-By Warner Todd Huston
Ten years ago this month the Democrats defeated the bill that would have allowed us to drill for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Preserve (ANWR). So it's happy anniversary to the loss of our energy independence once again.
It turns out that the tenth anniversary is known as the "tin" anniversary in that wonderful list of gifts one gives to celebrate such things. Tin is the perfect alloy when one notes the "tin ear" represented by the constant refrain the left always trumpets whenever we talk about drilling for oil, namely that it is pointless to do because we won't realize any benefits for up to 10 years.
To that point, Democrat Representative Maria Cantwell disgorged that very talking point during that 2002 debate:
I believe there is no way to justify drilling in ANWR in the name of national security. Oil extracted from the wildlife refuge would not reach refineries for 7 to 10 years and would never satisfy more than 2 percent of our Nation's oil demands at any one time.
Well, it's ten years, folks, and because the Democrats continually defeat new efforts to drill or explore for oil on American soil we are once again out of luck for exploiting our own sources of energy. Thanks to Obama and his party we stay dependent on foreign sources of energy.
The Illinois Review reminds us that gas was about $1.37 per gallon in 2002 when the ANWR drilling bill went before Congress but now that gas is edging toward $5 per gallon, it is certain that we sure could be using that ANWR oil today, right?
Once again the left harms America in favor of its fealty to the religion of environmentalism.
This anniversary comes as Obama turns his attention to what he calls "speculators" on the energy market. To try and misdirect America's attention from his dismal record on energy policy to those evil "speculators," Obama has launched an effort to "crack down" on financial speculation in energy-futures trading. Without any proof of such, Obama and his party claim that this speculating drives up energy prices.
Obama announced the formation of yet another empty task force to investigate these speculators as part of a "5-point plan" to address rising energy prices. In true populist fashion, Obama is promising to stop the speculators from causing gas prices to rise.
U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R, KY) scoffs at Obama's conceit as mere posturing.
…we hear that the President is announcing some kind of task force on oil speculation today. In other words, the same thing Washington Democrats always call for when gas prices go up.
If I were to guess, I’d say today’s proposal by the President probably polls pretty well. But I guarantee you it won’t do a thing to lower the price of gas at the pump. It never has in the past. White House officials admit as much. Why it would it now?
This is the same president that just recently scolded others who claim their plans can reduce gas prices. In the weekly radio address of March 17, Obama said, "Any career politician who promises some three-point plan for two-dollar gas – they’re not looking for a solution. They’re just looking for your vote."
Yet less than a month later, here Obama is offering a "5-point plan" to do just that.
"We’ve got a President who told us he was a different kind of politician doing the same old things and using the same talking points politicians in Washington have been peddling for years," McConnell said pointedly. "I mean, weren’t these kinds of gimmicks and stale talking points precisely the kind of thing President Obama campaigned against? I thought he was offering something new and different."
Even the National Journal scoffs at Obama's claim that his new effort can change gas prices. NJ points out that speculating on the market seems to have "little effect" on gas prices.
In 2008, an investigation by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission concluded that speculation has little effect on the price of oil, which is still largely driven by the fundamentals of supply and demand.
So, once again, all we have is smoke and mirrors, simple election-year posturing to make it seem as if Obama is doing something when in truth his failed energy policy is what is in large part to blame.