Op-Ed: Once again, siding with greens over job creation

phillyPhiladelphia Inquirer | May 13, 2016 | Dan Kish

President Obama just had a change of heart on offshore energy development.

Last year, the president put forward a blueprint to expand oil and gas exploration off the Atlantic Coast. This month, he shelved the plan.

Environmentalists are celebrating. But it’s a loss for the country. Obama has passed on an important opportunity to secure America’s energy future and create thousands of jobs.

The president has a long history of siding with environmentalists over working Americans. While campaigning for the presidency in 2008, for instance, Obama stated proudly that “under my plan … electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.”

Upon taking office, the president wasted little time in pursuing this goal. After his attempt to get a cap-and-trade bill through Congress failed, he said that was “just one way of skinning the cat” and tasked the Environmental Protection Agency with carrying out his agenda through executive fiat.

The EPA responded with the Clean Power Plan, a sweeping carbon dioxide reduction scheme based on an imaginative interpretation of the Clean Air Act. Among other things, the plan promised to slash power plants’ carbon emissions by 32 percent by 2030.

By restricting the use of low-cost fossil fuels and forcing the construction of expensive new generation, the EPA’s plan effectively mandates that Americans pay more for energy. Fortunately, in February, the Supreme Court halted the enforcement of this scheme until legal challenges are resolved.

Read full op-ed here.

Dan Kish is a senior vice president for policy at the Institute for Energy Research.