In his address to the nation on the Gulf spill, President Obama spread another kind of oily slick with his misleading rhetoric.
In his usual attempt to glorify himself and to glorify big government, he tried to sell the spill as a “battle we’re waging” and he presented a “battle plan.”
Mr. President, this isn’t a battle as you describe it, and so far you sure haven’t acted like a general who knows what you’re doing. Nor is your “battle plan” the right one.
The oil spill is a huge accident, not a war. Accidents need effective responses. But the president chose a wrong analogy when he compared “the answer…to this challenge…” to “harness[ing] the science and technology to land a man safely on the surface of the moon.”
The oil spill will not be fixed with the science and technology of the Apollo 11 moon landing but with the engineering ingenuity that dealt with the accident on the Apollo 13 moon mission.
The Apollo 13 moon landing was aborted after faulty electrical equipment caused an onboard explosion that ruptured an oxygen tank, limiting the spacecraft’s power, warmth, water and oxygen supplies, and its carbon dioxide removal system. In a race against time, engineers on the ground creatively joined together different pieces of equipment from different parts of the spacecraft. They jury-rigged a hosing connection that properly directed a flow to prevent carbon dioxide from poisoning the lunar module’s environment.
Individuals—not a big government program—addressed the Apollo 13 accident. Individuals—not a big government program—will stop the Gulf oil gusher.
Yet the president indirectly alluded to the need for yet another big government program—passing his “cap and tax” proposal—as the proper response to the Gulf accident. He said, “The tragedy unfolding on our coast is the most painful and powerful reminder yet that the time to embrace a clean energy future is now.”
Wrong, Mr. President. We need to plug the damn hole in the Gulf now, not use the accident as your political pretext for a government takeover of the energy sector and for the highest tax increase (on energy) in American history.
In November of 2008, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel defined the Obama Doctrine of big government meddling when he said, "Never let a serious crisis go to waste. What I mean by that is it's an opportunity to do things you couldn't do before."
What Emanuel actually meant is, “Never let a serious crisis go away.” Just as the president threw big government interference at health care, he now wants to throw big government interference at our energy supply. He wants to “do things you couldn’t do before” with his clean, green energy dreams, like spending uncontrolled amounts of taxpayer money on “wind turbines…energy-efficient windows…solar panels [and] more efficient cars and trucks.”
Sure, we should encourage the development of alternative energy sources. But what we really need now is the development of clean, safe, reliable and efficient energy that we already have in this country—mainly coal (which new technology is making cleaner) and also untapped oil in places on land, like in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
We don’t need boondoggles, government mandates and hundreds of billions of taxpayers dollars thrown at wind, solar and synthetic fuels industries, which can’t give us a fraction of the energy we need now, at the right price—economically or environmentally.
The president used misleading rhetoric when he said that, “Now is the moment for this generation to embark on a national mission to unleash American innovation and seize control of our own destiny.”
Unleashing American innovation and seizing control of our own destiny calls for an Apollo 13 approach. Let’s turn individuals—not big government—loose to come up with new and creative ways to expand our energy sources and become more independent of foreign oil. Let’s not use this oil accident to unleash what the French might call “Health Care Reform, Part Deux.”
Just as Obama used a health care crisis to push through government-controlled, outrageously expensive health care reform that will lead to rationing, he now wants to use an oil spill accident to push through the same effects regarding his green energy chimeras. Incidentally, France derives 80 percent of its electricity needs through nuclear power plants.
President Obama said, “What sees us through—what has always seen us through—is our strength, our resilience, and our unyielding faith that something better awaits us if we summon the courage to reach for it.”
Mr. President that strength, resilience, faith and courage comes from the ingenuity and enterprise of individuals—not big government.
Communications consultant Jon Kraushar is at www.jonkraushar.net.
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Communications consultant Jon Kraushar is at www.jonkraushar.net. He is a consultant to corporate and political leaders including Steve Forbes.