Free Markets, Free People

What do you do when your government flat out lies to you?

It’s a rhetorical question for the most part, since it seems to be a daily occurrence anymore.  Obviously it is hard to trust any government that does that on a regular basis and with a straight face.  But that’s what we’re faced with.  The latest example comes from Ken Salazar, head of the Department of the Interior, and as usual, he’s dissembling about oil production.

Kyle Isakower at API’s “Energy Tomorrow” blog, brings us up to date on some of Salazar’s numbers:

Last week, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar told Congress that oil production in the Gulf of Mexico "remained at an all-time high, and we expect that it will continue as we bring new production online."  He claimed: "In 2009 there were 116 rigs in the Gulf of Mexico, in 2010 in February, 120, in February 2011, 126."

Key points: production “remained at an all-time high” last year.  And that such a state would continue to exist as “we” bring new production online.  Additionally, Salazar claims an increase of 10 rigs in the Gulf of Mexico from 2009 to last month.

Not true says Isakower citing Baker Hughes:

  • Four days before the Deepwater Horizon accident there were 55 rotary rigs actually drilling offshore in the Gulf of Mexico.
  • On May 28, 2010, when the administration announced the six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling, there were 46 rotary rigs operating in the Gulf. 
  • Last week, 25 rotary rigs were operating in the Gulf of Mexico.

The point of course is oil production comes from working rigs.  While there may be more rigs (by 10) in the Gulf, there are less working rigs (by 30) than in 2009.

As Isakower quips:

Claiming an increase in idle rigs in the Gulf as a success story is like claiming the job market is great because a lot of people are unemployed and available to work.

As for the production figures and the claim by Salazar that production remained at “an all time high” is technically true, the next part of his claim is demonstrably false.  Isakower explains:

The Energy Department’s Energy Information Administration reports that production in the Gulf of Mexico is in decline, forecasting a decline of 250,000 barrels a day from Gulf production, due partly to the moratorium and restricted permitting.  While the annual production figure for 2010 was greater than 2009, EIA’s month-by-month production figures show a peak in May of 2010, and a relatively steady decline since. And EIA Petroleum Engineer Gary Long told trade publication E&E News that the rig count in the Gulf was cut in half after the Deepwater Horizon accident and that it wouldn’t rebound to previous levels until the end of 2011 under the assumption that the permitting process is restored to historical rates. Further, since there is a lag time from the time an exploration permit is approved to the time of actual production, and since no only a handful of permits for new wells have been granted since April of 2010, it is likely that Gulf of Mexico production will continue to be hit hard in 2012 and beyond.

If anyone is monitoring the permitting process as it stands today, they know that the assumption about the process that Long uses isn’t valid (1 permit granted this year that I know of and that just before the hearings at which Salazar spoke).  What that then means, as Isakower notes, is production in the Gulf will remain “hard hit” and lower than 2009 until well beyond 2012.

So, here we have a critical need (the production of more oil) that could produce thousands of good paying jobs, would boost a regional economy not to mention provide money for the federal treasury (taxes and royalties) and we have a government official claiming we’re at record levels and will remain there and beyond because “we” have more rigs in the Gulf now than we did 2 years ago.

API is relatively gentle about it saying, [w]e appreciate that when it comes to selling the administration’s energy policy, Secretary Salazar is in a tough position”.

I don’t have to be that diplomatic.  Salazar isn’t “selling” anything, he’s spinning nonsense to Congress.  There is no cogent or responsible energy policy evident from this administration.  Instead, it has declared war on a vital industry that is absolutely critical to our nation’s economy and, using the Deepwater Horizon disaster as an excuse, placed barrier after barrier in front of the industry for almost a year to discourage new drilling operations.

Unfortunately the war has been successful.  Drilling rigs have all but abandoned the Gulf to be deployed elsewhere around the world.  That is a travesty and an inexcusable outcome of a thoughtless policy pressed for political reasons.  Again, the administration spins nonsense to make it sound like they are on board with more oil production while doing everything in their power to block it.

The sad truth is the results of that “policy” will eventually be paid by you, at the pump, as gas prices continue to rise.

Remember that in 2012.  It is another part of the record of the Obama administration.  And in 2012, Obama has to do something he’s never done before in his political life – actually run on his record. 



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9 Responses to What do you do when your government flat out lies to you?

  • “Rigs” is an idiot term that is used by stupid people to sound cool.
    It doesn’t mean anything…or rather, it means too much.  There are DRILLING rigs, and PRODUCTION rigs off-shore, and WORK-OVER rigs on-shore (I’ve never seen the term applied to off-shore rigs, but they could exist).
    Salazar is a lying buffoon, and he is also apparently an environmental zealot.
    These idiots are ACTIVELY ruining our country.  The economy CANNOT rebound under these circumstances.

    • We can last another year, but it won’t be pretty, and will be even LESS pretty listening to the carping when the Republican President mentions, 2 days after his inauguration, that “it’s going to take time to fix”, and the children Democrats start shouting “where are the jobs! When you are you going to fix unemployment! What about the Economy!”
      Shoot, and I thought ’73-’79 sucked….heh.

      • We already know that Ken Sallzar lied to the court in regard to the moratorium, so lieing to Congress is no problem.
        And where are those 300,000 jobs that would be there immediately .. or whatever Pelosi said ?
        Speaking of her, watch the woman on the right when Pelosi utters “biblical power to cure” … she is bobbing her head in agreement until Pelosi says it, then has a puzzled look.  We all know there is separation of Church and State, so NIH has no such power.

  • “What do you do when your government flat out lies to you?”
    I no longer believe ANYTHING that comes out of D.C., from either party.  If one of those imbeciles in D.C opens his/her mouth, I immediately figure it is a lie.  To me D.C. has become the enemy, to be avoided in all ways possible.

    • To quote House: “People lie.”. Politicians of either major party are very adept at lying. Don’t expect that to change much. Maybe when the Browncoats make a stand at Serenity Valley….

      • There you go with that moral equivalence BS again.
        It is the height of stupid to state the tautology that “people lie”, as though that leads to some insight.
        It is also essentially dishonest to imply that some people are not dedicated to lying, while others rarely lie.  We will all, in life, tell a lie.  The difference…and there certainly is a huge difference…is one of our orientation to lying.
        Barackah Hussain Obama is a pathological liar, as was Balless Bill Clinton.

      • This is true, though I think MSM having the Democrats back is the real problem. Republicans can lie but they might get caught. Democrats only now feel some pressure due to the internet and talk radio.

  • “What do you do when your government flat out lies to you?”
    With Obama and his cohort telling lie after lie with such frequency and scope, along with their concurrent gross incompetence with respect to leadership, vision and insight, you’re best off actively preparing your family for societal/economic catastrophe, by stocking up on commodities and alternative forms of money – precious metals.