend just what it is that your railing against.

We sympathize, we really do. It’s just so precious watching a President take his very first steps…

After the shout-outs and a recap of the news, He Begins.

“In an economy that relies so heavily on oil, rising prices at the pump affect everybody -- workers, farmers, truck drivers, restaurant owners, students who are lucky enough to have a car. (Laughter.) Businesses see rising prices at the pump hurt their bottom line. Families feel the pinch when they fill up their tank. And for Americans that are already struggling to get by, a hike in gas prices really makes their lives that much harder. It hurts.”
Which makes your campaign pledge to “make everybody’s utility bills necessarily skyrocket” so poignant.

“If you're somebody who works in a relatively low-wage job and you've got to commute to work, it takes up a big chunk of your income. You may not be able to buy as many groceries. You may have to cut back on medicines in order to fill up the gas tank. So this is something that everybody is affected by.”
Or, Barry Discovers Economics.

Then comes the by-now mandatory dig at the Tea Party…

“Now, here's the thing -- we have been down this road before. Remember, it was just three years ago that gas prices topped $4 a gallon. I remember because I was in the middle of a presidential campaign. Working folks certainly remember because it hit a lot of people pretty hard. And because we were at the height of political season, you had all kinds of slogans and gimmicks and outraged politicians -- they were waving their three-point plans for $2 a gallon gas. You remember that -- "drill, baby, drill"-- and we were going through all that. (Laughter.) And none of it was really going to do anything to solve the problem. There was a lot of hue and cry, a lot of fulminating and hand-wringing, but nothing actually happened. Imagine that in Washington. (Laughter.)”
Wow, this really takes me back to the days when a practical energy policy wasn’t mocked or derided. How time flies.

“The truth is, none of these gimmicks, none of these slogans made a bit of difference.”
The reason why none of it was really going to do anything to solve it is because we’re prevented from harvesting our rich natural resources by you and your Progressive cronies and your belief in the Global Warming Monster.

“Politicians of every stripe have promised energy independence, but that promise has so far gone unmet.”
We know. We’re still waiting.

“The United States of America cannot afford to bet our long-term prosperity, our long-term security on a resource that will eventually run out, and even before it runs out will get more and more expensive to extract from the ground.”
Um, we’re finding new oil reserves pretty regularly, and in places where we didn’t expect to find large populations of compressed dinosaurs, like the bottom of the ocean.

“But our best opportunities to enhance our energy security can be found in our own backyard -- because we boast one critical, renewable resource that the rest of the world can't match: American ingenuity. American ingenuity, American know-how.”
The world breathless awaits the first flight of the first ingenuity-powered jumbo jet.

“To make ourselves more secure, to control our energy future, we're going to have to harness all of that ingenuity. It's a task we won't be finished with by the end of my presidency, or even by the end of the next presidency. But if we continue the work that we've already begun over the last two years, we won't just spark new jobs, industries and innovations -- we will leave your generation and future generations with a country that is safer, that is healthier, and that's more prosperous.”
Will we be using something like that Ghostbusters capturing thingy? Also, continuing the work you’ve done over the past two years will only insure more poverty, more folks on food stamps, more rising debt and more malaise. We’d be better off with the ghosts.

“So today, my administration is releasing a Blueprint for a Secure Energy Future that outlines a comprehensive national energy policy, one that we've been pursuing since the day I took office. And cutting our oil dependence by a third is part of that plan.”
Doubtless, your illegal drilling moratorium is part of that grand Blueprint?

“This begins by continuing to increase America's oil supply. Even for those of you who are interested in seeing a reduction in our dependence on fossil fuels -- and I know how passionate young people are about issues like climate change -- the fact of the matter is, is that for quite some time, America is going to be still dependent on oil in making its economy work.”
Barry discovers physics. The cuteness, it hurts.

“Moreover, we're actually pushing the oil industry to take advantage of the opportunities that they've already got. Right now the industry holds tens of millions of acres of leases where they're not producing a single drop. They're just sitting on supplies of American energy that are ready to be tapped. That's why part of our plan is to provide new and better incentives that promote rapid, responsible development of these resources.”
No, they’re sitting on land that has yet to be explored. There’s no guarantee that there’s any oil there. Those evil oil companies are merely complying with yet another burdensome regulatory system, one that adds to the cost of production and higher gas prices and is responsible for our increasing national trade imbalance.

OK, now it’s time to sing “Big Yellow Taxi.” Everyone please stand up and put your hand over your heart. In the key of “E,” one, two, three, four…

“I give out this statistic all the time, and forgive me for repeating it again: America holds about 2 percent of the world's proven oil reserves. What that means is, is that even if we drilled every drop of oil out of every single one of the reserves that we possess -- offshore and onshore -- it still wouldn't be enough to meet our long-term needs. We consume about 25 percent of the world's oil. We only have 2 percent of the reserves. Even if we doubled U.S. oil production, we're still really short.”
Yeah, we’re the world’s biggest consumer of energy. But you never say what we do with all that energy, like developing life-saving drugs and medical procedures, or finding new ways to produce energy. Stuff like that.

“Now, another substitute for oil that holds tremendous promise is renewable biofuels -- not just ethanol, but biofuels made from things like switchgrass and wood chips and biomass. If anybody doubts the potential of these fuels, consider Brazil. As I said, I was just there last week.”
Yeah, with two billion of our tax dollars we can’t afford, so they can increase their oil production. By the way, Barry, how is George Soros’ Petrobras stock doing these days?

“Half of Brazil's vehicles can run on biofuels -- half of their fleet of automobiles can run on biofuels instead of petroleum. Just last week, our Air Force -- our own Air Force -- used an advanced biofuel blend to fly a Raptor 22 -- an F-22 Raptor faster than the speed of sound. Think about that. I mean, if an F-22 Raptor can fly at the speed of -- faster than the speed of sound on biomass, then I know the old beater that you've got, that you're driving around in -- (laughter) -- can probably do so, too. There's no reason why we can't have our cars do the same.”
No reason other than the fact that ethanol is far less efficient than gasoline and eats up old fuel systems that weren’t designed for it. And that we’re using food for fuel, driving up the cost of everything we use corn for, like beef, corn syrup, cereal, and all that. We have a global food shortage, too. Those two factors couldn’t possibly be connected, now could they?

“Now, we went through 30 years where we didn't raise fuel efficiency standards on cars. And part of what happened in the U.S. auto industry was because oil appeared relatively cheap, the U.S. auto industry decided we're just going to make our money on SUVs, and we're not going to worry about fuel efficiency. Thirty years of lost time when it comes to technology that could improve the efficiency of cars.”
Which thirty years are you referring to? The last thirty have seen more and more emission and mileage standards imposed than the previous thirty. Cars got smaller and accidents became much more dangerous as a result. There’s a real sense of safety that comes from being surrounded by large sections of sheet metal, as any soccer mom will tell you.

“This summer, we're going to propose the first-ever fuel efficiency standards for heavy-duty trucks. And this fall, we'll announce the next round of fuel standards for cars that builds on what we've already done.”
Oh boy! A Smart Truck! It won’t be able to haul anything, but it gets great mileage. 0-60 in two days!

“We've also made historic investments in high-speed rail and mass transit, because part of making our transportation sector cleaner and more efficient involves offering all Americans, whether they are urban, suburban, or rural, the choice to be mobile without having to get in a car and pay for gas.”
You might want to ask the Japanese about all that high-speed rail and how mass transit in the wake of the power outages, doesn’t run. How are you going to feed your family if you can’t get to the grocery store?

“Still, there are few breakthroughs as promising for increasing fuel efficiency and reducing our dependence on oil as electric vehicles. Soon after I took office, I set a goal of having one million electric vehicles on our roads by 2015. We've created incentives for American companies to develop these vehicles, and for Americans who want them to buy them.”

You liked them so much, you bought took over the company.

“And for those of you who are wondering what that means, the thing that's been holding back electric vehicles is the battery that stores that electricity, that energy. And the more efficient, the more lightweight we can make those batteries, the easier it is to manufacture those cars at a competitive price.”
Right now, trial lawyers are licking their lips in anticipation of the first accident where one of those batteries explodes. Good times await.

Now, one other thing about electric cars -- and you don't need to talk to Chu about this -- it turns out electric cars run on electricity.”
Had you not told me, Mr. President, I never would have known. You, Sir, surely rank amongst the finest minds this country has ever produced, like Einstein, Marconi, and Tesla.

“Today, our homes and businesses consume 40 percent of the energy that we use, and it costs us billions of dollars in energy bills. Manufacturers that require large amounts of energy to make their products, they're challenged by rising energy costs. And so you can't separate the issue of oil dependence from the issue of how we are producing generally -- more energy generally.”
“The nice thing about energy efficiency is we already have the technology. We don't have to create something new. We just have to help businesses and homeowners put in place the installation, the energy-efficient windows, the energy-efficient lighting. They'll get their money back. You will save money on your electricity bill that pays for those improvements that you made, but a lot of people may not have the money up front, and so we've got to give them some incentives to do that.”
Hmm, that sounds like Cash for Caulkers. Funny thing about that is that when utility companies see reduced demand, they raise their rates. It’s almost like they’re running on a razor-thin profit, or something.

“So a clean energy standard will help drive private investment in innovation. But I want to make this point: Government funding will still be critical. Over the past two years, the historic investments my administration has made in clean and renewable energy research and technology have helped private sector companies grow and hire hundreds of thousands of new workers.”
Yup, workers who were promptly laid off when the subsidies ran out and the companies closed.

“I've visited gleaming new solar arrays that are among the largest in the world. I've tested an electric vehicle fresh off the assembly line. I mean, I didn't really test it -- I was able to drive like five feet before Secret Service said to stop.”
Sooo, it’s not just the country that doesn’t trust you to operate complex machinery…

“Unfortunately, some folks want to cut critical investments in clean energy. They want to cut our research and development into new technologies. They're shortchanging the resources necessary even to promptly issue new permits for offshore drilling. These cuts would eliminate thousands of private sector jobs; it would terminate scientists and engineers; it would end fellowships for researchers, some who may be here at Georgetown, graduate students and other talent that we desperately need to get into this area in the 21st century. That doesn't make sense.”
We are so glad you finally understand that. It certainly makes no sense to pump billions of tax dollars we don’t have into immature technologies that have yet to prove themselves in the marketplace. Private sector jobs that depend on government subsidies aren’t really private sector jobs.

Wait! I think we’re about to hear Little Barry’s first words. It’ll be nice not to hear him babble anymore…

“God bless you. God bless the United States of America.”

Don’t you feel proud?

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