Hat tip: Examiner Editorial
July 15, 2009
It’s been nearly a year since President Barack Obama spoke in Berlin as the presumptive Democratic nominee for president. There, he described himself as not merely a citizen of the United States, but as a “fellow citizen of the world.” What was originally a rhetorical flourish has become a particularly revealing indicator of the president’s sentiments on national sovereignty.
Look no further than Monday’s seemingly unnoticed report from the American Petroleum Institute that oil and natural gas drilling activities in the U.S. fell nearly 46 percent in the second quarter from a year ago. Drilling now stands at its lowest level since 2003. A small portion of this change is attributable to a drop in the price of oil, but the elephant in the room is Obama-Waxman-Markey, the cap-and-trade, anti-global warming energy bill that recently passed the House and is now pending in the Senate. Energy companies know that legislation is aimed directly at them and are reducing drilling operations accordingly.
And for what? This is a sacrifice that will force American consumers to pay much higher energy bills. Yet, cap-and-trade proponents seem startlingly comfortable with the fact that no such sacrifice is ahead for the rest of the world. Former Vice President Al Gore happily announced that cap and trade would drive change through “global governance and global agreements.” But, these global agreements do not exist. In sworn congressional testimony, the administrator of the EPA admitted that “U.S. action alone will not impact world [carbon dioxide] levels.”
Unilateral U.S. actions, however, will affect U.S. competitiveness, sacrificing jobs, growth, opportunity and prosperity, quite possibly for generations to come. In other words, Obama has not hesitated to surrender U.S. sovereignty piecemeal to suit the global governance crowd. Yet, this relish for global governance stops at the water’s edge. The president has not demanded similar action from India and China — and nobody seriously expects him to do so, ever.
It should also be noted that Ken Salazar, Obama’s Interior secretary, has effectively slow-walked the bidding process for oil and natural gas exploration on the Outer Continental Shelf along the U.S. coastline, and on federal lands in the West to a near halt. The U.S. has more than sufficient untapped oil, coal and natural gas resources to achieve Obama’s endlessly repeated goal of energy independence. The problem is, his actions are putting U.S. energy producers and consumers in a straitjacket, while rivals like Russia, China and India watch in rapt — and enthusiastic — amazement.
Global governance must not take precedence above American sovereignty. Obama should be reminded that his first sworn duty is to defend American sovereignty as established in the Constitution, rather than relegate authority to countries that have their own interests in mind.