Barack Obama’s operatives are ratcheting up their war on Texas. They either want to shut down our oil and gas industry with spurious claims of endangered lizards, or sweat us out by forcing the closure of power plants. Either way, President Obama’s use of federal policy against the Lone Star State is as unprecedented as it is destructive.
Earlier this summer, the US Fish and Wildlife Department announced their decisions to seek protection for the “dunes sagebrush lizard.” This lizard is a subspecies of the a “common” reptile found in the western US. Hard to be both endangered and common…
The real effect of the listing would be to endanger the state’s oil and gas production industry. Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson said in May that the federal action “will bring exploration and production to a screeching halt.”
As the guys at AgendaWise noted last month, media outlets have been more than willing to assist the Obama Administration in assaulting jobs in the Lone Star State.
Too bad it doesn’t end there. Not content to just obliterate jobs and shutter a nationally-vital industry in the inconveniently productive (and conservative) Texas, the Obama Administration unveiled last week plans to essentially force the closure of much-needed power plants.
With Texans sweltering under a month-straight of triple-digit highs, and the electric-production grid straining to meet demand, the Environmental Protection Agency could well be putting Texas lives in danger.
The EPA would force coal-fired power generators to unrealistically cut emissions by early January. That means many plants would be forced to just shut down. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which manages the state’s power grid, says the EPA action could cause the state to “face a shortage of generation necessary to keep the lights on.”
Texans will remember this past winter, when bitter temperatures strained the grid and caused rolling blackouts. Eliminating generation capacity will all but ensure worse problems ahead.
Shutting down an industry over a lizard to appease animal-rights extremists is one thing, but letting environmental extremists force the closure of power generation capabilities and endanger lives is something else entirely.
The hardest hit — the collateral damage, as it were — by Obama’s EPA-induced electric shortages would be the elderly and the low-income. And for many in West Texas, Mr. Obama brings a double-whammy: lose their oil-field jobs to a lizard, and dangerously lose electricity in the dead of winter or the heat of summer.
Even if the Obama Administration isn’t engaged in a political war on Texas, the scorched-earth policy agenda they are pursuing will produce the same results.
Either way, the extreme politicization of public policy by President Obama and his appointees is bad news for the Lone Star State.