Yesterday, the Democratic Senate threw down the gauntlet to President Obama. Obama wanted a bill passed that would end $4 billion in tax breaks for oil companies, and the Senate resisted; four Democratic Senators broke with the President and voted against the bill.
Prior to the vote, Obama attacked the oil companies in a speech at the Rose Garden: “Today, members of Congress have a simple choice to make. They can stand with big oil companies, or they can stand with the American people.”
It wasn’t always this way. Before he was president, when he still had to worry about making his way up the political ladder, Obama espoused a different philosophy. In 2005, as a senator, he voted for tax breaks for the oil companies; in 2006, on BookTV, he said it was all too easy to attack the oil companies: “People want serious answers to these problems. If you’re going to talk about energy for example. The easiest thing in the world is to look at Exxon Mobil’s profits last quarter and say these folks are making $36 billion in one quarter, the CEO is making $500 million, and gas prices are high and we’re getting gouged.”
But once he became President, the veil came off and we saw the real Obama; his targeting of the traditional Democrat bogeymen became overt. In a speech at Carnegie Mellon University in 2010, he said, “No matter how hard you work, if your paycheck isn’t enough to pay for college or health care or childcare, well, you’re on your own. If misfortune causes you to lose your job or your home, you’re on your own … and if you’re a Wall Street bank or an insurance company or an oil company, you pretty much get to play by your own rules, regardless of the consequences for everybody else.”
Attacking drilling offshore, blocking the Keystone pipeline, refusing to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge – Obama is free to stifle the most obvious answers for American energy independence while calling on Americans to stand against the oil companies. And four more years of freedom to act this way will crush America’s ability to supply itself with oil. Apparently even the Democratic Senate is beginning to realize both the political and real cost of Obama’s anti-oil policies.