Election was a mandate for domestic energy development | PostIndependent.com

Election was a mandate for domestic energy development

James Kellogg
Staff Photo |

In the 2014 midterm election, Democrats across the nation were swept out of office by a political tsunami. The defeats were a referendum on President Obama’s agenda, which favors Obamacare and amnesty over energy and free markets. A decisive majority of voters was incensed and they made a strong statement on Election Day. Republicans are expected to toss out the garbage and restart America’s economic engine.

Nationally, 59 percent of voters said they are angry or dissatisfied with President Obama and his administration. A third of those polled said opposition to the president was a primary reason for their vote in U.S. congressional races. Over 65 percent think the nation is on the wrong track.

When the smoke clears, Republicans will likely have nine new Senate seats and as many as 17 new members in the House. Republicans also fared well in gubernatorial races and will hold the top executive office in at least 31 states. And they now control 69 of 99 state legislative chambers. Throughout the country, voters supported conservative candidates who campaigned to repeal Obamacare, stop amnesty and develop domestic energy resources.

Hard-working Americans know that domestic natural gas provides nearly 25 percent of electricity in the United States. This proportion will increase as additional shale gas deposits become accessible due to directional drilling and hydraulic fracturing. This vast resource is a key to providing the nation with affordable energy, reducing dependence on foreign oil, and stimulating job creation and economic growth.

Unfortunately, the Obama administration has taken a back-door approach to stymie natural gas production with federal regulations. The Environmental Protection Agency is poised to implement new rules aimed at air quality and wastewater associated with hydraulically fractured gas wells. Experts agree the likelihood of properly injected fracturing fluid reaching drinking water through fractures is remote. Yet the EPA is intent on new rules that will drive up the cost of natural gas production.

Coal is another critical resource for economic growth. The United States has 30 percent of the world’s coal deposits. Domestic coal generates nearly half of our electricity because it is abundant, efficient and economical. Coal use around the world is on the rise, as well. Access to foreign markets for U.S. coal can create jobs and stimulate economic growth.

President Obama has been clear about his desire to kill coal use within our borders. An “aggressive” cap-and-trade system is his stated goal. Industries that use coal (such as electric power plants) would need to stem production or purchase emission rights. Either way, costs for consumers are driven skyward. At the same time, the administration allows environmentalists to block construction of facilities required for export of American coal.

Beyond rising energy costs, businesses in the U.S. are burdened with excessive payroll taxes directed to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. The corporate tax rate of 35 percent in the U.S. is the highest in the industrialized world. President Obama’s “you didn’t build that” assertion shows that he has no intention of providing tax relief. According to the socialist mindset, business success depends on government benevolence, which warrants that they pay tribute with high taxes and excessive regulation.

The problem for President Obama and Democrats is that too many Americans understand the monumental nature of the problems our country faces. They’re weary of big government hijacking liberty and politicians pushing policies of racial division. With their votes on Nov. 4, Americans demanded leadership on the important issues that matter for all of our futures.

Without a prosperous business climate, the U.S. economy will continue to limp along. The first thing our leaders can do for business is to reduce the cost of energy by allowing responsible development of our natural gas and coal resources. That doesn’t require a stimulus of taxpayer dollars or a new government agency. Abundant energy coupled with lower taxes would make American business profitable at home and competitive in the global market. That’s a true “stimulus” for job creations.

Freedom of opportunity, not equality of outcomes, sets America apart. Americans must be free to prove ourselves, to go as far as ambition, energy and talents take us. A prosperous future has nothing to do with health-care entitlements or a path to citizenship. A sustainable economic future depends on the freedom to use our energy and resources to earn a profit without being punished by government.

James D. Kellogg is a water resource engineer and the author of “Radical Action: A Colt Kelley Thriller”. Look for the novel on amazon.com and visit JamesDKellogg.com or email james@jamesdkellogg.com.

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