Washington & Wall Street: Obama, Energy & 'Californication'

It's the edge of the world
And all of western civilization
The sun may rise in the East
At least it settled in a final location
It's understood that Hollywood
Sells Californication

Red Hot Chili Peppers

Barack Obama is arguably the most incompetent and duplicitous individual to occupy the White House since Franklin Roosevelt.  His ineptitude is illustrated by fiascos like the terrorist attack in Benghazi. More recently, we saw the gratuitous public rejection of Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke during an interview with Charlie Rose on PBS.  Obama’s cavalier comments about the Fed chairman staying “too long” caused a week-long sell-off in the financial markets that has badly shaken public confidence in the US economic recovery. 

But America’s analog to Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez is just getting started. Today President Obama will make a climate policy address at Georgetown University. The White House has been keeping its intentions under cover, in part because Obama’s socialist, anti-growth agenda on energy is even contentious among many of his supposed supporters in the Democratic Party. But the President’s duplicity will again be on display--for all who bother to take notice.

“In speeches to political donors and environmental lobby groups over the past few weeks, the President and his Energy Adviser Heather Zichal have slowly telegraphed the coming contents of the speech,” writes James Lucier of Capital Alpha Partners in a research note. “It will consist of action which the President can undertake unilaterally, on his own, without Congressional approval, as the President has said he would act on past occasions.”

Lucier notes that the timing of the announcement carries a message in itself, illustrating the desire of Obama to conceal his anti-growth energy agenda. The White House has made a mess of U.S. energy policy--intentionally--with policy decisions required on a number of major national issues months or even years late:

The month of July, immediately before Congress goes on break for the Fourth of July recess, is about the last opportunity in the year to make any new policy announcement. In August, Washington shuts down for the summer, and in the fall, especially this coming fall, every available moment is taken up by fiscal matters.

In his speech today, Obama will throw a bone to his supporters on the anti-growth, socialist wing of the Democratic Party. True to his Chicago roots, however, Obama will eventually pretend to give the business community what they want--namely approval of the Keystone XL natural gas pipeline--when the price is right. Yet the complete and very intentional disarray within the Environmental Protection Agency under Obama will allow environmental groups to delay the Keystone XL pipeline project through litigation, perhaps for several years. 

John Broder wrote in The New York Times:

The president is preparing to move soon because rules as complex as those applying to power plants can take years to complete. Experts say that if Mr. Obama hopes to have a new set of greenhouse gas standards for utilities in place before he leaves office he needs to begin before the end of this year.

But fear not. Obama’s delay in proposing new policy initiatives is intentional. Obama will make friendly noises this week for the environmentalist, tree hugger crowd, but then he will deliberately delay the decision on the Keystone XL pipeline as long as possible to maximize the fund raising opportunities from the business community. Outside the world of politics, this sort of behavior is called extortion.  Again Capital Alpha:

We think that the President does need to reinforce his environmental bona fides prior to his likely approval of a border-crossing permit for the pipeline. And we would not be completely surprised to see the President make comments that have a bearing on Keystone XL He might, for instance, say that he expects the pipeline to meet higher standards of environmental review than previously expected, or to include a more robust carbon lifecycle analysis than has ever been done before.

We have a new definition of “Californication.” The ultimate objective of Obama and the anti-growth environmentalist community is to turn America into California. They sell a happy image of a cleaner environment, but the real agenda is pure anti-business, pro-government fascism à la FDR. The future of American energy policy pursued by Obama includes limits on carbon emissions and other environmental rules that are impossible for business to achieve and which will make it equally impossible to create new jobs for Americans in the future.  


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