From the sublime to the ridiculous, the Obama administration's energy policy has devolved into self-parody.
President Barack Obama recently announced that he would accelerate the construction of the southern half of the Keystone XL pipeline. This portion, conveniently enough, does not reach Canada, which yearns to send America petroleum from its oil sands in Alberta. Obama's move is like building an airport runway while banning the taxiway that would connect it to the passenger terminal.
The only thing sillier than Obama's plan would have been announcing it while wearing pants, but nothing north of his waist.
Obama, naturally, shirks responsibility for keeping Keystone a pipe dream. As he claims, "The rushed and arbitrary deadline insisted on by congressional Republicans prevented a full assessment of the pipeline's impact."
Rushed? Team Obama has had its entire tenure to study Keystone. As a State Department timeline confirms, it received TransCanada's Keystone application was submitted on Sept. 19, 2008. When Obama was inaugurated in January 2009, Washington already had evaluated Keystone for four months and one day. He had weighed the project's merits for three years before claiming that GOP monsters had forced him into a snap judgment when on Jan. 18 Obama spiked Keystone rather than decide too quickly.
Facing high gasoline prices, Obama says, "We can't simply drill our way out of the problem," while bragging that, "We're drilling all over the place."
As if to underscore this non sequitur, Obama spoke March 21 in Maljamar, N.M., before at least a half-dozen oil wells. This was a gripping visual, except that the wells stood perfectly still. What a perfect metaphor!
According to the Institute for Energy Research, oil production grew 14 percent on private property last year. However, it shrank 11 percent on federal acreage, controlled by Obama.
An average gallon of gasoline has climbed from $1.84 when Obama entered office to $3.94 today. Despite this 114 percent increase, Energy Secretary Steven Chu told a House hearing, "I would give myself a little higher" than an A-minus on fuel prices.
Week by week, today's mounting costs are fulfilling Chu's Christmas wish, famously whispered to The Wall Street Journal in December 2008, that "somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe." According to the House Republican Study Committee, drivers in France now pay about $7.80 per gallon. Germans shell out $8.10, while Italian motorists surrender $9 for a gallon of gas. Perhaps this is why Chu has abandoned his former, potentially toxic words.
"I no longer share that view," he told senators last month.
Chu's department has subsidized at least eight green-energy companies that have gone bankrupt. While electric-car manufacturer Fisker has avoided Chapter 11, it hardly is enjoying life in the fast lane.
Although Fisker got a $529 million loan guarantee from Energy, of which it had drawn $169 million, Consumer Reporter wrote, "Our Fisker Karma cost us $107,850. ... We buy about 80 cars a year, and this is the first time in memory that we have had a car that is un-drivable before it has finished our check-in process."
In February, Fisker halted production at its Delaware plant and sacked 26 workers.
"We're beginning to sequence the microorganisms in the gut of a termite," Chu explained. Someday, Chu envisioned, microbes inside termite intestines could be modified to convert cellulose into ethanol.
Scary? You bet!
Behold Team Obama's "Hope and change" battle cry for 2012: "Put a termite in your tank!"
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Deroy Murdock is a nationally syndicated columnist with the Scripps Howard News Service and a Fox News contributor.