Obama’s Oil Spill Speech Overreaches on Cap and Trade, Cancelled Drilling

Nicolas Loris /

A little over a month into the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the American public wants answers– from the Obama administration, from Congress and from BP. While there are still many more questions than currently available answers, President Obama answered a few and dodged others in his speech today. He made a resounding push for clean energy legislation and referenced the House cap and trade bill passed last year and the one recently introduced in the Senate. He also suspended or canceled a number of lease sales off the coasts of American waters and extended a moratorium on deep-sea offshore oil drilling permits. The Gulf oil spill certainly presents an unprecedented economic and environmental disaster and challenge, but it should not be used as an excuse to ban offshore exploration and cancel leases outright or to overreach and make drilling prohibitively expensive. Furthermore, it should not be used to push clean energy agendas forward that will impose a significant burden on for American families, American businesses, and the American economy.

Similar to Rahm Emanuel’s “You don’t ever want a crisis to go to waste” statement, President Obama urged both Democrats and Republicans to move quickly to pass cap and trade legislation. This is not the solution to America’s energy needs because cap and trade will raise energy prices, kill jobs and contract the economy. If “clean energy” legislation moves forward, higher energy costs will spread throughout the economy as producers everywhere try to cover their higher production costs by raising their product prices, further impacting Americans. The result will be a much slower economy and lost jobs at a time when the top priority for Americans is economic growth.