Let's start with a quick word count. In his speech, the President mentioned the following terms:
Greenhouse gas: 0 times
Coal: 1 time
Carbon: 2 times
Climate change: 4 times
Solar: 5 times
Wind: 5 times
Natural gas: 9 times
Nuclear: 10 times
Efficient: 11 times
Clean energy: 16 times
Efficiency: 22 times
Oil: 54 times
And the winner is... Oil!
Just a guess, but President Obama's sudden obsession with oil might have something to do with the fact that the current slate of 2012 GOP presidential candidates has rediscovered the slogan "Drill Baby Drill!" Literally.
Newt Gingrich's American Solutions recently re-launched its Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less campaign, which first made headlines in 2008 - the last time gas prices skyrocketed and sank America's economy. This time, the premise is simple. If we'd just forget about that pesky BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and increase offshore drilling, oil prices would plummet back to affordability:
Here's how Obama addressed the issue:
I don’t think anybody here has forgotten what happened last year, where we had to deal with the largest oil spill in [our] history. I know some of the fishermen down in the Gulf Coast haven’t forgotten it. And what we learned from that disaster helped us put in place smarter standards of safety and responsibility. For example, if you’re going to drill in deepwater, you’ve got to prove before you start drilling that you can actually contain an underwater spill. That’s just common sense. And lately, we’ve been hearing folks saying, well, the Obama administration, they put restrictions on how oil companies operate offshore. Well, yes, because we just spent all that time, energy and money trying to clean up a big mess. And I don't know about you, but I don't have amnesia. I remember these things. And I think it was important for us to make sure that we prevent something like that from happening again.
Not good enough for Sarah Palin, who had this to say about Obama's energy policies on Facebook today:
His war on domestic oil and gas exploration and production has caused us pain at the pump, endangered our already sluggish economic recovery, and threatened our national security.
She actually refers to Obama at one point as "he who is manipulating the U.S. energy supply," as if the President suddenly morphed into "He who cannot be named" - the evil Lord Voldemort of Harry Potter fame.
The funny thing is that domestic oil production actually reached its highest level since 2003 last year, despite the oil spill.
Since that isn't good enough for Republicans who want to replace Obama in the White House, the President has put a new offer on the table:
Increase domestic oil production
cut our oil dependence (the amount of oil we import from abroad) by a third
Still not good enough for everyone's favorite reality TV star and former governor from Alaska. Of course, Sarah Palin might not be the most reliable source of information about domestic oil production. In today's posting on Facebook, she mentions something about a moratorium on offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, but makes no mention of the oil spill that took place in 2010. Maybe she didn't hear about that one way up there in Alaska, eh?
Let's face it. There's no pleasing the "Drill Baby Drill!" camp because they already know that no amount of domestic drilling will ever make oil prices less volatile. They just don't want the rest of us to know that. President Obama should get back to what he's good at: making the case for clean energy solutions and more green jobs for America.