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August 27, 2014, 4:55 am

Wrongheaded energy policies

It shocked me when I first saw the video tape in June 2008. Presidential candidate Barack Obama was having an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle. Suddenly, he blurted out his proposed energy policy and it appeared to be extremist, destructive and dangerous. He stated in so many words that he wanted to bankrupt the coal industry; raise the price of gasoline to above $9 per gallon and force Americans to reduce their carbon footprint even if it hurts them economically.

The economic consequences of such a policy would wreck our national security and make us a second world nation.

Falling from the strongest economy in the world to a second world nation is something that we cannot let happen. I thought to myself, “I want this guy to get the presidency but I’ll be damned if I let something like that happen. If he tries it, I will fight it with a vengeance.”

When Obama got elected I assumed that he would not try this radical scheme until his second term. But what if there is no second term? I guess that is what he surmised because he couldn’t wait for the second term. He has promises to keep with the environmental extremists of the world. So, proposed legislation that was commonly referred to as the “Cap and Trade Bill” started moving through Congress. It included all the radical schemes that Obama mentioned in the San Francisco Chronicle interview.

If the United States were to withdraw its economic might and let Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC) move ahead of us, we would, in essence, transfer our industrial mechanisms to those in need. That would be dangerous.

We at the National Black Chamber of Commerce rallied our allies and began an education and advocacy program to alert Congress and the rest of the nation about this serious threat to our future. In the end, we won. Many of you remember the skirmish I had with Senator Barbara Boxer. That was just the beginning of the battle. The White House became extremely angry with me about this. But as a patriot and one who has worn an Army uniform and served proudly — unlike many in the Obama administration — I would not back down.

But neither do extremists. This time, they are not trying to achieve their sinister mission through a non democratic process. They are declaring “rules” and “executive orders” and hope to implement them as if they were congressionally-approved laws. We had an oil spill on a BP rig in the Gulf — a very major one — and that was all the president needed.

Ever since there has been a moratorium or delays on all new oil rigs at the cost of much needed oil and hundreds of thousands of precious jobs. Many businesses have closed because of this disruption. Offshore permits on both ocean coasts and in the Anwar region of Alaska are frozen indefinitely. As a result, the cost of gasoline at the pump is rising to record levels. We are now a little over half way to that $9 per gallon mark.

We desperately need the Keystone XL Pipeline to be built so that we can transport precious high quality crude oil from Canada, our number one provider, and the upper plains states to the refineries of Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana. The completion of this project would drive the retail cost of gasoline down and make it affordable again. Therefore, President Obama fights it with lame excuses and lies. He is fanatical about raising the price of gasoline, hurting us and reducing our consumption. Fanatical is a mild term.

While all of the above was taking place, President Obama blew about a $1 trillion dollars on a foolish stimulus bill that they assumed would cause an energy revolution. It was the biggest waste of tax dollars in history. Can you say “Solyndra”? There where a thousand of them.

Then the “kamikaze” attack on the coal industry starts. Obama has placed emission demands on coal fired utility plants that can’t be possibly met. Therefore, this “MATS Rule” (Mercury and Air Toxic Standards) is going to bankrupt more than half the coal utility plants in America. Consequently, your utility costs, groceries, etc. are about to skyrocket. The pain is going to be immense and it is just the beginning. More than 32 utility plants will be forced to close. Do you or a loved one work at one of these plants?

President Obama is now looking at ways to hurt “fracking,” a high tech way to mine natural gas. The president won’t stop until he achieves his mission — $9 gasoline and severe economic pain on the citizens. It is time for us to fight again. — (NNPA)


Harry C. Alford is the co-founder, president and CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce®. Website: Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .