Free Markets, Free People

The Obama Administration’s war on American petroleum

I’m in DC for a energy speech by American Petroleum Institute President Jack Gerard.  Disclaimer – API provided for my transportation, hotel, etc.  That, of course, will not change or even influence the fact that I am a strong proponent of the America petroleum industry and feel we should be exploiting our own native petroleum resources to the maximum.  Instead we seem to be on a reverse course.  Our government seems to be at war with the industry.  And, of course, those who’ll pay the price are you and me at the gas pump. 

If you noticed lately gas prices are going up.  Steve Everley of American Solutions gives you the top 5 reasons why that’s the product of the Obama administrations actions and policies.

It began right after President Obama took office in 2009 – Ken Salazar, the Secretary of the Interior, cancelled 77 oil and gas leases in Utah.  A year later 61 were cancelled.  Salazar also unilaterally extended the “public comment” period for new offshore drilling by another 6 months, thereby again delaying the process.

Meanwhile in Congress, the Democratic House passed a very harsh cap-and-trade bill.  It imposed taxes on CO2 which would have significantly raised the price of gasoline had it passed the Senate.  In fact, as Everley mentions, a less stringent cap-and-trade scheme studied by Harvard University would have raised gas to $7 a gallon.  Thankfully, the House bill died with the 111th Congress.  However, it now appears the EPA is prepared to do what Congress couldn’t and via regulation, impose a carbon cap.

Then came Deepwater Horizon and the excuse to shut down offshore drilling for a 6 month period.   That was quickly done by Salazar and we began to suffer the results in lost jobs and product.  Since the first moratorium has expired, the administration has unilaterally imposed a second one of 6 months.

The effect has been devastating to the industry (especially in the Gulf states) and it has put the US in an energy hole.l   The Energy Information Administration projects that we’ll see a decline of 220,000 barrels per day from offshore sources in 2011.  Prior to the Obama administration’s shut down of that source, EIA had projected increases in production for 2011.

Why this is happening should come as no surprise to anyone who has acquainted themselves with candidate and now President Obama’s energy policies.  They simply don’t include gas and oil.  In fact, as most should remember, when a candidate for the presidency Obama said he knew what he wanted to do in the energy arena would drive up the cost of gas, but he thought that was necessary for environmental reasons and because he thought it would help incentivize the green energy industry.

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times – any comprehensive energy policy must include the exploitation of all traditional energy sources to include oil and gas.  They are key and critical to our economy and way of life, and cheap energy is what helps fuel the economy.  Any energy plan must be reality based and recognize that you can’t abruptly cut off oil, gas and coal without wreaking havoc on that economy.   And you have to have a plan to transition the economy from the traditional fuels to the greener and more renewable fuels as they become viable and affordable.

None of the alternate fuels that the environmental crowd wants to replace traditional fuels fits either of those two criteria yet.  Until they do we must maintain and expand our traditional fuel exploitation.  To not do that, especially in a time of recession, is absurd.

Lift the ban on offshore drilling, support the oil, gas and coal industries and integrate them into any energy plan produced.  Do that now.  And then take a look at the state of alternate energy sources and make an honest, not political, assessment of where we are today, when those technologies and fuels will be viable and affordable, and plan accordingly.

That’s how it should be done.  That is not, however, how it has been done.



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25 Responses to The Obama Administration’s war on American petroleum

  • Obamas will use the divided government as a shield for his Executive powers.  So long as there is a block in the Senate of Dhimmi-crats, Obama will keep all legislation regarding oil and oil production on a back burner and do so without cost.  Our best bet is to turn a certian number of moderate Dems (Lieberman included in this mix) and force Obama to use his veto powers.  That forces him to commit – forces him to put his credibility on the line and then answerable come 2012.  Unless we can do that, I am afraid he will do so without soiling his image.

  • More War!

    More War!!

    • “There will always be highly educated people <snicker> who will ALWAYS believe the talking point drivel issued by the White House and dutifully regurgitated by the Lame Stream Media”
      Highly educated people <snicker> don’t always have to take their talking points from the White House I guess, they can get them from Joy Behar or Whoopi Goldberg.

  • This is one of those oddities of American politics I just can’t figure out. Gas prices are one of the sorest subjects to the average American. AND YET, for some reason the average American doesn’t associate stupid policy with high gas prices.
    Are we missing something? Are gas prices like the weather? Something everyone complains about but thinks nothing can be done.
    It’s really fundamental. More supply = lower prices. Support politicians who favor policies for more supply. Oppose politicians who favor restrictions on supply. Maybe people don’t really vote their pocketbooks.

    • AND YET, for some reason the average American doesn’t associate stupid policy with high gas prices.

      This is true because Democrats, abetted by the media, are successful in making the public think that profiteering oil companies are to blame.  They create enough noise about “record profits” that it’s near impossible to counter them with facts.

  • Living in Houston, and tied peripherally to the Oil industry, I can tell you we are starting to see the repercussions.  I can’t help but think this is political payback at an area of the country that does not support democrats.

    • The industry DOES support Democrats.  Take a look at the political campaign contributions and you will find that Democrats are well supported by the energy industry.  Most large corporations and industries typically give money to both parties in order to cover their bases and to ensure they have the ear of whoever is elected.  However, the anti-carbon policies of the current Democratic party are more influenced by environmental hysteria than sound science or economic theory.

      • I wasn’t talking about the industry per se, but rather the average voters in Texas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma.

        • Ah!  I see.  Sorry, I misunderstood you.  I still think it’s more environmentally related than not.  The Democrats are big supporters of corn-based ethanol even though most corn is grown in red states.

  • If you noticed lately gas prices are going up.  Steve Everley of American Solutions gives you the top 5 reasons why that’s the product of the Obama administrations actions and policies


    It is like clockwork predicatable though, how under a Dem, the price of gas is routinely ignored.  Remember during 2000-2008, when every newscast kept track of the rising price of gas obsessively?

  • If you will  recall pump gas prices were a significant factor in the victory of Dear Vacationing Golfer in 2008.  As the country uniformly blamed the President (BOOOOOOSH) and the Dems campaigned against the third term of GW.
    It will be interesting to see how his compliant media spins $3.50-$4.00 a gallon gas.  Blame Bush just isn’t going to work this time as it did in 2008.

    • They’ll sure try it though

      • You both bring up a good point: the MSM has the left’s back, and until recently was the sole source of information. Now, we have AM talk radio, the internet, and Fox News as a counterbalance. The MSM and the left have done a good job talking down the conservative voice, but they are slowly losing the argument.

        • There will always be highly educated people <snicker> who will ALWAYS believe the talking point drivel issued by the White House and dutifully regurgitated by the Lame Stream Media,  but just as it’s hard as hell to explain away being unemployed, it’s hard as hell to explain away the weekly fill up that costs $60.00.
          And not a Bush in sight to blame it on, tsk tsk tsk.  What we’ll need is a good disaster that explains those high prices, allowing the President to give some speeches,  and look pensive and angry while throwing oil companies and Bush’s policies from 10 years ago under the bus.

          • And they will blame Big Oil and  try to nationalize the oil industry as Maxine Waters suggested prior to the 2008 election.  

  • Alternative energy sources only become viable economically when oil is $150 a barrel or more.  The first thing that will be cut in an economy like that is public transportation:  it will simply be too expensive to ride the bus.
    The next domino will be consumer prices.  They will skyrocket due to costs of shipping items coast to coast.  like Florida oranges or California lettuce?  Hope you enjoy paying double the cost.
    This EPA ruling will lead to the end of the American economy, plain and simple.  $7 gas.  $3 vegetables. The loss of millions of jobs.
    100% Obama’s fault.  Republicans must defund the EPA until a Republican President can dismantle it as an executive agency.

  • Seems to fit the paradigm of National Suicide by Cloward – Piven Strategy? – No?
    We can heap a boat-load of insults upon Øbama, but stupidity isn’t one of them.

    If we look at what he does, and we look at what results… The only goal that fits, is intentional collapse.

    We’ve GOT to get this clown out of the drivers seat.

    • I don’t know, the more I watch him, the more I beleive he is just a puppet. Who is pulling the strings? Sorros?, a left wing cabal?

      I know that sounds all conspiracy and such, but he really seems to be an empty suit to me.

    • While I don’t think he’s stupid, I also don’t think he’s any sort of evil genius.
      Consider when he was in the fight for Obamacare (or Reidcare, as it turned out), and during a speech Obama switched topics to the police officere and the professor. That was hardly a clever move.
      Obama is an acedemic, with some sort of “book smarts”, but he lacks leadership skills. He lacks technical skills. His major skill set is giving good prepared speeches. He sounds like a Harvard lawyer, and that is the left’s idea of “smart”.
      He’s a died in the wool leftist. He has a type of smarts, but he’s not as smart as he thinks, and lacks the practical wisdom of a true leader. His failures are a mix of bumbling and bad ideology.
      Once, while working with a phd who is considered very smart (and is), we were commuting towards a secure facility in a car. The bright phd decided, right in front of the guard gate, that it was a good time to retreive something from the trunk. I felt funny about the stop, but figured the experienced phd knew better, so I said nothing. But the guards did say something when we got to the gate: “get out of the car and down on the ground!” (with shotguns aimed at us). I immediatly realized why, the phd required some explination and even then I’m not sure there was comprehension.

  • Evidently a proper function of government is to protect the environment at enormous cost to the citizens (naturally, the government and elite will continue to have all the fuel they could want at their disposal).

    • (naturally, the government and elite will continue to have all the fuel they could want at their disposal)

      It pains me to say it, but there IS something to that. Every barrel of domestic oil we save today is a few lbs of JP-8 we have tomorrow, if you know what I mean. And I suppose this self-rationing beats having a 10 gallon/week rationing card.

  • If the price of gas goes past $4 / gallon – and especially if the price goes up quickly – it will be of considerable interest to see what DC does about it.  I’m pretty sure that The Dear Golfer and those democrat members of Congress in safe blue districts will content themselves with playing the “evil oil companies” card, but dems in less secure seats will be scrambling to do something more concrete.  Playing the blame game only does so much: people suddenly finding that they are spending way too much money on gas (and everything else, for that matter) will want RESULTS, not just speeches from the The Dear Golfer about how he’s trying to find out whose a** he needs to kick or that he’s keeping his boot on the neck of the oil industry.

    I also think that the green movement has been damaged over the past year or so not only by the revelations about how “scientists” were cooking the books on global warming, but also the simple fact that the weather has been pretty cold and miserable so far this winter: it’s hard to believe in global warming when there are record snowstorms across the country.  Hence, I think that it will be hard to accept high gas prices as the price to pay for stopping the ice caps melting.  I don’t think that The Dear Golfer and his minions understand this, so I expect a certain amount of hectoring from them about why we should respond to high gas prices by purchasing Chevy Volts, painting our roofs white, and getting the Congress to pass cap-and-trade.  That won’t go over too well.

    IF the price of fuel goes up and stays up, the dems are going to suffer in ’12.  It remains to be seen what they consider more important: pursuing their idiotic environmental agenda or keeping their phony-baloney jobs by doing something to stop high energy costs prolonging (even worsening) The Great Recession.

    Anybody want to bet that price caps are on the way?