Barack Hussein Obama, the 44th President of the United States, is not pleased with the American people, who twice elected him president and just elevated his Vice President, Joe Biden, to the presidency.
At least one of the reasons for the former president’s displeasure is he believes Americans like “cheap gas and big cars” more than they care about the environment.
Mr. Obama made this criticism of the American public in his new memoir of his presidency entitled, A Promised Land. This is the third autobiography from Obama, and at least one more is expected with a second volume on his presidency.
President Obama’s larger problem is with oil and gas, and the country’s reliance on them, which he wrongly views as zero-sum with a clean environment. Americans’ support both fossil fuels and the environment, which is not inconsistent.
The former president’s criticism of the public came in the context of his recounting of the explosion in 2010 of the Deep Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico that resulted in the worst oil spill in history. Ten years later, Mr. Obama now says he was even more concerned about the disaster than he let on at the time. As he reread the transcript of his statement on the accident, he nonetheless manages to compliment himself: “I’m struck by how calm and cogent I sound.”
Barack Obama never lacked in self-esteem, and still manages to impress himself with his abilities. He notices nothing awry in revealing this self-infatuation.
Apparently, the then-President wanted to say and do more back in 2010, but refrained. Obama, you see, was frustrated because he could not do what was necessary to fight the oil spill and protect the environment because, he said, the electorate:
[B]ought into the idea that government was the problem and that business always knew better and had elected leaders who made it their mission to gut environmental regulations, starve agency budgets, denigrate civil servants, and allow industrial polluters to do whatever the hell they wanted to do.
Thus does Obama inadvertently admit to his political cowardice in this instance with this canard about the American public’s supposed insouciant view of government regulation and the environment.
Major oil spills make news because they are relatively rare. Both the number of large spills and the quantity of oil lost has declined sharply in the last half century, according to the International Union of Marine Insurance. The Deepwater Horizon spill in 2010 was a terrible and tragic accident that occurred not for lack of government funding and regulatory control. Obama’s contention otherwise is political gaslighting (pardon the pun).
President Obama’s three immediate predecessors spanned 20 years, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. None of them starved or gutted anything. In the two decades preceding Obama, the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget increased by 48 percent, while the number of pages in the Federal Register increased by 51 percent. Under Obama, after a sharp increase in the EPA’s budget during his first year, the agency’s budget overall declined for the balance of his presidency.
Thanks to hydro-fracturing revolution, which excelled during Obama’s presidency (to his credit), America has become energy independent, and fossil fuels are cheaper in real economic terms. Indeed, the cost of filling your gas tank or heating your home is more affordable and requires a lower percentage of a paycheck for such essentials. That means more personal income is available for other needs and desires. For the 54 percent of American households making below $75,000 in annual income, especially, every bit of energy savings helps.
As for larger cars, Americans surely do like those things, for which there is nothing to apologize. They are safer, more useful and more enjoyable. For example, full-size pick-up trucks from the Big 3 automakers are the top-selling vehicles in the country.
Like so many of his fellow climate change elites, Mr. Obama disdains fossil fuels and wants to transform the nation and the world to “renewable” energy. But his criticism of Americans’ desire for affordable energy and their preferred choice of vehicles is snobbish and hypocritical.
Barack Obama is cashing in from his presidency in rapid fashion, and will likely surpass the Clinton’s in net worth, if he hasn’t already. As president, he once said, “there’s only so big a house you can have.” As ex-president, he and Mrs. Obama figured 7,000 to 8,000 square feet was about right for them – for each of their homes. It takes a lot of energy consumption to maintain four to five times the space of most Americans; it takes even more for a second luxury home comprising 29 acres on the island of Martha’s Vineyard, not to mention their frequent air travel.
Barack Obama is a talented and historic figure, as the first black man to become president. He has attained a lifestyle in the top one percent of Americans that consumes exponentially greater resources than the average American. It is all the more reason he should rethink such an obtuse and detached view of those far less wealthy for enjoying the benefits of “cheap gas and big cars.”