As Families Suffer Dems’ $4/Gallon Energy Failure, Democrats Declare Victory

The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) is a political committee devoted to maintaining and increasing the 239-member Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Leave it to Vice President Joe Biden to claim that despite the economic misery American families are enduring from rising gas prices, everything is just swell. Biden said Wednesday that the Democrats’ energy policy “is the best it’s ever been”:

$4/GALLON INCHES CLOSER, NATIONAL GAS PRICE AVERAGE $3.928/GALLON: (“AAA’s Daily Fuel Gauge Report,” AAA, Accessed 4/4/2012)

103.7%: THE AMOUNT GAS PRICES HAVE INCREASED UNDER OBAMA, THE HIGHEST GAS PRICE INCREASE SINCE CARTER: ($1.928/gallon in Feb 2009; $3.928/gallon on 4/4/2012) (Series ID: APU000074714, "Gasoline, Unleaded Regular, Per Gallon/3.785 Liters," Bureau of Labor Statistics, Accessed 3/29/2012; “AAA’s Daily Fuel Gauge Report,” AAA, Accessed 4/4/2012)

AND JOE BIDEN SAID WHAT? “I THINK OUR ENERGY POLICY IS THE BEST IT’S EVER BEEN”: (“Biden: ‘Our Energy Policy is the Best It’s Ever Been,’” Real Clear Politics, 4/4/2012)

84% OF CONSUMERS FORCED TO CHANGE LIFESTYLE BECAUSE OF GAS PRICE HARDSHIP: “Nationally, 84% of those responding to an AAA survey released earlier this month say they've changed their routines as a result of soaring fuel prices.” (Chris Woodyard, “High Gas Prices? Some Consumers Just Say No,” USA Today, 3/30/2012)

Sadly, rising gas prices are just one example of the Democrats’ energy failures. Obama’s EPA is continuing a war on energy that is imperiling the entire American energy industry with destructive new regulations that are preventing new energy development and shuttering existing facilities:

DEMOCRATS’ WAR ON COAL:

NEW EPA REGULATIONS WOULD “END THE CONSTRUCTION OF CONVENTIONAL COAL-FIRED FACILITIES IN THE UNITED STATES”: “The Environmental Protection Agency issued the first limits on greenhouse gas emissions from new power plants Tuesday, a move which could end the construction of conventional coal-fired facilities in the United States.” (Juliet Eilperin, “EPA Imposes First Greenhouse Gas Limits on Power Plants,” The Washington Post, 3/27/2012)

“THIS STANDARD EFFECTIVELY BANS NEW COAL PLANTS”: “Industry officials and environmentalists said in interviews that the rule, which comes on the heels of tough new requirements that the Obama administration imposed on mercury emissions and cross-state pollution from utilities within the past year, dooms any proposal to build a coal-fired plant that does not have costly carbon controls.

“ ‘This standard effectively bans new coal plants,’ said Joseph Stanko, who heads government relations at the law firm Hunton and Williams and represents several utility companies. ‘So I don’t see how that is an ‘all of the above’ energy policy.’” (Juliet Eilperin, “EPA Imposes First Greenhouse Gas Limits on Power Plants,” The Washington Post, 3/27/2012)

13% OF COAL POWERED ENERGY BEING SHUT DOWN BECAUSE OF NEW RULES: “The proposal does not cover existing plants, although utility companies have announced that they plan to shut down more than 300 boilers, representing more than 42 gigawatts of electricity generation — nearly 13 percent of the nation’s coal-fired electricity — rather than upgrade them with pollution-control technology.” (Juliet Eilperin, “EPA Imposes First Greenhouse Gas Limits on Power Plants,” The Washington Post, 3/27/2012)

UNITED MINE WORKERS CHIEF: “LISA JACKSON SHOT US IN WASHINGTON”: “The coal industry will suffer the same fate as Osama bin Laden under new climate regulations proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency, the head of the United Mine Workers of America said this week.

“ ‘The Navy SEALs shot Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan and Lisa Jackson shot us in Washington,’ Cecil Roberts, president of the powerful union, said during an interview Tuesday on the West Virginia radio show MetroNews Talkline.” (Andrew Restuccia, “Mine Union Boss: Coal Industry Could Suffer Same Fate as Bin Laden,” The Hill, 4/4/2012)

MORE: NEW RULE IS “AN ALL-OUT… DECISION BY THE EPA THAT WE’RE NEVER GOING TO HAVE ANOTHER COAL-FIRED FACILITY” IN AMERICA: (Andrew Restuccia, “Mine Union Boss: Coal Industry Could Suffer Same Fate as Bin Laden,” The Hill, 4/4/2012)

JUDGE RECENTLY SLAMMED EPA FOR “MAGICAL THINKING” IN TRYING TO AXE COAL PERMIT: “A federal judge slammed an Obama administration gambit to revoke mountaintop mining permits Friday, saying the EPA invented authority where there was none.

“ ‘EPA resorts to magical thinking’ to justify nullifying permits issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for Arch Coal Inc.’s Mingo Logan mine in West Virginia, wrote U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson in Washington, D.C.” (Erica Martinson, “Judge Hits EPA For Axing Coal Permit,” Politico, 3/23/2012)

THE DEMOCRATS’ WAR ON NATURAL GAS AND OIL:

REPORT: “EPA REGS COULD HAMPER OIL, NATURAL GAS PRODUCTION, REPORT SAYS”: (Ben Wolfgang, “EPA Regs Could Hamper Oil, Natural Gas Production, Report Says,” The Washington Times, 3/15/2012)

OIL PRODUCTION COULD DROP 37%, NATURAL GAS PRODUCTION COULD DROP 11%: “Domestic oil and natural gas production could plummet if proposed Environmental Protection Agency regulations, designed to limit emissions from well sites, go into effect later this year, industry leaders said Thursday.

“The natural gas extraction technique known as ‘fracking’ would be hardest hit, and fuel extracted via the popular process would drop by about 52 percent, according to a new study commissioned by the American Petroleum Institute. Total gas production would decrease by about 11 percent, while domestic oil production could fall by as much as 37 percent, the report says.” (Ben Wolfgang, “EPA Regs Could Hamper Oil, Natural Gas Production, Report Says,” The Washington Times, 3/15/2012)

“UNTOLD STORY” BEHIND RISING GAS PRICES IS REFINERIES BEING DRIVEN OUT OF BUSINESS “IN NO SMALL PART BY COSTLY EPA RULES”: “The untold story behind soaring pump prices is that major U.S. refineries are going out of business and creating at least regional shortages thanks in no small part to costly EPA rules.” (Editorial, “EPA’s Heavy Hand Seen In Gas Crisis,” Investor’s Business Daily, 3/22/2012)

OVER LAST SIX MONTHS, THREE REFINERIES SUPPLYING HALF EAST COAST GASOLINE HAVE CLOSED: “Over just the past six months, three refineries supplying about half the gasoline, diesel and jet fuel to the East Coast have closed, including two owned by Sunoco Inc. They say they simply cannot make money anymore.” (Editorial, “EPA’s Heavy Hand Seen In Gas Crisis,” Investor’s Business Daily, 3/22/2012)

IHS STUDY: OBAMA ADMIN SLOWWALKING PERMITS AFTER MORATORIUM OFFICIALLY ENDED: “A study by the business-consultant firm IHS found that the federal government issued 51 new drilling permits in the year following the lifting of the drilling moratorium. That was down from 157 annual permits approved before the regulations took effect.” (Bill McMorris, “Obama’s Energy Slowdown,” The Washington Free Beacon, 3/13/2012)

RECENT ISSUANCE OF NEW LEASES AT ONE-THIRD OF HISTORICAL AVERAGE: “According to the Greater New Orleans Gulf Permits Index for January 31, over the previous three months the feds issued an average of three deep-water drilling permits a month compared to the historical average of seven. Over the same three months, the feds approved an average of 4.7 shallow-water permits a month, compared to the historical average of 14.7.” (Editorial, “ ‘Stupid’ and Oil Prices,” The Wall Street Journal, 2/24/2012)

OFFSHORE LEASING MUCH MORE DIFFICULT, SLOWER UNDER OBAMA POLICIES: “Approval of an offshore drilling plan now takes 92 days, 31 more than the historical average. And so far in 2012, an average of 23% of all drilling plans have been approved, compared to the average of 73.4%.” (Editorial, “ ‘Stupid’ and Oil Prices,” The Wall Street Journal, 2/24/2012)

Even as Democrats wage war on America’s existing energy sources, their insistence on gambling billions of taxpayer dollars on unproven green pipedreams has little to show for it except for now-bankrupt companies like Solyndra. And Democrats think this is a record to celebrate?:

A RECORD OF GREEN FAILURE:

REPORT OFFERS FURTHER EVIDENCE THAT OBAMA TEAM “IGNORED RED FLAGS” IN SUPPORTING SOLYNDRA IN 2009 WITH “MAIDEN GREEN ENERGY LOAN”: “The expert’s report, filed this week in Solyndra’s voluminous bankruptcy case in California, could embolden critics who say the government ignored financial red flags in supporting the solar panel maker with President Obama’s maiden green energy loan in 2009.” (Ronnie Greene, “Department of Energy Knew of Solyndra Risks, Former FBI Agent Finds,” iWatch News, 3/29/2012)

“REPORT: ENERGY LOANS COULD COST $3B” FROM “HIGH-RISK” GREEN PROGRAMS: (“Report: Energy Loans Could Cost $3B,” Associated Press, 2/10/2012)

NEW HOUSE OVERSIGHT REPORT: “SIGNIFICANT LOSSES ABSORBED BY TAXPAYERS AS A RESULT OF SOLYNDRA’S COLLAPSE IS JUST THE BEGINNING”: “After conducting a substantial review of the Department of Energy’s (DOE) loan guarantee program, it is clear that the significant losses absorbed by taxpayers as a result of Solyndra’s collapse is just the beginning. By the expiration of § 1705 program in September 2011, the DOE had approved 27 projects totaling more than $14.5 billion in guaranteed loans.” (“The Energy Department’s Disastrous Management of Loan Guarantee Programs,” House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, 3/20/2012)

OBAMA’S “GREEN” PROGRAM “INFUSED WITH POLITICS AT EVERY LEVEL”: “Meant to create jobs and cut reliance on foreign oil, Obama’s green-technology program was infused with politics at every level, The Washington Post found in an analysis of thousands of memos, company records and internal ­e-mails. Political considerations were raised repeatedly by company investors, Energy Department bureaucrats and White House officials.

“The records, some previously unreported, show that when warned that financial disaster might lie ahead, the administration remained steadfast in its support for Solyndra.” (Joe Stephens and Carol D. Leonnig, “Solyndra: Politics Infused Obama Energy Programs,” The Washington Post, 12/25/2011)

CRONY CAPITALISM? WASHINGTON POST AUDIT FINDS $3.9 BILLION IN TAXPAYER MONEY WENT TO “21 COMPANIES WITH CONNECTIONS TO FIVE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION STAFFERS AND ADVISERS”: “During the next three years, the department provided $2.4 billion in public funding to clean-energy companies in which Wagle’s former firm, Vantage Point Venture Partners, had invested, a Washington Post analysis found. Overall, the Post found that $3.9 billion in federal grants and financing flowed to 21 companies backed by firms with connections to five Obama administration staffers and advisers.” (Carol Leonnig and Joe Stephens, “Venture Capitalists Play Key Role in Obama’s Energy Department,” The Washington Post, 2/14/2012)

BUT THE DEMOCRATS ARE IMPERVIOUS TO EVIDENCE THAT THEIR GREEN FANTASY ISN’T REAL:

NEW BOOK: OBAMA TO TOP ECONOMISTS ABOUT FAILURE OF GREEN SPENDING BINGE: “I DON’T GET IT. WHAT DO YOU MEAN THERE ARE NO JOBS?”: “Week after week, Romer would march in with an estimate of the jobs all the investments in clean energy would produce; week after week, Obama would send her back to check the numbers. ‘I don’t get it,’ he’d say. ‘We make these large-scale investment in infrastructure. What do you mean there are no jobs?’” (Jordan Weissmann, “There Are Way Fewer Green Jobs Than You Think,” The Atlantic, 3/26/2012)

“THE NUMBERS RARELY BUDGED,” AND OBAMA WAS WARNED THAT HIS GREEN SPENDING “WOULD PRODUCE AN INSIGNIFICANT NUMBER OF JOBS RELATIVE TO THE COUNTRY’S WORKFORCE”: “But the numbers rarely budged. The U.S. clean energy industry was so microscopically small that even doubling or tripling the size of it, a major accomplishment that could take years, would produce an insignificant number of jobs relative to the size of the country’s workforce.” (Jordan Weissmann, “There Are Way Fewer Green Jobs Than You Think,” The Atlantic, 3/26/2012)

OBAMA DOUBLED DOWN ON MORE GREEN SPENDING SPREES IN STATE OF THE UNION: “Our experience with shale gas, our experience with natural gas, shows us that the payoffs on these public investments don’t always come right away. Some technologies don’t pan out; some companies fail. But I will not walk away from the promise of clean energy. I will not walk away from workers like Bryan. (Applause.) I will not cede the wind or solar or battery industry to China or Germany because we refuse to make the same commitment here.

“We’ve subsidized oil companies for a century. That’s long enough. It’s time to end the taxpayer giveaways to an industry that rarely has been more profitable, and double-down on a clean energy industry that never has been more promising.” (“Remarks by the President in the State of the Union Address,” The White House, 1/24/2012)

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