In the last few days, Democrat candidate for President Sen. Barack Obama gave us the benefit of two one-on-one interviews to get to know some of what he has planned for an Obama administration. One was with Bill O’Reilly last week and the other was at Columbia University in New York tonight called the ServiceNation Summit Forum. In both settings, Obama addressed his plan for energy independence. And where energy independence is concerned, he has no plan, and here’s why.
With Bill O’Reilly on the subject of energy independence, Obama said he has a plan. It is to spend $150 billion (coming from oil companies) over ten years to develop solar, wind, and hydroelectric power. To be realistic about it, $150 billion over ten years is not all that much considering the task at hand. He didn’t say anything about nuclear power until O’Reilly asked him about that specifically. He then said ‘oh yeah, sure we’ll expand nuclear power.’ He did not mention drilling for more oil and gas. Instead, he rested his case on the hope that we will be able to actually become energy independent with scientific breakthroughs that he hopes will come. And he justified this position by saying ‘Kennedy didn’t know how we were going to get to the moon.’ I’m beginning to see what he means by hope and change. The change is we’re going to govern on hope.
Obama addresses energy one more time near the end of the interview when discussing the problem with Putin invading Georgia and threatening the United States if we put a defensive missile system in Poland, and what he would do about Putin. Obama’s said short of a military response, there are two levers we can use. One is economic which would require help from Europe. Because Russia is economically tied to Europe and to a lesser extent the United States. The other he said, was to ‘get our energy policy straight.’
Fast forward to tonight at Columbia University. The sum of his statement on energy was this one sentence. From the transcript . . .
We’re going to have a bold energy plan that says that we are going to reduce our dependence on foreign oil by 20 or 30 percent over the course of a decade or two.
Twenty or thirty percent over a decade or two? In a matter of a week, his plan went from 10 years to 20 years. And he is not sure by how much he can do it. 20% OR 30%? Is that even a goal? And even at that, there is no independence. Right now, we import 70 percent of our oil. Do the math with me here. If Obama can cut that by 20 or 30 percent then his definition of energy independence is to import 40 to 50 percent from foreign sources instead of 70 percent.
If this is what Barack Obama calls energy independence, and getting our energy policy straight, then he isn’t the one to get us there.