More headlines: Barack Obama on Energy & Oil

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OpEd: $525M to Solyndra solar panels, a big Obama donor

Obama promised he was going to create millions of so-called "green collar" jobs. He used that promise to justify his massive government giveaway of billions of taxpayers' dollars to green energy companies. We're now seeing the results of Obama's promise big government scheme. Solyndra, a US solar panel company, turned out to be a total bust. They were selling $6 solar panels for $3. It doesn't take a genius to realize that's a loser of a business model. But Solyndra's owner, billionaire George Kaiser, had an inside connection with Obama: Kaiser was a big Obama donor and one of the president's campaign fundraiser "bundlers." So the Obama administration fast-tracked a $535 million federally guaranteed loan. Obama believed so much in Kaiser and Solyndra that the made a big public relations event singing the praises of Solyndra & green jobs. Predictably, the company went bankrupt, its 1,100 workers lost their jobs, & the American taxpayer got the shaft, to the tune of over half a billion dollars
Source: Time to Get Tough, by Donald Trump, p. 16-18 Dec 5, 2011

FactCheck: McCain rejected alternatives 11 times, not 23

Obama made a misleading claim about McCain’s vote counts, saying “he voted 23 times against alternative fuels, 23 times.”

We found that only 11 of those votes would have reduced or eliminated subsidies or tax incentives for alternative energy. The rest were votes McCain cast against the mandatory use of alternative energy, or votes in favor of allowing exemptions from such mandates.

Source: on 2008 second presidential debate Oct 7, 2008

FactCheck: Both McCain & Obama plans kill oil tax loopholes

OBAMA: McCain’s tax plan would give oil companies “an additional $4 billion in tax breaks.”

FACT CHECK: McCain’s plan entails cutting the overall corporate tax rate and does not represent a special $4 billion in tax breaks for the oil companies. Both Obama and McCain have proposed plans that eliminate tax loopholes for oil and gas companies, according to the Associated Press.

Source: on 2008 first presidential debate-Boston Globe Sep 26, 2008

GovWatch: Supports nuclear power if it’s clean & safe

McCain released a Web ad entitled “Dr. No” that portrays Obama as saying “no to clean, safe, nuclear energy.” That’s false. Obama has said he’s open to building new nuclear plants if they are clean & safe.

McCain bases his claim on a partial quote from Obama on Dec. 30, 2007. Obama said, “I start off with the premise that nuclear energy is not optimal. I am not a nuclear energy proponent.” If that was all Obama said it would not make him an opponent of nuclear power, of course. But Obama went on to say, “There is no perfect energy source. Everything has some problems right now. We haven’t found it yet. Now I trust in our ingenuity. I have not ruled out nuclear as part of that [$150 billion proposed energy research] package, but only so far as it is clean and safe.”

Furthermore, the energy plan Obama released in October 2007 said: “It is unlikely that we can meet our aggressive climate goals if we eliminate nuclear power from the table.”

Source: GovWatch on 2008: Washington Post analysis Jun 26, 2008

Rebate checks instead of gas tax holiday

Q: You were opposed to Sen. Clinton’s plan for a gas tax holiday, the same one Sen. McCain proposes. Are you proposing any short term relief for this current gas crisis?

A: I meet Americans every day who are really hard hit. So absolutely, I want to make sure that tax stimulus package proposed that would follow up the initial rebate check with another one if you had three consecutive months of unemployment. That gets out to people right away. And in fact, we have a better chance of getting that done than the proposal that John McCain and Hillary Clinton have put forward, but understand this: the idea of a gas tax holiday is a phony approach. It is a gimmick. We saw this tried in a number of other states including my home state of Illinois. And what happens is, at best, you’re seeing pennies over 90 days, but more typically what happens is the oil companies just jack up prices by the same amount as the gas tax was as it’s suspended, so consumers don’t see the savings.

Source: 2008 CBS News presidential interview with Katie Couric May 5, 2008

Gas tax holiday is a classic Washington gimmick

Q: One issue that has really defined the two campaigns here in Indiana is this debate over gasoline: he price of it and whether there should be a tax holiday from the federal taxes. Hillary Clinton’s ad says, “Gas prices are skyrocketing, and she’s ready to act again. Hillary’s plan, use the windfall profits of the oil companies to pay to suspend the gas tax this summer. Barack Obama says no, again.” Why are you against it?

A: You’re right; this defines the difference between myself and Senator Clinton This gas tax, which was first proposed by John McCain and then quickly adopted by Senator Clinton, is a classic Washington gimmick. It is a political response to a serious problem that we have neglected for decades. Here’s the upshot. You’re looking at suspending a gas tax for three months. The average driver would save 30 cents per day for a grand total of $28. That’s assuming that the oil companies don’t step in and raise prices by the same amount that the tax has been reduced.

Source: Meet the Press: 2008 “Meet the Candidates” series May 4, 2008

FactCheck: Self-contradictory on Bush’s clean-energy plan

Obama contradicted himself, saying the Bush administration had done nothing serious about alternative fuels or raising fuel efficiency. Obama said, “We have not seen any serious effort on the part of this administration to spur on the use of alternative fuels, raise fuel efficiency standards on cars.”

If the 2005 energy bill signed by President Bush was indeed the “single largest investment in clean energy” ever seen, as Obama says, then it’s hard to see how his administration can be faulted for lack of “any serious effort” to promote alternative fuels. Furthermore, another bill Bush signed in December sets a national fuel economy standard of 35 mpg by 2020, the first major increase in vehicle fuel efficiency standards in more than three decades.

It is certainly true that more could be done, and Obama would be within his rights to say that Bush’s efforts aren’t serious enough to suit him. But claiming a lack of any serious effort at all is contradicted by the record and by Obama’s own words.

Source: on 2008 Democratic debate in Las Vegas Jan 16, 2008

Cheney met environmentalists once; but Big Oil 40 times

The reason [our energy policy] doesn’t change--you can take a look at how Dick Cheney did his energy policy. He met with environmental groups once. He met with renewable energy folks once. And then he met with oil and gas companies 40 times. And that’s how they put together our energy policy. We’ve got to put the national interests ahead of special interests, and that’s what I’ll do as president of the United States.
Source: 2007 YouTube Democratic Primary debate, Charleston SC Jul 23, 2007

Voted for failed IL gas tax holiday & learned from mistake

Q: Would a gas tax holiday cause oil companies to raise prices?

A: I have some experience on this because in Illinois we tried this when I was in the state legislature, and that’s exactly what happened. The oil companies, the retailers were the ones wh ended up benefiting.

Q: But you voted for it.

A: I did.

Q: When gas was only $2 a gallon.

A: I voted for it, and then six months later we took a look, and consumers had not benefited at all, but [the state] had lost revenue.

Q: So you learned from a wrong vote.

A: Yeah, I learned from a mistake. And, in addition, this would come out of the Federal Highway Fund that we use to rebuild our roads and our bridges. Now, Sen. Clinton says that she’s going to use the windfall profits tax to fill it, but she’s already said that she’s going to use the windfall profits tax to invest in clean energy. More importantly, nobody thinks that George Bush is actually going to sign a law for windfall profits taxes, so that’s not going to happen this summer.

Source: Meet the Press: 2008 “Meet the Candidates” series May 4, 2008

Sponsored legislations that improve energy efficiency

Obama co-sponsored a Renewable Portfolio Standard that mandates ten percent of total electric utility output must be renewable by 2012. He sponsored the Biodiesel Fuel Act to require diesel fuel sold in Illinois to contain at least two percent biodiesel fuel by volume. He was chief co-sponsor of the Energy Efficiency Building Act and the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards Act, which aim to improve energy efficiency in residential, commercial, and industrial buildings and in certain household products.
Source: 2004 Senate campaign website, Sep 28, 2004

Nuclear power ok, as one component of energy mix

Q: What can you do to move Congress on climate change?

McCAIN: I traveled all over the world looking at the effects of greenhouse gas emissions. Now, what’s the best way of fixing it? Nuclear power. Sen. Obama says that it has to be safe or disposable or something like that. Nuclear power is safe, and it’s clean. And I know that we can reprocess the spent nuclear fuel. The Japanese, the British, the French do it. And we can do it, too. Sen. Obama has opposed that.

OBAMA: I’ve called for investments in solar, wind, geothermal. Contrary to what Sen. McCain keeps on saying, I favor nuclear power as one component of our overall energy mix. But this is another example where I think it is important to look at the record. Sen. McCain said a while back that the big problem with energy is that for 30 years, politicians in Washington haven’t done anything. What Sen. McCain doesn’t mention is he’s been there 26 of them. And during that time, he voted 23 times against alternative fuels.

Source: 2008 second presidential debate against John McCain Oct 7, 2008

OpEd: Cap-and-trade is little more than carbon emissions tax

In the past few years, American manufacturing has enjoyed a reprieve on its way to extinction as energy prices started to rise rapidly. The advantage enjoyed by China, and other countries with lower labor costs, began to erode as the cost of shipping goods to the American market rose sharply. Before long, increased energy costs were offsetting these nations' lower worker pay.

But no more. Obama's proposed cap-and-trade legislation--little more than a tax on carbon emissions--threatens to eliminate this newfound advantage for U.S. companies. By imposing a tax on manufacturers who reside in the United States, but not on those that are in India or China (both of whom refuse to go along with the emissions taxes), Obama creates a massive incentive to move manufacturing jobs out of the country.

The result? When an American factory closes, the odds are increasing that it will move away, rather than wait for Obama's carbon-tax axe to fall.

Source: Take Back America, by Dick Morris, p. 41 Apr 13, 2010

OpEd: cap-and-trade credit allotment is corporate welfare

Who ultimately will pay for this entire regulatory system [set up by cap-and-trade]? That's easy: the consumers will.

Gasoline, electricity, and heating oil will all become more expensive under cap-and-trade, and so will everything that is made or shipped using electricity, coal, or gas--which is pretty much everything.

But Obama later endorsed Waxman-Markey, which gives away 85 percent of the credits. Understandably, some of Obama's green allies did not like seeing their cherished anti-carbon regime transform into "the largest corporate welfare program" in US history

After the House passed it, Obama praised the bill as "a historic piece of legislation." And in terms of doling out corporate welfare, it certainly was.

Source: Obamanomics, by Timothy P. Carney, p.108 Nov 30, 2009

OpEd: Fast-tracking green energy projects took two years

President Obama needed emergency stimulus money so fast that no one in Congress had time to read the $787 billion stimulus bill. Then that legislation met the federal bureaucracy. Consider the example of "fast track" green energy projects which, despite their name, still have to go through a multi-layered environmental impact and public review process. According to the website of the Bureau of Land Management (which handles green energy projects for the Department of the Interior), these projects could "potentially" be cleared for approval to receive stimulus funds by December 2010, almost two years after the stimulus was passed.
Source: To Save America, by Newt Gingrich, p. 11-12 May 17, 2010

OpEd: Green jobs are just subsidies for selected industries

Obama used "green jobs" as a hook on which to hang subsidies for electric cars, green buildings, ethanol, clean coal, windmills, solar panels, and more. Of course, these programs all spell profits for battery makers, contractors, coal companies, politically connected investors, and others.

But profits generated through regulation and subsidies don't come from thin air--they come from higher prices and higher taxes. Every dime GE pockets in windmill subsidies is a dime a taxpayer could have spent stimulating some other portion of the economy. Every dollar Goldman Sachs makes in cellulosic ethanol subsidies is a dollar a taxpayer could have invested in a technology with more promise than squeezing fuel out of grass. And when our utility bills go up thanks to cap-and-trade, that's money an American family could have spent on books, vacations, or repairing broken doors. This simple economic principle undermines the idea of green jobs.

Source: Obamanomics, by Timothy P. Carney, p.118 Nov 30, 2009

$150B over 10 years to establish a green energy sector

The dangers are eclipsed only by the opportunities that would come with change. We know the jobs of the 21st century will be created in developing alternative energy. The question is whether these jobs will be created in America, or abroad. Already, we’ve seen countries like Germany, Spain and Brazil reap the benefits of economic growth from clean energy. But we are decades behind in confronting this challenge. George Bush has spent most of his Administration denying that we have a problem, and making deals with Big Oil behind closed doors.

It’s time to make energy security a leading priority. My energy plan will invest $150 billion over the next ten years to establish a green energy sector that will create up to 5 million jobs over the next two decades. We’ll help manufacturers--particularly in the auto industry--convert to green technology, and help workers learn the skills they need. And unlike George Bush, I won’t wait until the sixth year of my presidency to sit down with the automakers.

Source: Speech in Flint, MI, in Change We Can Believe In, p.252-3 Jun 15, 2008

Invest in alternative energy sources

Barack Obama believes that by investing in alternative energy sources and improving automobile fuel efficiency, America can be a leader in this global market while spurring new industries and creating jobs at home. His “Energy Independence for Illinois” plan will reduce American dependence on foreign oil and promote emerging markets throughout the country.
Source: 2004 Senate campaign website, Jun 25, 2004

Tradable credits for renewable energy

Obama will support legislation requiring that by 2020, 20% of the nation’s power supply portfolio comes from renewable sources like wind, solar, biomass and geothermal energy. Promoting renewable energy will create new investments and new jobs without increasing prices. Obama has proposed a flexible market-based approach that allows electricity providers to either generate the renewable energy themselves, obtain it from other companies, or purchase credits from providers who exceed the standard.
Source: 2004 Senate campaign website, Jun 25, 2004

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Page last updated: May 01, 2019