Have you noticed that fossil fuels are getting short shrift in the Obama Administration’s policies? Energy independence remains a frequent refrain, but apparently only through renewable sources. Good luck!

If we were to double solar energy next year, 0.2% of electric generation would come from solar sources. By the general election campaign – with swelling outcry for “Drill Here, Drill Now” – then-candidate Barack Obama advocated energy diversity, or “all of the above.” And diversity certainly included expanded development of domestic fossil fuel resources.

But since inauguration day, the Obama Administration has taken numerous steps to halt or retard development of oil or coal, while heaping financial incentives on renewable energy.

The Department of Interior recently blocked plans for off-shore oil and gas development made possible by expiration of a 30-year congressional moratorium. Instead of oil development, DOI will accelerate plans for off-shore wind. The stimulus bill threw billions on renewable energy. And now, the President’s budget would eliminate $3.5 billion in tax deductions and impose new taxes for off-shore oil and gas development.

The most revealing proposal in the budget was for the 100% auction of carbon allowances, the most expensive method of CO2 reduction. This policy recalls a recorded interview about” bankrupting” coal power. Then-candidate Obama said he would not ban coal-fired electricity outright, but the cost of carbon allowances would “bankrupt” coal, now the cheapest means of generation.

With only renewable energy and punitive sanctions on fossil fuels, energy independence (an economically naive goal to start with) is impossible – as is an adequate, reliable, and affordable energy supply.

– Kathleen Hartnett White