Republican critics have gone to town recently on President Obama’s energy policies. The President has proposed tax incentives for companies to urge them toward the purchase of natural gas trucks in an effort to bolster the demand for an increase in domestic fuel supplies.
Republicans, however, have not been pleased with the way Obama has handled this situation and were especially perturbed when the President blocked the Keystone XL Canada to Texas oil pipeline. Republican anger supposedly stems from their belief that using this pipeline would have created more jobs in the U.S. while simultaneously reducing the American need for oil from the Middle East.
Obama has spoken about the U.S.’s need for an all-encompassing strategy designed to create more energy resources in American, which would, in turn, create the jobs that he is criticized by Republicans for not looking after. Obama’s so-called “green agenda,” which trumps the more traditional dependence on oil and gas energy, has been criticized as a move designed to further his chances in the upcoming presidential election, in which he seeks to pursue a second term. He reportedly plans to start by focusing on natural gas after a visit to Las Vegas, which was the recipient of stimulus funding to allow one of their UPS facilities to invest in vehicles that run on liquefied natural gas. The President believes that the American natural gas supply will last the country at least a century, and that its benefits would include cleaner power for U.S. jobs, transportation, and factories. It could also help to create at least 600,000 new jobs.
Obama has also noticed an improvement in his poll numbers, and is now touring five states, including Iowa and Michigan. This tour follows his State of the Union address in which he spoke fervently about his desire to reduce the inequality of American job incomes. This has been a particularly sore note, as the economy continues its lack of improvement and Americans still find it difficult to locate a job that can adequately offer them support. Recent approval polls, however, have suggested that the President is over the fifty percent approval rating that bodes well for the upcoming election year.
The President has also spoken recently about the natural gas boom in the United States, and how gas prices have dropped nationwide due to a surplus of gas as well as a relatively warmer winter. The utilization of American natural gas would reduce dependence on foreign oil as well as provide cleaner fuel, a move that has been supported by both sides of Congress, which has been a debate concerned with energy risk management, especially on Obama’s behalf.
However, Obama will likely face obstacles in the form of Republicans who will seek to fight against his proposed natural gas truck, as they feel that that energy subsidies would cost too much. Similar measures have failed in the past because of opposing parties, and most Republicans feel that the U.S. government should favor winning energy sectors and not the losing kind.
Evan Fischer is a freelance writer and contributor for Beecher Carlson part-time student at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, California.