But wait, there is even more good news. It’s a lose/lose situation for Obama no matter how you look at it. And when this president loses, the nation wins. If he backs down, we will very likely get the pipeline. The Senate, after all, is close to the number of needed votes to pass the measure, and without the veto threat, those votes should quickly fall into place.
And if he does not back down, then Republicans can hammer him all the way to November for the jobs and oil he will have denied Americans already struggling with a lack of both.
There is plenty for which one can criticize this president, but in the current environment of both high unemployment and high gas prices, working Americans, at least, will take an especially dim view of Obama’s lack of judgement on this issue, if only there are enough of them left to carry the day this coming November.
The pipeline both can and should become an important rallying point for Americans fed up with this administration’s hostility towards not only the industry that supplies the nation's life-blood, but to the very use of oil itself, as well as its failed attempt to create jobs. Gas was $1.84 per gallon when Bush left office. It is double that or more in many areas now, yet we still aren’t making anywhere near full use of our own oil reserves.
Obama doesn’t want us to, citing vague environmental concerns and bowing to environmental extremists spouting theories that are at the very best just that: theories.
The president has also claimed, over and over again, that we have only two percent of the world’s oil reserve, yet we use 20 percent.
But more importantly is a fact he could and indeed should add to that otherwise misleading claim is that he is talking about reserves we’ve already found. As Jim Angle recently reported in a Fox News article, “analysts point out that proven reserves were 20 billion barrels back in 1944. But we’ve produced some 170 billion barrels since then, and proven reserves are still just over 20 billion.”
We should drill anywhere there are known oil reserves and research any location where we even think there might be oil reserves. No reasonable person has any problem with researching and developing solar or any other source of alternative energy. But scams like Solyndra are poor substitutes to the real results and benefits drilling will bring to the country while we explore, rather than politicize, other options.
And while high fuel prices negatively impact virtually every segment of the economy, one that hits the closest to home of all is joblessness. Real unemployment, currently hovering around 15 percent (a total that includes not only those actively looking for full-time jobs but also those who have either given up completely or have taken part-time positions) is only 10 percentage points away from reaching Great Depression-era levels. Not the hope and change you were looking for? Well, weren’t you paying attention to what candidate Obama was actually saying?
But even more than what Obama said is what he believes. And it is this belief held by the president and so many others that leads to the majority of the ills that plague our nation. They are the direct result of following an empty philosophy that is as grounded in the realities of human nature and market forces as are Care Bears and unicorns. It is a philosophy that calls for individuals to carry their own weight, but creates an environment that destroys individual initiative; one that rewards failure and punishes success, that pretends moral superiority, yet is hostile to the source and standard of moral values, that preaches tolerance, but practices class-warfare, that believes the way to prosperity is to saddle our children and grandchildren under a massive, reckless and ultimately destructive national debt, that seeks to create an imaginary war on women while ignoring the very real war it perpetuates against responsible Americans, unborn children and cherished American traditions and values.
November can’t come fast enough.
Jeff O’Bryant is the author of “Up into the Hills – A Brief History of Catoosa County” and holds two degrees: a bachelor’s in education and a bachelor’s with honors in history. He can be contacted at email@example.com.