In addition, Obama has been fighting a PR war ever since canceling/delaying the Keystone XL Pipeline deal that promised a slew of new jobs in the coming years.
Last night in the State of the Union address, President Obama signaled that — despite these setbacks — he was pushing forward with bold new energy programs including a sharp increase in oil and natural gas production and research into the safety of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking on public lands.
"This country needs an all-out, all-of-the-above strategy that develops every available source of American energy -- a strategy that’s cleaner, cheaper, and full of new jobs."
And he also doubled-down on his clean energy platform and dealt directly with the Solyndra affair:
"Our experience with shale gas shows us that the payoffs on these public investments don't always come right away. Some technologies don’t pan out; some companies fail. But I will not walk away from the promise of clean energy. [...] I will not cede the wind or solar or battery industry to China or Germany because we refuse to make the same commitment here. We have subsidized oil companies for a century. That's long enough. It's time to end the taxpayer giveaways to an industry that’s rarely been more profitable, and double-down on a clean energy industry that’s never been more promising. Pass clean energy tax credits and create these jobs."
The President makes a compelling argument by proposing an increase in domestic oil and natural gas production and tying energy independence to clean energy initiatives.
However, it’s unlikely that the Republican-controlled house will approve ending subsidies for the oil industry only to pass on the corporate handouts to another industry against which it so openly derided when Solyndra collapsed.
Not even the Democratic Senate was able to pass legislation to end oil subsidies.
In order to make this work, the President would have to ransom the drilling rights until the oil subsidies are gone.
With an election looming, it is highly unlikely that Obama will initiate such an aggressive move that risks the promise of even more new jobs.
As a result, expect an executive order to open up the drilling.
But without any way to pay for new clean-energy subsidies, the left and those in the clean energy sector will be wondering what they can do with all that hope and change Obama is so good at instilling.