An open letter to President Obama (Part 36 of my response to State of Union Speech 1-24-12)

Sen. Toomey responds to State of the Union address 2012

President Obama’s state of the union speech Jan 24, 2012

Barack Obama  (Photo by Saul Loeb-Pool/Getty Images)

President Obama c/o The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President,

I know that you receive 20,000 letters a day and that you actually read 10 of them every day. I really do respect you for trying to get a pulse on what is going on out here.

The Heritage Foundation website ( ) has lots of good articles and one that caught my attention was concerning your State of Union Speech on January 24, 2012 and here is a short portion of that article:

On Energy, the Two Words Obama Didn’t Say, Say the Most – Nick Loris

President Obama omitted two words from his State of the Union speech, but there’s two words that speak volumes about the president’s direction for America’s energy policy.  Keystone and Solyndra.

Oil and Gas Production

With respect to oil and gas production, President Obama ignores the bad administrative decisions and takes credit where credit’s not due.  He chose not to mention his rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline that would have created jobs immediately and brought much needed oil from Canada to Gulf refineries – all with minimal environmental risk.  Despite broad support for the pipeline, the President catered to special interests and rejected the permit.

President Obama did, however, recognize that we need more domestic oil and gas drilling is a positive sign, but recognition does not create jobs.  Yes, oil and gas production is the U.S. is up but only as a result of increased production on private lands in North Dakota, Texas and Alaska. On federal lands and offshore, the story is much grimmer.  Yes, imports for oil are down but because demand is weaker in this recessionary environment.

If President Obama is sincere in push for increased oil and gas exploration and production, he should open areas that are currently inaccessible and require lease sales if a commercial interest exists, and encourage Congress to narrow the timeframe for permitting, environmental review and judicial review.  We can produce energy, create jobs, raise revenue for our financially strapped government (without raising taxes) – and do so in an environmentally sensible manner.

Clean Energy

It wouldn’t be a State of the Union without President Obama saying that we need to invest in clean energy.  But the word “invest” in this sense means borrow and spend and this free lunch thinking is no way to grow our economy. The fundamental problem is that these taxpayer-funded programs do not create jobs; it reallocates them.  The opportunity cost of government spending is the lost labor and capital extracted from other sectors (ones that do not need government support) of the economy to artificially support the politically preferred sectors of the economy.  No evidence exists to suggest that the government has better knowledge to make investment decisions or to commercialize technologies when the private sector chooses to bypass these opportunities. If there is a role for alternative sources in America’s energy portfolio, it should be dictated by price and competition, not government handouts.  As evidenced by Solyndra, subsidies lead to companies spending resources lobbying to create a relationship with government officials that will secure cash grants, tax credits or mandates to benefit their business while crowding out others.   It’s this cronyism that denigrates Americans’ view of both government and capitalism. The solution is to end subsidies for all energy sources.

Thank you so much for your time. I know how valuable it is. I also appreciate the fine family that you have and your committment as a father and a husband.


Everette Hatcher III, 13900 Cottontail Lane, Alexander, AR 72002, ph 501-920-5733,

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