In the waning days of the presidential campaign, Barack Obama is showering attention on swing states like Colorado. A few days ago he gave an interview to a rock station where he was asked several questions about energy policy. Here’s what he had to say:
This is going to be one of the biggest issues facing not just the next president but I think our entire generation. We’re going to have to wean ourselves off our dependence on oil because we only have 3 percent of the world’s oil reserves and we use 25 percent of the world’s oil and in the meantime global warming is real and is having an impact all across the planet.
We’re going to have to get energy right and that means investing in research & technology. But it means each of us is going to have to take some steps to become more energy efficient; some big things like making sure that our cars and trucks are getting better fuel mileage. But it also means the little things – turning off lights when we leave the room, teaching our kids to be more energy efficient at home. The government can do some of that but all of us I think are going to have to make some adjustments in our life…
As I mentioned before if we don’t get a handle on our use of fossil fuels then certainly other countries like China and India aren’t going to do it. So what we’ve got to do is lead the way and a lot of it has to do with technology — investing in research and development and one of the things I want to do is devote about $15 billion a year in solar, wind, biofuels creating the technologies for more fuel efficient cars.
All those things are going to be critical but its also going to be very important for us to create a more efficient energy economy. For example buildings — we waste huge amounts of energy just keeping our buildings warm and lighting them and one of the great things is that we could create 5 million new jobs just making our buildings more energy efficient. And that’s something that I would really like to see us focus on in the next several years
Do you notice what’s missing? I’ll give you a hint: here’s what Obama said about energy in his highly scripted performance in the second presidential debate:
I believe in the need for increased oil production. We’re going to have to explore new ways to get more oil, and that includes offshore drilling. It includes telling the oil companies, that currently have 68 million acres that they’re not using, that either you use them or you lose them.
We’re going to have to develop clean coal technology and safe ways to store nuclear energy.
But each and every one of us can start thinking about how can we save energy in our homes, in our buildings. And one of the things I want to do is make sure that we’re providing incentives so that you can buy a fuel efficient car that’s made right here in the United States of America, not in Japan or South Korea, making sure that you are able to weatherize your home or make your business more fuel efficient.
And that’s going to require effort from each and every one of us.
Obama forgot all about increasing energy supply when he was speaking off the cuff, because he doesn’t really believe in it. He and Joe Biden have talked out of both sides of their mouth on clean coal, and on nuclear power, and on expanded drilling — because they don’t believe in those things. The only part of the Obama energy plan that Barack Obama cares about is reducing use of fossil fuels and reducing domestic energy consumption. That’s why it’s the only part of the plan that he talks about when the subject is brought up.
Obama has said before that he favors high energy prices to help reduce demand. That puts the lie to his half-hearted claims that he supports anything but higher energy prices.