American Resources for U.S. Recovery; Tapping Abundant Energy Will Create Jobs and Restore Prosperity

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Byline: Paul Driessen, SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES

They are clueless about reinvigorating the economy, but Congress and the administration have proved they know how to kill jobs, prosperity and hope. Their energy policies are especially destructive.

President Obama made clear that under his tutelage electricity costs would necessarily skyrocket, gasoline prices would soar, green energy would be the law of the land, and he would fundamentally transform America. He is keeping his promise.

America's vast storehouses of untapped oil, gas, coal and uranium could generate millions of jobs and countless billions in revenues. Unshackled from excessive regulations that do little to improve health and environmental quality, our electricity-generation industries and the factories and other businesses that depend on reliable, affordable energy could do likewise.

Instead, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Energy and Interior departments and other government bureaucracies continue to impose a near-total shutdown of onshore and offshore oil and gas leasing, foot-dragging or outright rejection of drilling permits, antipathy toward hydraulic fracturing to tap our 100-year supply of shale gas, and truckloads of punitive air and water rules designed to shutter dozens of coal-fired power plants.

The president claims he will pare back regulation by several billion dollars - out of an estimated $1 trillion in total annual regulatory compliance costs. In just one example, the EPA offered $126 million in supposed paperwork reductions while imposing several hundred billion dollars' worth of new regulations.

Mr. Obama finally suspended the EPA's proposed ozone rules, which many had warned would be the most expensive environmental edicts in history. They almost will certainly return after the 2012 elections. Then Mr. Obama bowed to EPA and environmentalist pressure and postponed action on the Keystone XL pipeline, which would have created 20,000 almost-shovel-ready jobs.

Even businesses on the leading edge of the green revolution that engage in crony capitalism and lobbying for dollars are faring poorly. After lapping up $1.5 billion in government red-ink subsidies and loan guarantees, three U.S. solar companies filed for bankruptcy and fired more than 2,000 workers. And the Energy Department shoveled billions of tax dollars into still more wind and solar projects despite voter concerns and objections.

The Energy Department also sponsored programs that created 14 jobs and weatherized four Seattle houses in a year at a cost of $20 million. It spent $80 billion to create 225,000 other clean energy jobs - at $356,000 apiece.

This isn't green energy. It's greenbacks energy. It requires perpetual infusions of taxpayer money, confiscated from hardworking, productive sectors and given to companies that have proper political connections. …