The White House's war against US fossil fuels

Pete Souza/White House

President Barack Obama looks inside a hydrogen cooled generator while touring the General Electric plant in Schenectady, N.Y., Jan. 21, 2011.

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  • #Obama pledges not to 'give' green technology - solar, wind, battery to #China. But we still need #oil and #naturalgas

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  • The 2013 budget proposed by #POTUS prefers the politics of #greenenergy over fossil fuel industries

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  • Industrial demand for delivered #energy, largely from #fossilfuels, is projected to increase 16% by 2035

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In a speech last month in Miami, Fla., President Obama promoted his national energy agenda of oil, gas, wind, solar, nuclear and biomass fuels.

Specifically he addressed rising gas prices, which he referred to as a "tax straight out of their (consumers') paychecks."

In his defense, the president boasted that "under my administration, America is producing more oil today than at any time in the last eight years."

"...fossil fuel consumption will decline only modestly, from 83% of total U.S. energy demand currently, to 77% in 2035."

What the president failed to mention, however, is that the increases in domestic oil drilling are largely because of the pro-energy policies of his predecessors, Presidents Clinton and Bush, and the significant increases in production on state and private lands.

Furthermore, the president insisted that he will not "cede" green technology, solar, wind and battery power to the People's Republic of China.

Under the president's FY 2013 proposed budget, the politically favored "green" energy sector gets preferential treatment over the fossil fuels industries, with numerous tax subsidies, tax credits, public expenditures, procurement preferences and grants.

How do the U.S. oil and natural gas sectors fare under the president's FY 2013 proposed budget?

In stark contrast, the administration's FY13 budget will burden the oil and natural gas sectors with almost $86 billion in higher taxes over the next 10 years, according to estimates by the American Petroleum Institute.

Based on the Obama administration's strident emphasis on developing "alternative" energy sources as the future of an America no longer dependent on foreign sources of fossil energy, the average American would believe that the nation's need for substantial nuclear fuel, oil, natural gas, and coal will soon be a distant memory. The reality, however, is quite different.

In 2010, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in its Annual Energy Outlook 2012 estimated that fossil fuel consumption will decline only modestly, from 83% of total U.S. energy demand currently, to 77% in 2035.

And this estimate does not include new potential oil and natural gas reserves identified in the U.S. over the last couple of years.

Moreover, it was estimated by the DOE's Energy Information Administration, that roughly one-third of total U.S. delivered energy is consumed by the all-important, job-creating manufacturing sector, with two-thirds of this energy-intensive manufacturing in bulk chemicals, oil refining, paper products, iron and steel, aluminum, food, glass and cement.

Additionally, total industrial demand for delivered energy is expected to increase 16% by 2035, from 23.4 quadrillion BTUs in 2010 to 27.0 quadrillion BTUs in 2035.

Mark Perry is a scholar at AEI.

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About the Author

 

Mark J.
Perry
  • Mark J. Perry is concurrently a scholar at AEI and a professor of economics and finance at the University of Michigan's Flint campus. He is best known as the creator and editor of the popular economics blog Carpe Diem. At AEI, Perry writes about economic and financial issues for American.com and the AEIdeas blog.

    Follow Mark Perry on Twitter.


  • Phone: 202.419.5207
    Email: mark.perry@aei.org

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