President Barack Obama’s energy policies are so unpopular that they could prove to be the tipping point that gives Mitt Romney victory in November’s election, GOP Rep. Morgan Griffith tells Newsmax.TV
“In my district, we just got another rate increase request from one of the power companies,” said the Virginia congressman who sits on the House Energy and Commerce Committee. “People are starting to realize that a lot of this is caused by Obama polices and they’re not happy about it.”
But it is not just the cost of energy that is affected by the White House’s energy policies, jobs are disappearing too, he said.
Griffith, whose district in extreme southwest Virginia includes much of the state’s coal mining industry, is proposing a “4-D” solution to the country’s energy woes: Dig, Drill, Discover, and Deregulate. “A big part of what’s happening out here is we’re not allowed to dig and discover the things that we can use and we also have regulations that are causing energy prices to go up,” he said.
Griffith attacked Obama for his stated goal of pushing energy prices up. During the 2008 presidential campaign, then-candidate Obama talked up the cap and trade proposal, telling the San Francisco Chronicle “Because I’m capping greenhouse gases, coal power plants, you know, natural gas, you name it — whatever the plants were, whatever the industry was, they would have to retrofit their operations. That will cost money. They will pass that money on to consumers.”
Griffith called Obama “a true believer that we shouldn’t be using any of the fossil fuels: oil, natural gas, or coal.”
“He’s staked out a position on that and, except for natural gas, he’s going to stick with that position.”
He said the only reason the president is not gunning for natural gas already is due to fears about his re-election prospects. “He realized if he didn’t have something to turn to besides algae, he was going to be in deep trouble ."
But if Obama beats Romney in November, natural gas will be his next target, Griffith predicted. “After the election, when he feels more flexible, natural gas will be in the sights of his attempts to drive up those costs of fossil fuels.”
Griffith said Obama’s refusal to give the green light to the Keystone XL pipeline is just one part of the president’s assault on energy. “It is the easiest one for folks to understand,” he said.
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“Obviously that has an impact on our energy ,” he said. “People understand that he’s not in favor of using North American resources to help us with our energy needs.”
But stringent new regulations aimed at reducing emissions from power plants are hurting just as badly, Griffith added, saying a new coal-powered plant in his district is so clean it will cut emissions by 95 percent — but that is still not good enough for the Environmental Protection Agency.
“Plans for future coal-fired power plants are all being scrapped as we look across the board,” added the freshman House member. “Everyone who’s got one on the table has got to be thinking about whether or not they’re going to go forward.”
As far as gasoline is concerned, Griffith believes prices have probably peaked and may even start to come down, but that has more to do with international events than Obama’s policies.
“I’d be much more comfortable if we were drilling for our own oil and we had become energy independent, but this president doesn’t have any intent of going that direction,” he said. “He wants to rely on Brazil or the Saudis and I’d rather rely on Americans.
“We’ll have to see what the prices do. If they start to go back up in late summer, it will have an impact on the presidential election, as those people who are in the middle of it and are just trying to survive, realize that this president’s policies are a complete failure.”
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