Free Markets, Free People

Obama claims oil a “fuel of the past”

Here we go again:

As rising gas prices become a key issue on the campaign trail, the president argued that using less oil is an important part of the solution.

“We’ve got to develop every source of American energy; not just oil and gas, but wind power and solar power, nuclear power, biofuels. We need to invest in the technology that will help us use less oil in our cars and our trucks, in our buildings, in our factories. That’s the only solution to the challenge, because as we start using less, that lowers the demand, prices come down,” the president told workers at the Daimler Trucks manufacturing plant in Mount Holly, N.C.

Yet in the same speech he calls oil “the fuel of the past”.

Is it?

Of  course not.  It is a fuel he’s decided he no longer wants to pursue for political reasons based in very shaky science.  But fuel of the past?  Fossil fuel is more of a part of our lives now than it has ever been and while alternate fuels are desirable, they’re not even close to being ready for prime time despite massive investment for decades.  But oil a fuel of the past? 

Absurd.

This is typical Obama – try to have it both ways.  Talk about developing “every source of American energy” to include oil and gas and then claim that oil is a ‘fuel of the past’.  That’s a not so subtle reminder that he really doesn’t support fossil fuel production (and hasn’t – see his claims about the “oil industry subsidy”), despite the continuous attempt to take credit for increased oil production during his time in office when his administration has had no hand in it).

The president continued to defend his “all-of-the-above” strategy against Republican attacks on his energy policy. “If somebody tells you we’re not producing enough oil, they just don’t know the facts,” he said.

Really? Well, we’re not, and that’s a fact.  We could be producing much, much more if the Obama administration would get out of the way.  The little known truth about the so-called “fact” Obama throws around about oil production being at its 8 year high, is he had nothing to do with that.  And furthermore, next year, we’ll see a significant decline in production from the lands the federal government controls (it will conveniently happen after the election, of course).  Note the final paragraph below.  It points to another reason why Obama’s claim is disingenuous:

The federal government controls about a third of the nation’s oil production, through federal onshore leases (mostly in the West, where it owns half the land) and leases to drill in outer continental shelf (OCS) starting 10 miles off the coast. The rest of America’s oil production is on state-owned land (including coastal areas) and on private lands subject to state regulation.

As a direct result of the president’s severe constriction of oil production under federal leases, domestic U.S. oil production will be nearly one million barrels per day lower this year than it would have been otherwise.

Meanwhile, production from newly available shale oil and oil sands on private and state-owned land has been booming—more than enough to make up for the steep decline in production under federal leases. That boom, combined with slackened demand since the start of the recession, has reduced America’s dependence on foreign oil to about half its daily consumption of 20 million barrels per day, down from 60 percent in 2005.

In fact, the truth is much different than the Obama claim in which he attempts to take credit for today’s oil production:

Even in the few areas of the OCS that remain open, the administration is seeking to strangle production. As a result of the various deep-water drilling moratoriums, a third of the Gulf’s deep-water drilling rigs have left for other shores, dissuaded by the regulatory uncertainty. As a result of the shallow-water “permitorium” even shallow-water drilling has slowed to a crawl. According to the Department of Energy, oil production from the Gulf of Mexico will drop by 700,000 barrels per day by the end of 2012, which further decreases in ensuing years. And as for America’s working families, the combination of moratoriums and “permitorium” are estimated to have cost 60,000 thousand jobs in 2010 alone.

On federal lands the story has been the same. Just as technological breakthroughs have paved the way for tapping into the vast oil reserves of the Rocky Mountain states, the administration cut the number of new leases by 50 percent in 2010 alone.

Oil is not a “fuel of the past”.  Obama’s agenda actually demands we abandon it.  And he would in a New York minute if there wouldn’t be electoral consequences.     His administration’s track record concerning oil and gas exploitation as well as new regulatory regime the EPA is implementing and actions of Secretaries Chu and Salazar give lie to the claims made.

Oil and gas are, in fact, the critical fuels of the future.  It is and will remain the lifeblood of our economy for decades.  An administration that doesn’t realize that and works to curtail it deserves to be shown the door at the earliest possible opportunity.  If you think gas prices are high now, remember that without the increase in oil production on state and private land, it would be higher than it is now.

Unicorns and moon-ponies (or pond scum) won’t fuel the economy.  Oil will.  And an “all of the above” strategy should obviously include massive increases in oil production on federal lands.  Don’t let this guy get away with his false claims and destructive energy policy.  Help show him the door, November.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO

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47 Responses to Obama claims oil a “fuel of the past”

  • You’re just wrong, McQ. The US does not have enough oil to really alter the world wide decline in production even if we drilled everywhere. We’re probably at the peak of production now, meaning that in the future prices will go up radically as production declines, especially if Matthew Simmons is right about Saudi Arabia. Yes, we should drill and use oil sands and whatever we can to make the transition smoother, but only a fool would put on blinders and say “it’s going to be OK, oil will last forever.” We have to start the transition to alternatives – nuclear, wind, geothermal, clean coal, solar, etc. A mix of alternatives quickly developed (requiring government support – markets alone won’t do it until its too late to have a smooth transition) can correspond to trying to enhance oil production. The 20th century was the cheap oil century, helping fuel a dramatic increase in prosperity and wealth. The evidence is very strong that this era is ending.

    • @scotterb “The evidence is very strong that this era is ending.” Links please. You said it Erb, now back it up – and for once try and use acceptable citations, one that even someone like myelf might actually agree with is neutral or at least non-partisan. That is, IF YOU CAN!!!

      • @sshiell Heck, I could give you lots of links. I’ve researched quite a bit for a course I taught. I’ve also had a fossil fuel geologist (a Republican, in fact) come to class to speak. Here are some good links: http://www.theoildrum.com/ McQ’s claim above is silly on its face. First, oil is an international commodity subject to massive demand – how long passenger cars in the US could be fueled is utterly irrelevant and misleading. Moreover, total recoverable oil includes a lot that will take immense effort and cost to recover, and often may not be worth it or be politically infeasible.

        But McQ cites a source that is driven by oil companies, gets money from the Koch brothers, and has an overt political agenda. I wouldn’t trust their estimate. Even if it were true, though, it still doesn’t alter practical reality and the fact that the era of cheap oil is over. If you want to pay $1000 a barrel, you can try to recover all of it (it would get even more expense than that!) Or we can move to make alternatives cheap and plentiful.

        • @scotterb

        • @scotterb
          ” If you want to pay $1000 a barrel, you can try to recover all of it (it would get even more expense than that!) Or we can move to make alternatives cheap and plentiful”

          You really do not understand economics.

        • @timactual “You really, REALLY do NOT understand economics AT ALL.” Or much of anything else, either.

        • @scotterb So, you’re willing to presume battery technology will improve and make the cost less, but you’re convinced that the oil recovery technology we have is the pinnacle and can never be improved on.
          ——————————————————————————————–
          Yeah, you see what that sounds like right?

        • @scotterb Tell me about the subsidy for cell phones that made them adopted by the public. Which government subsidized the iPad? Where are the “alternative copper” subsidies? “Alternative steel”…??? See, Erp, it is ABOUT CONTROL of how American’s live, because our standard of living is LINKED to fossil fuels.

        • @Ragspierre Now, Rags, despite your protests people like me are working to try to maintain our standard of living, despite people denying science and having ideologically driven understandings of reality. Someday, you’ll be glad people didn’t follow your ideology — or at least your kids will.

        • @scotterb I see you are having trouble with the whole “reality” thing, again…some more…as before. Can’t deal with it, canya…???

        • @scotterb “Here are some good links:” And then you send us to a link that says nothing in support of your statement “US does not have enough oil to really alter the world wide decline in production.” You also ignore the fact that Obama’s claim that we have only 2% of the world’s reserves is based upon current restrictions and laws – open up the offshore fields alone and that number is blown away. For someone who slaps others around with the statement “You really do not understand economics” I think you should remove the beam from your own eyes before complaining about the splinter in others, to paraphrase a bliblical reference. Please refute for me the Institute for Energy Research’s North American Energy Inventory published in December of 2011 stating the total recoverable oil resources in North America (and that obviously includes Canada) is 1.79 trillion barrels. If all of that was available to drill, and it is based upon economically feasible recovery methods in use today – not the $1,000 a barrel crap you flash about – then show me how that would not affect the price of oil? For someone who says they have some knowledge of economics, you are not showing it with your arguments on these pages!

        • @scotterb “…people like me are working to try to maintain our standard of living…”

          How?

          People like you tend to be the ones who want to use government force to drive up the price of oil artificially as a way to “guide” the American sheeple to “green” energy alternatives on a faster timetable.

          People like you tend to be the ones who want to tax Americans and pay third world countries a ransom through agreements like Kyoto. (Jul 2005: http://bit.ly/xWkm2Y and http://bit.ly/y23GSh)

          The consequence of all this artificial meddling by government in the economy is (1) higher costs for everything for Americans, (2) transfer of money from Americans to people in the third world, and (3) no substantive solution to the predicted environmental catastrophes. What’s that? You say “yes we can” stave off environmental disaster if we just pass enough laws and regulations? Well, then according to the math on how industrial output of CO2 impacts climate, the only way to “save the planet” is to limit industrial output to a level at which only a select few elites can afford “to maintain our standard of living.” Everyone else has to spend a large part of their income on exorbitant utility and fuel bills, lowering their standard of living towards one of subsistence.

          “…people denying science and having ideologically driven understandings of reality.”

          One of the cornerstones of the scientific method of inquiry is skepticism. It isn’t political “consensus” or popular panic driven by fantastic special effect movies.

      • @sshiell You silly Republican kaniggit! I could give you lots of links but, uh, I won’t post any here but a single Malthusian site with an overt leftist agenda. Yeah, yeah, that’s it, I COULD give you links, I just choose not to!

        Why, I just pulled more statistics out of my ass for one of my latest months-long indoctrinations. (Hahaha, can you believe I get paid for that, you silly Republican kaniggits!) I even got the department to pay some jackass to call himself a Republican and promote our lies.

        McQ’s claim is silly because I don’t want you to believe it. I tell you the plain fact, that if we tap all of this oil, then, uh, uh, it will all evaporate before a drop gets into our cars! Yeah, yeah, that’s it! I don’t want you to realize that much of the oil production today couldn’t have been recovered half a century ago. I want you to think of how happy we’d all be to live in forests

        And I don’t want you to believe established businessmen who stand to lose a lot if we’re actually at peak oil. I don’t want you to realize that it makes no sense for the Koch brothers to promote this unless there really is all this untapped oil at affordable prices.

        And I don’t want you to think that when I talk about $1000 per barrel, that’s what Obama will make oil, so that the equivalent of $500 for alternative fuels will look cheap by comparison. I want you to believe instead that Obama has a magic wand to make alternative fuels cheap just because Dear Leader proclaims it so! You silly Republican kaniggits just can’t stand to admit that by his mere spoken words, Obama has worked miracles like lowering unemployment.

    • @scotterb A mix of alternatives quickly developed (requiring government support – markets alone won’t do it until its too late to have a smooth transition) can correspond to trying to enhance oil production.___________________________

      This is, as usual, an unsupported conclusory…and typically stupid….statement by the Erpster.

    • @scotterb Moreover, total recoverable oil includes a lot that will take immense effort and cost to recover, and often may not be worth it or be politically infeasible.—————————————————————-

      What is so funny about THAT stupid comment is that we have passed “peak oil” many times, blowing by it with technology. As stuff gets more dear, higher costs for getting it become more justified. Happily, too, technology gets cheaper very quickly. What an idiot. Now, “political costs” are what any jerk poly-sci guy could get people to accept they are.

    • @scotterb

      “We have to start the transition to alternatives – nuclear, wind, geothermal, clean coal, solar, etc”

      That ‘transition’ started before you were born. Nuclear was stopped dead in its tracks by your enviro friends.

      “markets alone won’t do it until its too late to have a smooth transition”

      Once again, horse hockey. The market has been putting alternate energy sources to work for decades and will continue to do so as they become more competitive with traditional sources. Smoothly, and without the need for gov’t. intervention. Without the need for headlines and publicity, either.

      • @timactual That’s the point – if we wait until they become economically viable the transition period will be too long. That’s why it’s important to be getting to be developing alternatives now. Markets are not magical perfect things – they are often flawed and operate without regard to the human consequences of the logic behind choices made.

        • @scotterb “…if we wait until they become economically viable the transition period will be too long.”———————————————————————–

          Completely gonzo, pulled from his ass, stupid. And he TOTALLY missed the part where the MARKET is exploring ECONOMICAL alternatives…which is what the market DOES: INNOVATE. And, to Erpy, markets ARE magical…mystical, in fact…things. He’s like a dog watching you tune your car.

        • @scotterb oh, you mean like, when the Democrats were shouting it takes 10 years to develop wells, but somehow during Obama’s term he just recently credited himself with making us less dependent on foreign oil because the number of available wells pumping oil had risen under him. Miracle occurred! I mean, he hasn’t been in office 10 years, right?

        • @scotterb Let me rephrase your rant:

          [Governments] are not magical perfect things – they are often flawed and operate without regard to the human consequences of the logic behind choices made.

          If a private investor wants to buy into Solyndra, he must risk his own money. If Solyndra is a bad idea, his research should set off alarm bells.

          If a politician wants to grant taxpayer money to Solyndra, for photo opportunities so he can claim to be for “green” energy, he doesn’t risk his money, but the money plundered from taxpayers. If Solyndra is a bad idea, in the long run, but offers a short-term political gain, guess what he’s doing to do?

          So, according to you, since free exchanges of values sometimes result in bad results, which you perceive as flaws in the market (rather than mistakes by the participants or just “bad luck”), you think that politicians should be granted power to just take money by force and “target” spending to provide better incentives than exist in the free market. Your faith in oligarchy, which doesn’t have to risk its own money, over private action is inexplicable.

        • @scotterb Which brings to mind this video on why we need government http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUS1m5MSt9k

        • @myweeklycrime Heh, it’s because he likes this oligarchy, it’s HIS kind of oligarchy.

        • @scotterb
          “they are often flawed and operate without regard to the human consequences of the logic behind choices made”

          in other words, they do not make the choices YOU think they should. That is their flaw.

        • @timactual “they are often flawed and operate without regard to the human consequences of the logic behind choices made.” – OH! Shoot, I thought he was talking about government; laws, regulations and presidential mandates! I need to be more careful reading. Now that I reflect on it, he would NEVER say such a thing about government…what was I thinking?

  • I speak Obama. Here is the appropriate translation: “I will make oil the fuel of the past, even if I have to destroy the American economy to do it!”

  • “Fuel of the Past.” Just because you say it does not make it so. once again our President has taken on the mantle of King and made a declaration lacking substance or support and we the common folk must bend the knee and accept his prattle as gospel. Well, i for one do not worship at his alter nor do I accept the words of any man as gospel. He wants us to believe that oil is the fuel of the past, then he has got a whole lot more “‘splainin'” to do.

    • @sshiell The easiest way to combat silly claims is with facts, something I posted a week ago:

      According to the Institute for Energy Research’s North American Energy Inventory published in December of 2011, the total recoverable oil resources in North America (and that obviously includes Canada) is 1.79 trillion barrels, or “enough oil to fuel every passenger car in the United States for 430 years”. Any guess why Keystone XL is so critical?

      The problem, according to IER isn’t that we have low proven reserves (the usual figure backing that 2% number is 20 billion barrels). The problem is where there are recoverable oil reserves there are also federal prohibitions against drilling and exploiting those reserves. The US has 1.4 trillion barrels in recoverable oil with the largest deposits located offshore, Alaska and in the Rocky Mountain West’s shale. Combined with Canadian and Mexican resource’s, the total recoverable oil in North America is 1.79 trillion barrels or, as the IER points out, “more [oil] than the world has used since the first oil well was drilled over 150 years ago…”. If you need more context, Saudi Arabia has about 260 billion barrels of proven oil reserves.

      And if you really want to see some eye-popping numbers, take a look in the IER Energy Inventory at our gas reserves. At current natural gas generation levels, there are enough recoverable gas resources to provide the US with electrical energy for 575 years.

      That refutes the other Obama claim that we have only 2% of the proven reserves in the world. We are the 3rd largest oil producer in the world and would likely be the 1st if he’d get out of the way.

      http://www.qando.net/?p=12484

  • “Fuel of the Past.” Just because you say it does not make it so. once again our President has taken on the mantle of King and made a declaration lacking substance or support and we the common folk must bend the knee and accept his prattle as gospel. Well, i for one do not worship at his alter nor do I accept the words of any man as gospel. He wants us to believe that oil is the fuel of the past, then he has got a whole lot more “‘splainin'” to do.

  • “Fuel of the Past.” Just because you say it does not make it so. once again our President has taken on the mantle of King and made a declaration lacking substance or support and we the common folk must bend the knee and accept his prattle as gospel. Well, i for one do not worship at his alter nor do I accept the words of any man as gospel. He wants us to believe that oil is the fuel of the past, then he has got a whole lot more “‘splainin'” to do.

  • Just for chuckles, I was trying to think of a time when we “ran out” of something, leaving the market responding “too late to have a smooth transition”. Damned if I can remember any example, and I also can’t think of any prediction we would “run out” of anything that has panned out. Not that there are none, but the market has done such an effective job, through the law of substitution, of closing any holes that we just don’t see any crisis.

    • @Ragspierre Well, I can recall being told we were going to run out of ‘warm’ a lot back in the 70’s and we had to get ready for the coming ice age….does that count?

    • Erpy… I’m waiting for you to provide an example WRT the above comment…

  • There’s nothing like oil. I’d like to see it extracted like the goal was to get rid of every last drop of it, because the more you take, the more you will be impelled to find, the more advanced the extraction methods will become. Drill until the drills break and get more drills.

    Perhaps in a century or two we’ll have “quantum engines” that will convert ordinary garbage directly into energy like Doc’s DeLorean in Back to the Future, but let’s drive big fat Caddys and Tahoes and really fast cars until we get there burning good old mother oil from mother earth.

    And f**k that c********r in the White House. He’s the “fool of the past.”

  • So why are bailout targets, Chrysler and GM, still making automobiles for a fuel of the past ? .. Selling obsolete technology to an unsuspecting pupil.

  • Yeah, well, Oil may be the fuel of the past, but Baracka hasn’t enlightened us yet on what the fuel of the future is has he. It ain’t electricity because that’s not fuel, that’s energy, and was converted into energy from something via another form of chemical or physical reaction. So what IS Baracka’s FUEL of the future?

    • @looker There isn’t one. Even the Idiot Erpster knows we will be burning SOMETHING carbon-based in all these internal combustion engines that make our culture work. He just fantacizes that it will be something besides petroleum, which is utterly inane. Pres. Pond-Scum tacitly admits the same thing with his algae silliness, and his 50+ mpg moon pony mandate. No, the program is to get you and I out of our cars, make our homes darker and less comfortable, get us out of the air, and shorten our lives. Read a little Van Jones and others of Obama’s Czars on the subject of humanity.

      • @Ragspierre I’ll wager he thinks ELECTRICITY = FUEL, I’d be willing to bet a case of your favorite beer on that. Remember he thinks that if “most ‘scientists” THINK the world is flat, then the world is flat, and furthermore we’re foolish to deny that ‘science’.

        • @looker No bet, looker. The catalog of subject on which he’s a proven ignoramous is HUGE, and seems to get bigger with time.

        • @Ragspierre Damn…I should have bet him, not you! Here’s a car of the future, using the ‘fuel of the future” – rocky start, I’m afraid. As they used to say at the turn of the beginning of the last century, “GET A HORSE!”
          http://autos.yahoo.com/news/bad-karma–our-fisker-karma-plug-in-hybrid-breaks-down.html

        • @looker Aaaanndd, in other car-related news of bonfires of tax dollars..——————————————————————————
          Attention U.S. taxpayers: You now own a piece of a French car company that is drowning in red ink.

          That’s right. In a move little noticed outside of the business pages, General Motors last week bought more than $400 million in shares of PSA Peugeot Citroen – a 7 percent stake in the company. …

          Peugeot can undoubtedly use the cash. Last year, Peugeot’s auto making division lost $123 million. And on March 1 – just a day after the deal with GM was announced – Moody’s downgraded Peugeot’s credit rating to junk status with a negative outlook, citing “severe deterioration” of its finances.

          In other words, General Motors essentially just dumped more than $400 million of taxpayer assets on junk bonds.

        • @Ragspierre “And on March 1 – just a day after the deal with GM was announced – Moody’s downgraded Peugeot’s credit rating to junk status with a negative outlook, citing “severe deterioration” of its finances.” Well, THAT’S because GM had to work SOOOOOO hard during their restructuring to convince the bond and stock holders to keep their investments in place and actually re-invest. See, they PROVED they would turn the company around, and now their research department has worked tremendously hard to buy these bonds BEFORE they turned to junk which will…..awwwwww crap, I don’t know, what’s the White House saying about this?
          ——————————————————————————
          Oh, they’re not? They’re talking about Sandra Fluke’s right to contraception and Rick Santorum’s religion? hmmmmmmm..and the Press isn’t ‘pressing’? Hmmmmmmmm. Wow. Here would you like a glass of my favorite French wine? A modest little aperitief called “Quelle Surprise”.

        • @Ragspierre We’re so bad. you know we just need to wait till the technology develops, it’s a NEW technology! Really!

        • @looker Yes! And the future will be different…