Gasoline prices are on the verge of crashing down to below
Even with renewed demand from a global economic resurgence, energy prices continue to fall. The U.S. has suddenly become the world's largest combined producer of oil and natural gas.
That fact -- along with a desire to weaken hostile
Everyone seems to have forgotten about "peak oil" -- the catchphrase of the new millennium.
The world in general, and
The Obama administration never much worried about high energy costs. During the 2008 campaign, Obama promised that, "Under my plan ... electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket." Shutting down coal plants and using higher-priced but cleaner natural gas would pave the way for an even pricier mandated wind and solar generation.
In the vice presidential debates of 2008,
The energy secretary-designate, the professorial
Just two years ago, when up for re-election, Obama reminded Americans, "We can't just drill our way to lower gas prices."
Obama ridiculed the Republican idea of lowering gas to
Such easy rhetoric was backed by action -- or lack of it. The Keystone XL pipeline was put on permanent hold. New fracking leases on federal lands were postponed. Huge areas of oil- and gas-rich federal lands were put off-limits. Some blue states stopped fracking. Money poured into solar schemes like Solyndra.
Decreased use of expensive energy was deemed desirable. Cash-strapped commuters would be forced to drive less, thereby advancing the noble cause of curbing supposed manmade global warming. Federal subsidies flowed for high-speed rail. Wind, solar and other alternate energies could at last become competitive. Cap-and-trade legislation looked as if it might sail through
Unfortunately for the Obama administration, the new age of sky-high oil prices proved an economic disaster. The natural cycle of recovery never quite followed the end of the recession in mid-2009, as U.S. budget and trade deficits soared.
Abroad, all the wrong countries were empowered as never before.
Then, finally, oil and gas prices plunged due to the "drill, baby, drill," can-do attitude of the private sector. Americans should thank the U.S. oilman -- from the drillers in the field to the engineers behind the scenes -- who did the impossible. They vastly increased the supply of what was supposedly a permanently declining resource, and thereby helped to crash prices.
Oilmen, not the government, returned hundreds of billions of dollars to American consumers. They, not
Almost everything Obama tried for six years in an effort to rev the economy -- from near-zero interest rates and
Abroad, spendthrift oil producers such as hostile
What Obama once ridiculed is now saving him from himself -- after he had championed policies that nearly destroyed him.
The Greeks had a word for it: irony.