Is energy plan a campaign ploy? - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Opinion

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Is energy plan a campaign ploy?

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Posted: Thursday, May 19, 2011 5:00 pm

The people have spoken. Well, sort of. On May 10 through May 12, 2011, the U.S. House of Representatives passed three bills, HB 1229, HB 1230 and HB 1231, all of which make it possible to start using our own fossil fuel natural resources - now. The Senate still must vote on them. Chances are, they'll fail when the progressive jackals have their say. Let's hope I'm wrong.

This legislation is designed to force the Obama Administration to get off the environmentalist dime and do something constructive about reducing the cost of crude oil and gasoline. Of course, by reducing the cost of fuel, the national economy will start on the road to recovery.

In his radio address of May 14, President Obama said: "Without a doubt, one of the biggest burdens over the last few months has been the price of gasoline. In many places, gas is now more than $4 a gallon, meaning that you could be paying more than $60 to fill up your tank.

"These spikes in gas prices are often temporary, and while there are no quick fixes to the problem, there are a few steps we should take that make good sense.

"First, we should make sure that no one is taking advantage of consumers at the pump. That's why we've launched a task force led by the attorney general that has one job: Rooting out cases of fraud or manipulation in the markets that might affect gas prices, including any illegal activity by traders and speculators.

"Second, we should increase safe and responsible oil production here at home. Last year, America's oil production reached its highest level since 2003. But I believe that we should expand oil production in America - even as we increase safety and environmental standards.

"To do this, I am directing the Department of Interior to conduct annual lease sales in Alaska's National Petroleum Reserve, while respecting sensitive areas, and to speed up the evaluation of oil and gas resources in the mid and south Atlantic. We plan to lease new areas in the Gulf of Mexico as well, and work to create new incentives for industry to develop their unused leases both on and offshore."

It took only two days after the passage of these bills for the president to call for action in resolving the energy problem. With many caveats, of course. Caveats that will slow the process.

In his radio address of April 23, he said "there is no silver bullet" that will resolve the energy dilemma. Has he pulled the trigger on the political weapon that fires the silver bullet to prosperity? Or is this merely another political ploy to stay in office for another term? He's on the campaign trail, and you know how politicians talk then.

Don Kennedy is a graduate of Dartmouth College with a degree in sociology. He has been a resident of Ahwatukee Foothills since 2002.

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