Economics, Energy and the Environment

Obama’s Orwellian overture

Yesterday, after the president shoved a thumb in both the Canadian and American people’s eyes by gratuitously and politically rejecting the Keystone XL oil pipeline, I opined that it was possible the president thinks that people won’t care because he intends to simply lie about the whole thing:

On the other hand, this president has a history of doubling- and tripling-down on his more absurd energy policies, and isn’t afraid of over-the-top Orwellian speaking.

I’d like to thank the president for helping me make my point. On the same day as he rejected the Keystone XL pipeline, the Obama campaign has released a YouTube video that basically claims up is down, black is white, Solyndra was a major success, the green-energy jobs thing really is working, and that the Obama administration is as ethically pure as the driven snow. Watch it here.

This is truly an ingenious ad, partly because it is so blatantly misleading. Rather than rebut the Solyndra debacle, they quote a liberal newspaper which debunked a political ad by a rival regarding Solyndra. Choice stuff here.

My favorite lines?

“And America’s clean energy industry? 2.7 million jobs and expanding rapidly.”

For this, the ad cites a Brookings Institute study on the green economy, and misrepresents it utterly. First of all, the Brookings study looked at all jobs they could define as “green jobs,” which were overwhelmingly not jobs in the clean energy industry, and included about 350,000 bus drivers, and another 380,000 trash collectors.

As I observed when the Brookings report came out, the Brookings conclusions are not what the green-job boosters claim they are.

Brookings concludes that,

For one thing, the data counsel against excessive hopes for large-scale, near-term job-creation from the sector. After all, the U.S. clean economy remains small where it is fast growing, and relatively slow-growing on balance, as defined here.

To rephrase that, the parts of the “clean” economy that boosters point to as having rapid growth are the smallest sections of Brookings’s re-defined clean economy.

“For the first time in 13 years, our dependence on foreign oil is below 50 percent.”

The folks at the Oil Drum blog have already debunked this, in response to a Mortimer Zuckerman article in U.S. News:

Exhibit 1 shows the data behind oil and petroleum product imports, and it appears that he has done a bit of mixing-and-matching to arrive at the percentages that he cites. It is true that crude oil & petroleum products represented 60% of 2005 U.S. imports compared to consumption. The reduction in imports to 47% in 2010, however, is the percentage of crude oil alone compared to consumption for that year. When we examine comparable categories, it is clear that crude oil imports – relative to total consumption of crude oil and products – were only 2% lower in 2010 than in 2005, and that the big change that he alludes to was mostly in petroleum product imports.

Orwell starts with an O. So does Obama. Coincidence? Apparently not.

3 thoughts on “Obama’s Orwellian overture

  1. America is doomed, we are commiting suicide by stupidity and ignorance, We have elevated the poor and minorities as actual contributers to our growth.

    Let us all hope for economic collaspe so that we can rise from the ashes and begin hunting liberals and other traitors to America as the vermin they are.

  2. The author of this article obviously has no interest or regard for building a renewable energy future. He no doubt regards man made climate change as so much nonsense. If we put the price on fossil fuels dictated by the external cost of climate change, the market would make direct subsidy to green industry far less necessary and Solyndras less likely. People like this writer find it easy to criticize Obama’s effort to have a green energy policy because they don’t even consider climate change.

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