President Obama has been no friend to Americans dependent on affordable, reliable energy during his seven-plus years in office.
In 2010, Obama said fossil fuels will “smother our planet” and “put our economy and our environment at risk.” In 2014, Obama “embrace[d] … a price on carbon” in a move ThinkProgress called “surprising.”
Obama’s long opposition to fossil fuels makes his Wednesday visit to Elkhart, Indiana – to tout “economic progress” there – both ironic and a bit awkward.
Elkhart has rebounded from the recession on the strength of its recreational vehicle (RV) industry. Unemployment is down from a high of 20 percent to under four percent.
It doesn’t take a scientist to figure out RVs are not powered by the Obama administration’s massive subsidies for big solar and wind companies. In fact, big-tank RVs are quite dependent on cheap and affordable fuel. All this may be one reason why Elkhart residents are skeptical of Obama’s celebratory visit.
The Indianapolis Star reports:
When manufactured housing company Patriot Homes went out of business in 2009, Sam Weidner Jr. lost the only company he had known — the one his father started in 1972. When he searched for what was next, he didn’t find an electric car company or a technology company. He found Alpha Systems, an Elkhart company that makes products for RVs. Weidner is a shipping and warehouse manager for the company. “If the RV industry hadn’t come back like it did, I wouldn’t have the opportunity I have now,” Weidner said.
In fact, according to the Star, one Obama effort to turn Elkhart’s economy green felt absolutely flat:
They remember Obama’s August 2009 visit when he announced a $39.2 million federal grant for a company called Navistar that was supposed to create hundreds of jobs and build electric delivery trucks in Elkhart County. The jobs never arrived — from Navistar or other electric car-related companies that were touted at the time.
As President Obama takes some sort of victory lap in Elkhart, it’s worth remembering that if he and his environmentalist allies had their way, Elkhart may not be enjoying the same robust economic recovery today.