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War on Energy? Obama Fuel Standards Help Lower Gasoline Prices

Pat Powers keeps using the phrase "war on energy," as in, "the Obama Administration[']s EPA continues to prosecute their war on energy production."

Hey, Pat, buy gas lately? I saw $2.19 per gallon yesterday. If these gas prices are a result of a war on energy, please, keep warring!

Oh, guess what: These gas prices are resulting, at least in part from the very earth-friendly Obama policies that Powers irrationally hates. Remember those evil fuel efficiency standards President Obama approved in August 2012? Those standards have helped decrease gasoline demand, contributing to the surplus that's driving oil prices down below the business case threshold for Keystone XL. Even if SUV sales surge (it's already happening, because Americans live in the now... and perhaps because gas nozzles are so phallic?), the President's fuel efficiency standards will conserve energy and temper any price recovery:

...the fuel economy standards will help hold down U.S. gasoline consumption, even if buyers swing back to bigger vehicles. As the standards have toughened, and will get even tighter the next few years, automakers have been making even their lowest-mileage vehicles more efficient.

Since 2010, light trucks — like SUVs and pickups — have already earned an overall 5 percent improvement in gas mileage and by 2025 are expected to have boosted their efficiency by about half.

The mandates are eventually expected to eliminate the need for 3 million barrels of oil per day [Steve Everly, "Cheap Gas Attracts Thirstier Vehicles, But Tougher Fuel Economy Standards Will Make Them Guzzle Less," Kansas City Star, 2014.12.13].

A war on energy would be a war intended to destroy energy ("Impossible!" cry the attentive physicists in the audience), or at least to destroy our sources of energy. If anyone seems hell-bent on waging war on energy, it would seem to be the short-term Republican corporate mindset that advocates burning all the energy we can as fast as we can, leaving no energy—or at least no cheap, easy energy—for our children and grandchildren.

The Obama Adminstration appears to be waging the exact opposite of a war on energy. The Obama Administration is adopting conservation policies that ensure more energy will be around for future generations to use. The Obama Administration is waging a war for energy for future generations against the rapaciousness of a greedy present.

Related reading: Ben Casselman of says we know nothing about the future of oil prices.


  1. larry kurtz 2014.12.22

    Cory, Powers lives in a town where socialism provides for his every need while he whines about the price of energy. Why you read his crap remains a mystery.

  2. Donald Pay 2014.12.22

    Powers doesn't know squat about energy, and much of his information comes from the self-interested welfare queens in the coal industry and the utilities utilizing this coal. Sure, there's a war welfare queenism and outright poisoning of the public by the coal utility industry.

    The weird thing is Obama has not been at all tough the coal industry. Of course know-nothings like Powers just print nearly verbatim the propaganda from the coal industry. He really hasn't paid attention to the issue.

    The Obama administration has caved on sweetheart deals on coal leases, and refused to appropriately regulate coal ash as hazardous waste. That's really inexcusable. But Pitty Pat has no clue. He just puts out the industry propaganda.

  3. john tsitrian 2014.12.23

    Cheap energy now with lower food costs (grain prices have been down big-time, a trend that will work its way into retail prices) sure to follow are okay, to a point. But cheap subsistence is a way to hold urban wages down. Francois Quesnay, an 18th century French "physiocrat" (the term used for "economist" when the study was in its infancy) who coined the phrase "laissez faire" as applied to government policy made this point when he argued against French bans on agricultural exports that were intended to keep food prices low, a policy that was advanced by industrial interests who wanted to keep wages in check. There's a nice piece on this in the current PERC issue:

  4. Liberty Dick 2014.12.23

    The price war between the Saudis, shale oil, and their geopolitical interests is to blame. The "policies" of King Obama have done more harm than good. Yes they do encourage conservation but not enough to swing oil prices a hundred percent one direction. His policies have raised the price of vehicles substantially though. Comparable Chevy pickups from 2008-2014 MSRP at $29,900 vs. $42,500. Who does that hurt? The poor and middle class?

  5. leslie 2014.12.23

    The Haliburton Loophole, speaking of presidential energy policies, exempted fracking from the Clean Water Act as Cheney royally decreed, but i was wondering if that same influence was the source for SD legislature's nueterring DENR's ability to protect from uranium pollution of groundwater?

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