Uber-conservative Beltway newspaper The Washington Examiner has revealed its secret crush on Barack Obama and his administration’s fracker-friendly ways.
It’s not often that the newspaper says anything nice about the president. The Examiner is owned by Philip Anschutz, an oil-drilling magnate, and the newspaper sometimes seems to exist only to beam its owner’s conservative views into the brains of D.C. insiders.
In March, for example, the paper’s editorial writers likened the president to “a desperate gambler who doubles down on a losing bet” after he called for more green energy spending. In January, the editorial writers charged that “Obamacare threatens states’ fiscal autonomy.” And, famously, back in 2009, Examiner political correspondent Byron York argued that Obama’s “sky-high ratings among African-Americans make some of his positions appear a bit more popular overall than they actually are” — as if the opinions of blacks shouldn’t count.
But when it comes to the Obama administration’s complicity in the nationwide fracking spree, the Examiner has nothing but love. Here are some excerpts from “Two cheers for Obama on fracking,” the newspaper’s May 5 editorial:
Two significant pieces of good news last week deserved more attention than they received. First, the U.S. Geological Survey reported that recoverable natural gas resources in the northern Plains states are three times greater than previously thought. Second, President Obama’s newest secretary of the interior, Sally Jewell, said “we must develop our domestic energy resources armed with the best available science, and this unbiased, objective information will help private, nonprofit and government decision makers at all levels make informed decisions about the responsible development of these resources.”
Jewell was referring to hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” the process by which a pressurized mixture of (mostly) water and chemicals is injected into shale rock formations deep underground. …
More recently, Obama’s pick for Secretary of Energy, MIT scientist Ernest Moniz, has described water and air pollution risks associated with fracking “challenging but manageable” with proper regulation and oversight. …
For all of its claims regarding fracking’s dangers, Big Green’s real concern is that natural gas is becoming so plentiful and cheap that it will undermine the case for more expensive renewable energy. The fact that a succession of federally subsidized green-energy companies has been going bust doesn’t help the critics’ cause.
With Moniz’s nomination, Obama appears willing to at least minimize regulatory obstacles to fracking and thereby reap the rewards of clean, cheap, abundant domestic energy. Good for him. With American economic growth dependent on energy, it’s time to get fracking.
The president appears to have reached so far across the aisle on this one that he has tumbled fully to the other side.