Today was the second and final day of President Barack Obama’s multi-state energy tour, an effort to bolster support for his alleged “all of the above” energy policies.
Facing increased criticism in the face of rising gas prices, Obama scheduled stops in Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Ohio to demonstrate his support for domestic energy production, which he claims has increased significantly over the past four years.
On Wednesday, the President visited a solar farm in Boulder City, Nevada, and reiterated his belief that renewable energy was the key to America’s energy independence. But the optimism of those words was quickly swallowed up by the pro-fossil fuel rhetoric voiced during today’s energy tour stops at oil and gas drilling rigs in New Mexico, and the future home of a portion of the Keystone XL oil pipeline in Cushing, Oklahoma.
“Anyone who says that we’re somehow suppressing domestic oil production isn’t paying attention,” Obama said in Cushing. During the same speech, the President brazenly called for the southern extension of Keystone XL to be “expedited” and “fast-tracked” proving that he’ll bend to Big Oil’s demands as long as it puts him in a better position for reelection.
Once again, Obama is attempting to give lip service to opponents of the Keystone XL and fossil fuel subsidies, while simultaneously doing all that he can to please Big Oil and its Republican cheerleaders. Thankfully, a group of student activists weren’t afraid to call the President out on his failed promises.
During a speech at The Ohio State University on Thursday, Obama repeated his call for a diversified policy that increases production of traditional energy sources such as oil and natural gas while increasing investment in alternative sources such as solar, wind and hydrogen power to compete in growing global clean energy markets.
But students from the Ohio Student Environmental Coalition (OSEC) who made it into President Obama’s speech, interrupted these empty promises by shouting “STOP THE PIPELINE!”
“I don’t know the last time President Obama took a multiple choice exam, but when you have two contradictory options like protecting our climate and increasing our dependence on fossil fuels, ‘all of the above’ is not a correct answer,” said Stuart McIntyre, a student at Ohio State University. “President Obama needs to choose one or the other, because our future as young people depends on it.”
On the whole, Obama’s “Energy Tour” has been quite underwhelming. It came off as a weak-kneed attempt to stop critics from picking on the Administration’s energy policies, which are themselves weak and contradictory. But, it wasn’t a total loss, the President did manage to get a few facts right:
“Anyone who says that just drilling more will bring gas prices down just isn’t playing it straight,” the president continued. ” We are drilling more. We are producing more. But the fact is, producing more oil at home isn’t enough to bring gas prices down overnight. Even if we drilled every little bit of this great country of ours, we’d still have to buy enough from the rest of the world to meet our needs.”
Exactly! So why are we still delivering billions in subsidies to this dying industry on a silver platter? Doing so only furthers our oil addiction, instead of putting us on the path to true independence through renewable energy.
Image via Flickr/laurigorham