WASHINGTON D.C — IER President Thomas Pyle released the following statement after tonight’s speech by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to the Democratic National Convention, now meeting in Charlotte, NC:
“Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s speech tonight at the Democratic National Convention was an impressive example of rhetorical charades, bestowing credit upon President Obama for the bright horizon of America’s energy future despite the administration’s relentless, take-no-prisoners assault on affordable domestic coal, oil, and natural gas.
In his speech, Secretary Salazar claimed that Obama energy policies were responsible for reduced oil imports, for record natural gas production, for American auto manufacturers making cars that ‘Americans want to buy,’ and for creating hundreds of thousands of jobs in the renewable sector. But the facts are not on Secretary Salazar’s side.
Today, oil production is up on state and private lands, though President Obama and the Department of Interior have closed access to 97 percent of America’s offshore energy resources and locked up nearly 1 trillion barrels of oil shale in Secretary Salazar’s home state of Colorado. In fact, oil and natural gas production on federal lands declined last year.
Natural gas production is helping America burn cheaper, cleaner energy to heat and power their homes, though President Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency are working overtime to find creative regulatory barriers to the continued use of hydraulic fracturing that has made the natural gas boom possible.
As for making cars that Americans want to buy, auto manufacturers have been forced to suspend production of electric vehicles that are neither affordable nor efficient for the overwhelming majority of consumers who commute for work. And Secretary Salazar should tell the thousands of employees from Solyndra, Abound Solar, Amonix, Evergreen Solar and others who have lost their jobs amid countless bankruptcies at renewable companies who could not survive even with billions of dollars in taxpayer-funded grants, guarantees, and giveaways. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of shovel-ready, good-paying jobs still await President Obama’s approval of the Keystone XL pipeline.
Secretary Salazar claimed that no president in history has done as much as Barack Obama to foster American energy independence. Somehow, however, his speechwriters forgot to include that under President Obama America has become more dependent on oil imports from the Persian Gulf.”