CNBC's Lawrence Kudlow on Sunday gave Fareed Zakaria a much-needed education on Barack Obama's energy policies.
When the host of CNN's Fareed Zakaria GPS claimed the president deserved credit for the coming "shale revolution," Kudlow smartly replied, "He's giving none of the permits...He's a green energy guy. He's a Solyndra guy and he completely missed the boat on all of that stuff" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
FAREED ZAKARIA, HOST: So Zanny, cover of "The Economist" is about the resurgence of the American economy and talks about all this -- you know, the shale gas, the return of manufacturing, all good stuff, but is it going to happen in time to help Obama?
So, right off the jump, Zakaria framed this entire discussion on if the economy is going to bail out the President.
Fortunately, at least three of his guests weren't playing ball:
ZANNY MINTON BEDOES, THE ECONOMIST: No. Our cover story is about the profound secular changes and improvements that are happening, the rebalancing of the U.S. economy, which is real and is very important. But it's not a story about the next three months or even the next six months.
And the cyclical recovery has weakened and it's looking pretty weak right now and unemployment is hovering above 8 percent. None of this looks very good in the short-term. And we're not projecting a "Morning in America" in the next few months, but what we are saying, which is, you know, the cyclical outlook isn't great.
It's a very slow, deleveraging recovery, but a lot of that deleveraging is occurring and underneath it there's some profound changes towards a more export-oriented and open economy, one that is -- you know, used to be based on consumer spending and housing, people buying houses with too much debt.
Now, this is changing to an economy that's much more focused on exporting to the rest of the world. But this is a secular change. It's not that we see it as enormous short-term improvement.
ZAKARIA: Larry, this is what Obama talked about in the State of the Union, an economy built to last, changing it away from consumption and housing towards exports. Is Obama economics working?
"Is Obama economics working?"
Does Zakaria at this point work for CNN or the Obama administration? Fortunately for viewers, another person on the panel clearly doesn't:
LARRY KUDLOW, CNBC: The trouble is that he doesn't share Zanny's vision about the energy sector, which I think is a very important point. I mean I think the whole shale revolution is nothing short of phenomenal and is redoing whole chunks of the American geography.
ZAKARIA: But what do you mean he doesn't share? It's happening on his watch, they're giving all the permits that are making it happen.
Can Zakaria really be this clueless about Obama's energy policies? Apparently so:
KUDLOW: He's giving none of the permits. He's just -- this is happening in private lands. In fact, public lands, federal lands and off-shore lands are down as much as 10, 15 percent from a couple of years ago.
So, no, he doesn't share that. He's a green energy guy. He's a Solyndra guy and he completely missed the boat on all of that stuff.
Indeed. But what must have really shocked Zakaria was when a bit later in the discussion, the perilously liberal Chrystia Freeland of Thomson Reuters Digital not only agreed with Kudlow, but actually took this a step further:
CHRYSTIA FREELAND, THOMSON REUTERS DIGITAL: Well, I would like to start by agreeing with Larry on the shale gas point and I think that this is actually a big issue for American progressives, for the Democrats, that they haven't dealt with yet.
You know I think American Democrats are still very much in this end of fossil fuel era and there was this notion that the world was running out of fossil fuel, that America was running out of fossil fuel and you could make a case for renewable energy ...
KUDLOW: And they were glad ...
FREELAND: They weren't unhappy about that.
KUDLOW: In that narrative, which proved to be so wrong, they were thrilled.
FREELAND: They weren't unhappy about it.
KUDLOW: Is that fair?
FREELAND: They weren't unhappy about it and you could make a case for renewable energy that dove-tailed also with national security. That era is over. It turns out there's a huge amount of fossil fuel in the United States and in the North American continent if you want to talk about the Canadian oil sands.
That is the new reality and I don't think the Democratic Party overall and, in particular, environmentalists have dealt with it. Fossil fuel is here to stay and I think that if you see real opposition from environmentalists to any sort of fossil fuel, as you saw with the pipeline from Canada, that was purely about saying you know what, we just don't want more oil. It's not going to play because people will say, you know what, actually oil and natural gas are pretty great sources of energy and if we have them here, they're a lot cheaper than the other stuff.
Zakaria must have felt he died and went to hell as he likely expected Freeland to be on his side on this issue.
That said, you've really got to hand it to her. Freeland exposed Obama and the Left's abysmal energy philosophy in a way that few non-conservative media members dare.
Brava, Chrystia! Very nicely done!