The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia


May 11, 2014

W.Va. Commerce president: Obama leading energy production ‘sky is falling’ chorus

President Barack Obama has chosen to double-down against energy production in the United States and is leading the “sky is falling” chorus. By exaggerating the global warming message to motivate an otherwise lethargic electoral base, President Obama continues to politicize what should be a debate based on science and research.

Those in West Virginia’s congressional delegation who have consistently opposed the president and his anti-energy policies are to be congratulated. In the face of Obama’s onslaught they must stand strongly for energy production, working people and consumers of electricity.

For Obama and anti-energy congressional allies, the real “inconvenient truth” is we can take all coal and natural gas out of use in our nation and have no noticeable impact on the Earth’s atmosphere. One of our West Virginia leaders is correct in observing, “the earth’s atmosphere does not stop at our shores.”

Voters must also have a message for our president and his supporters in Congress. We must say “no” to more anti-growth, anti-economy policy. We must say “no” to putting politics ahead of national interest and we must say “no” to the misguided and out of touch anti-energy agenda that the president and his supporters are now shamelessly supporting for blatantly political purposes.

The president has picked this time and place for a showdown on his energy and environmental policies. Regrettably, President Obama and his allies would cripple U.S. energy production if not checked by a Congress that answers to the voters. The election of 2014 provides voters the opportunity to be heard one last time in response to President Obama, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi’s anti-energy policies.

America is a nation of doers. We take pride in work, growth and accomplishment. And from strength, both economic and moral, we are able to help each other as citizens of no other country on Earth has ever before done.

Several years ago, former Vice President Al Gore famously predicted that the polar ice caps would have melted by 2013. Former New York Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan advised in 1969 that some states would be underwater by the year 2000. Instead, thanks in large measure to abundant, affordable energy our country grew and prospered. The spread of worldwide diseases was put in check. Food was made plentiful. Transportation became safer and more affordable. American ingenuity created new vaccines and treatments for use throughout the globe.

In reality, the list of human progress, spurred by American capital and freedom, marches forward.

So, 2014 presents us with new challenges and opportunities. Joining the “sky is falling” crowd makes no sense. West Virginia voters can stand together and send a resounding and unmistakable message by insisting that our lawmakers at all levels stand up to President Obama and his network of entrenched Washington insiders. This starts by rejecting his most recent anti-energy rhetoric and the ballot box is the right place for West Virginia voters to make their views clear.

— Stephen G. Roberts is president of the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce

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