Jewish World Review Jan. 21, 2011 / 16 Shevat, 5771
A Solution at Obama's Fingertips
By Jonah Goldberg
http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | On Tuesday, the president will deliver his State of the Union message.
The conventional wisdom is that
Either way, this undoubtedly means Obama will try to seem as if he's meeting Republicans halfway on their "reasonable" demands (quotation marks for the same reason as before) while drawing a stark line against their "unreasonable" ones.
As much as I may enjoy it, this sort of strategizing leaves most Americans cold. As far as I can tell, these days they are less concerned with "triangulation" than they are with the creation of good jobs that aren't bogus make-work, or paid for with money borrowed from
If that's the case, the solution is right in front of the president's face. To echo a chant from the 2008 Republican convention, "Drill, baby, drill!"
The objective case for developing our oil and gas wealth is pretty straightforward. With the exception of climate change, pretty much everything the Obama administration considers a major problem would be improved by opening the floodgates to new exploration.
The deficit? The oil industry already pays the U.S. treasury more than
Trade imbalances? Domestic oil and gas is, by definition, not imported. The more we produce here, the less we import, or the more we can sell overseas. Either way, the trade deficit goes down and GDP goes up.
Jobs? You can't drill for American oil or natural gas in
Just take a gander at
All in all, the
Meanwhile, it's quite possible that
But what about global warming? Well, even if you agree that climate change is a real problem, the simple fact is that we're stuck with fossil fuels for at least a generation longer, in part because "green energy" isn't ready for prime time. Moreover, the developing world will not significantly curb its emissions until they're developed.
President Obama is fond of saying that we need to look to
Why can't America have a similar do-it-all strategy?
As part of a grand bargain, the president could, in his State of the Union address, propose quintupling the amount of money we spend doing basic research on alternative fuels, the revocation of subsidies for the oil and gas industry, and a hike in the gas tax to pay for that infrastructure bank he wants. Throw in a ban on mountaintop-removal coal mining while he's at it. All of this in exchange for creating good jobs here at home, lowering energy costs, reducing our reliance on foreign oil and cutting the deficit.
Sure, the base of the
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