Cloaked in promises for a brighter future, the president's speech is simply more of the same. Americans have already rejected the president's global warming agenda and new energy taxes, which will cost the economy $400 billion a year. However, now that the president has been re-elected, he feels free to pursue the regulations he was afraid to impose before his last election day.
The president is well aware these new regulations will extend beyond power plants — hitting every school, hospital and apartment building in America, causing energy prices to skyrocket and threatening any chance of the economic recovery we need.
Instead of forcing these costly regulations on a recovering economy and promising it will all work out in the end, he should embrace affordable energy and technologies that allow us to use our abundant resources efficiently, cleanly and cheaply while maintaining fuel diversity and reliability.
Recent advances in hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling in oil and natural gas have caused booming energy production in recent years. Oil production is up 40%. Natural gas production is up 16%. Low energy prices are fueling a manufacturing renaissance, and for the first time in decades, firms are looking to move production back to the United States.
If the president wants to gain the support of Americans on an energy policy, he should stop making excuses, finally approve the Keystone XL pipeline, and stop his obsession to increase taxes on energy producers, which only threatens jobs.
Although the president wants to expand renewable energy development on federal lands, his policies and the new regulations coming from his administration continue to keep the vast majority of federal lands off limits to oil and natural gas production.
The president proposes independent action to combat global warming, but his own former EPA administrator confirmed that "U.S. action alone will not impact world CO2 levels," and will only discourage companies from moving production back to the United States, leaving that production in countries where the same regulations do not exist.
The American people have consistently spoken that this Congress' and administration's principal focus should be on economic recovery. The future laid out by the president is one of economic stagnation, high unemployment, and an uncompetitive and uncertain economy. We need jobs, not more fanciful posturing and politics.
Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., is the senior member of the Environment and Public Works Committee.