Americans need a better, more realistic energy policy than what President Barack Obama advocates. It amounts to "all of the above" - but only when politically expedient.
During a stop at DuPont's Washington Works plant and at the Century Aluminum plant in Ravenswood last week, U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., spent some of his time discussing some of the flaws in Obama's agenda. Manchin thinks Congress ought to adopt his six-point proposal for lowering gasoline prices.
But two of the West Virginia senator's key recommendations are diametrically opposed to how Obama wants to proceed.
First, Manchin thinks the Keystone XL Pipeline should be built to bring oil from Canada into the United States. Obama has blocked the project, in order to win votes from environmentalists.
Second, all of the nation's vast energy resources should be harnessed, Manchin thinks. Obama's policy is deeply flawed in that respect. His administration is working to actively reduce use of coal. It has restricted drilling for oil. And it has shut down a program to find a way to safely dispose of radioactive waste from nuclear power stations.
Instead, Obama is funneling billions of dollars into "alternative" energy projects that while necessary, will not do anything to help families now.
All this pleases many of the president's radical supporters - some of whom have made it clear they like the idea of higher energy prices that would burden most Americans.
Manchin is right. A true "all of the above" energy policy is essential. He and other lawmakers should force Obama to adopt it.