Obama a ‘Hostage’ of Environmental Extremists, Wyo. Republican Says

August 30, 2012 - 3:41 AM

Sen. John Barrasso (R.-Wyo.), John Barrasso

Sen. John Barrasso speaks at a Capitol Hill press conference on Oct. 18, 2011. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Tampa (CNSNews.com) – Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) said President Barack Obama is being “held hostage” by environmental extremists, and he is misleading Americans about green energy.

“The president really doesn’t like any specific form of energy,” Barrasso told CNSNews.com.

“They say they’re for it, depending on where they are, but then they come out against it with policies and regulations. You see it even in renewable energy, in terms of his environmental extremists who continue to work with the president. He’s held hostage on the Keystone XL pipeline. It’s a no-brainer. We ought to build that pipeline.”

Obama repeatedly has said that he supports an “all of the above” energy strategy, but he advocates subsidies for alternative energies such as wind and solar and ending subsidies for oil companies.

Barrasso chairs the Senate Western Caucus. He and Rep. Steve Pearce (R-N.M.) issued a report Wednesday titled “Beyond Belief: The Obama Administration’s All Out, None-of-the-Above Energy Strategy.”

“Extreme environmental activist groups, unions and others allied with the administration have pursued a successful ‘none-of-the-above’ approach to electricity production in the courts,” said the Western Caucus report. “The Obama administration has failed to rein in these groups and criticize their tactics or policy goals. Instead of making electricity more affordable, the Obama administration has made it unavailable and unaffordable.”

For his part, Obama has said that if the United States does not “invest” in green energy, it will fall behind other countries such as China.

“The president continues to try to mislead the American people because even if you do everything that he wants to do on his quote ‘green energy agenda,’ even his administration admits that 25 years from now, 85 percent of the energy is still going to be from fossil fuels and only 15 percent or less is going to be from his renewable energies,” Barrasso said. “It’s not the way to power the country.”

The senator was referring to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, which projects generation from all renewable sources, including hydropower, would be just 15 percent of the total share of electrical generation by 2035.

The report says that coal and natural gas are “blocked in the name of climate change” through regulations set by the Environmental Protection Agency.

The plan points to Obama’s past support for hydropower, but notes that he appointed Rebecca Wodder to be the assistant secretary of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at the Department of Interior. Wodder opposes hydropower.

Obama also appointed Gregory Jaczko to be chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Jazko is an opponent of nuclear energy.

The report refers to problems such as Solyndra, which received more than $500 million in federal loans before going bankrupt; and it calls wind power a “land hog.”

CNSNews.com interviewed Barrasso shortly after he spoke at an event sponsored by the American Energy Alliance on the sidelines of the Republican National Convention in Tampa.