It’s cold, it’s dark, and we’re all hungry

April 4, 2012

Chesapeake CEO Aubrey McClendon was right on the money when he warned what would happen if anti-drilling activists got their way. At a conference in Philadelphia last September, McClendon said the result of poor policies is a future where “it’s cold, it’s dark, and we are all hungry.” Among other gems was this statement from McClendon: “I have no interest in turning the clock back to the dark ages like our opponents do."

The dangers we face by allowing the “opponents” to dictate our nation’s energy policy are clear. What is not so clear is just who might fall into the category of “opponent,” and recent developments have more than a few industry experts wondering whether President Obama is a friend or foe. Obama has certainly done his share of blurring the line between fact and fiction, especially when it comes to energy policy, but the latest round of Presidential two stepping looks less like his election year promises of an all-of-the-above strategy and more like what prompted Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe to essentially say that Obama has the most aggressive anti-fossil fuel agenda in history.

To use the phrase coined by Obama himself, the President seems bent on pursuing a war on affordable energy – “with or without this Congress.” According to the Institute for Energy Research (IER), the Obama Administration began forcing the issue through regulatory agencies when it became apparent the agenda would not make it through Congress. Overwhelming negative public sentiment got the attention of Congress, but did not slow down his assault on free-market energy policy via the executive branch. “Because the administration couldn’t shut down towns like Craig through cap-and-trade laws, the President has determined to impose his agenda through the EPA,” said IER President Thomas Pyle, “If the EPA’s new rules are finalized, entire industries across the United States will be pushed out of business — and jobs with them.”

Obama was recently quoted as saying, “You know, the idea that you would keep on doing the same thing over and over again even though it's been proven not to work. That is a sign of madness.” So what would the President like us to call it when his administration continues to attack producers while his Oklahoma speech claimed producing more oil and gas here in the U.S. is a critical part of his all-of-the-above energy strategy?

If we are serious about safety, security, and energy independence for America, our executive branch needs to know that their current policies will not get us there. Senator Inhofe is doing his part to share the message. At a recent Senate Environment Committee hearing where EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson was present, Inhofe stated: “In spite of [Obama’s] policies, we’ve increased our production and we’ll continue to do so. If we could get all of the politicians out of the way, we would be able to be totally independent of the Middle East, not in a matter of years, but in a matter of months.”

Getting the politicians out of the way is a good way to avoid ending up cold, dark, and hungry.