Obama Oil Lies by Mark Wohlschlegel
I have about had it in listening to Obama state that his policies have resulted in the largest production of oil in the past few years. The statement is true, that is our production rates of oil in the aggregate were higher in 2011 than in 2010—what is the lie is that Obama and his administration has had nothing to do with this—in fact, had he opened up lands back when he took office that are owned by the federal government, and issued leases to production companies, the total production today would be much higher than it is—and gasoline and natural gas pricing, as commodities, behave in a very simple supply and demand dynamic. The more the supply, the lower the price given a demand for the product.
I did some research and here are the facts as best I can determine. The fact is—Obama is the anti-energy policy President and his agenda is to make existing fuel sources which happen to be significantly fossil fuels, as expensive as possible. This policy has been stated by Obama’s DOE cabinet head Steven Chu on numerous occasions. It is not a secret. This is asinine—as I have previously written, renewables at best will only supplement our base fuels and will never be a substitute for current fossil fuel technology—at least for the foreseeable future, and nothing the government does will change this—the market forces is the only way a change in mix of fuels will change. The federal government by sticking its hands in the decision, can only do what it always does, screw things up.
Most of the data comes from the EIA (Energy Information Administration). The fact is, Obama cannot and should not take credit for that fact that net oil production this year is slightly higher than last. The vast majority of America’s new oil and gas production is happening on private lands in states like North Dakota, Alaska, and Texas. When measuring oil and gas production in areas under Obama’s jurisdiction, the numbers tell a significantly different story.
The House Natural Resources Committee noted these facts:
1) Oil and natural gas production on federal lands is down by more than 40 percent compared to 10 years ago.
2) Under the Obama administration, 2010 had the lowest number of onshore leases issued since 1984
3) The Obama administration held only one offshore lease sale in 2011.
North Dakota has been the poster child for what can happen when we unleash free enterprise and allow states to develop and commercialize their resources. The result, North Dakota’s unemployment rate is 3.4 percent, the lowest in the country. According to a report from HIS Global Insight, North Dakota already returned to pre-recession employment along with energy-rich Alaska. Texas is expected to do so in the first quarter of 2012.
Industry analysts say production is rising—not because of President Obama’s policies, but in spite of him. Production in the Gulf of Mexico is down 30%. Lease sales in Rocky Mountains on federal lands are down 70 percent. President Obama and his administration has put 85 percent of the outer continental shelf off limits and overall, is only making 3 percent of the areas under his control available for development. He stated just this week, “You know there are no quick fixes to this problem, and you know we can’t just drill our way to lower gas prices.” What I say to this is you know, we have heard this from democrats going back to the early 90’s from Clinton—and we hear it all of the time from democrats in the house and senate. They conveniently say even if we start drilling now, it will be years before we will see production increase. Yep that is probably right—but what if we had started back in the early 90s and continued expanding our production and our refineries (for which none have been built in over 30 years and many have been retired). Would we not have a much larger supply of oil and gas today? Damn right we would! So when are we going to start? This is a lame excuse and has been a major contributor of why we are where we are today—still hugely dependent on imported oil that drives prices up and jeopardizes our national security not to mention the billions of dollars that we are exporting to foreign oil producing nations.
One other fact—the production numbers are up last year due significantly to leases used by George Bush during his presidency. The fact is if we had the commitment to “drill baby drill” we could be 100% energy independent within 12 years—and I am not even including the building of nuclear power plants—if this occurred now—we could shorten the time whereby we could be in 100% of our energy sources. But to do this—we need someone other than a gutless president that is hell bent on forcing is green agenda on our country.
Treasury Secretary Geithner and others are now talking about releasing oil from the strategic petroleum reserves. This at least shows that the administration at least recognizes that there is a relationship between supply and pricing of gasoline. But the fact is, we have a huge reserve right under our feet, if we would only be allowed to develop it!