IS it just us or is there something disingenuous about using thousands of gallons of jet fuel for photo ops that involve Barack Obama's professed love of alternative energy and his expressed concern over high gasoline prices?
The Obama campaign air show whistle-stops in Oklahoma Wednesday and Thursday, the first time the president has set foot in the state since becoming president. He'll visit Cushing to say how much he likes the idea of a new petroleum pipeline from there to the Gulf Coast. Is it just us or is there something disingenuous about praising the Cushing pipeline that would go south while blocking a connecting line that would go north?
Obama's energy plan involving “all of the above” (his words) has been put in a pipeline headed toward a few-of-the-above reality check. The administration is rife with bureaucrats who show disdain for fossil fuel, but Americans need the stuff to get to work — just as Obama needs it for Air Force One trips between campaign photo ops.
The president has suddenly found an interest in energy that doesn't involve solar panels. He's bragging about the exploration and production gains made during his administration. Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer put those claims under the microscope and found them to be boasts in search of facts. Domestic oil production is up and oil imports are down not because of Obama policies but in spite of them. Vast areas remain off limits to drilling.
The Sierra Club plans to protest Obama's enthusiasm for the Cushing-to-the-south pipeline. Someday they may get to protest the Cushing-to-Canada leg. We can only hope!
Obama will visit the Pipeline Crossroads of The World, Cushing's nickname, for a national TV audience. Visits by this president may be rare here, but Payne County is a magnet for them — Richard Nixon and both Presidents Bush gave commencement addresses at OSU. Also of note is that Payne County was one of only two counties on Super Tuesday won by Mitt Romney, the man the Obama campaign hopes the president doesn't have to run against.
Nixon, in the last days of his doomed presidency, got such a warm welcome that on a visit to Enid years later he asked to be driven to Stillwater. Obama will get a warm welcome in his own way, but he probably won't find a reason for a quick return.
Still, we hope Obama's time here will be instructive, that Oklahoma's energy leaders have an opportunity to tell the president how the cow ate the cabbage when it comes to the real world of energy as opposed to the idealized world that Obama touts.
Those leaders face a punitive tax increase from Obama. Their use of hydraulic fracturing is under attack. The Keystone XL pipeline from Canada to Cushing is on indefinite hold. Meantime, the U.S. Department of Energy — despite the Solyndra debacle — remains keen on speculative alternative energy ventures.
Is it just us or would Obama's green energy evangelism be more convincing if he either kept Air Force One parked more often or used electric vehicles for surface transit?