We growled last week, March 15, 2012, about the high price of gas while the nation was ‘awash in oil,” and cited a column in Investor’s Business Daily by John Merline that debunks the "oil scarcity myth."
This comes amid debate about energy policies and energy politics. For example, a just published CNN article from Columbus, Ohio reports on President Obama’s defense of “his policy on oil pipeline.” The report began:
“President Barack Obama took on critics of his energy policies Thursday, saying in carefully coordinated speeches that they weren't paying attention to increased oil production at home and were misleading the public about the cause of rising gas prices.
"Anyone who says that we're somehow suppressing domestic oil production isn't paying attention," Obama said in Cushing, Oklahoma, on the second day of a four-state tour to tout his policies.
"And anyone who says that just drilling more will bring gas prices down just isn't playing it straight," the president continued. " We are drilling more. We are producing more. But the fact is, producing more oil at home isn't enough to bring gas prices down overnight."
CNN went on to report President Obama also “rejected Republican claims that U.S. oil reserves alone offer a solution to higher gas prices and long-term supplies.”
That claims does not appear to be true according to an editorial by Investor’s Business Daily in which they cite a Congressional Research Service report showing that “taken together, America has more recoverable oil, natural gas and coal than any county on earth,” even more than Russia or Saudi Arabia. See the following chart from IBD. The editorial adds the President’s stop in Cushing, Oklahoma is nothing but “a Potemkin Village” photo op.he rejected Republican claims that U.S. oil reserves alone offer a solution to higher gas prices and long-term supplies.
Next up are two items from Breitbart’s Big Government. which certainly seem to show the Obama administration is doing far too little to increase production.
- Second, Wynton Hall reports that “oil production on federal lands dropped 275,000 barrels a day in 2011.” He also reports:
“In his 2012 State of the Union Address, President Obama said that “American oil production is the highest that it’s been in eight years.”
“But on Wednesday, the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service released a new report that finds that the overwhelming majority—96 percent—of the increase came from land not owned by the federal government.
“In 2011, oil production on federal lands declined by an average of 275,000 barrels per day, whereas production on non-federal lands increased by 395,000 barrels per day. The CRS's analysis aligns with that of the Energy Information Administration, which found that oil production on federal lands dropped 14 percent in 2011.”
Then, at American Spectator, Peter Ferrara addresses comments made by President Obama in a recent speech at a community college in Largo, Maryland. Ferrara notes the president likes to focus on 'proven reserves' -- along the lines that with only 2% of the world's known oil reserves, the United States uses more than 20% of the world's oil. Ferrara, however, writes:
"Here's the problem. "Proven reserves" under the federal government's definition can only exist where the oil companies are allowed to drill. Where there are no leases, and no permits, and no at least exploratory drilling to prove what is down there, there can be no "proven reserves."
"That is why in 1980 the federal government said America had 30 billion barrels of proven reserves, but between 1980 and 2007, we produced 75 billion barrels of oil. Obama can't not know this. Therefore, he cannot not be deliberately trying to deceive us."
And finally, in an op-ed in the Washington Times earlier this week, Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pennsylvania) responds to remarks of Energy Secretary Steven Chu and the record of the Obama administration. Kelly writes:
"Since Mr. Obama took office, the national average for a gallon of regular gasoline has increased from $1.85 to $3.80, putting America well on its way to achieving Mr. Chu’s vision of European-inspired gas prices, which range from $7 a gallon in Spain to around $9 a gallon in Italy, with France and England somewhere in between.
"Under Mr. Obama, oil and gas lease sales and permits have been canceled, delayed or suspended at unprecedented levels, with the Obama administration having leased less acreage on federal lands than any other administration on record. In 2011 alone, oil production on federal lands decreased by 11 percent. Drilling on private lands has gone up, and Mr. Obama claims, like a rooster taking credit for the sunrise, that he had something to do with it when, in fact, the increase is a direct result of permits issued under former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.
"In 2010, the administration issued a moratorium on all new drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, limiting supply and costing up to 12,000 jobs, according to the administration’s own estimates. Months later, the administration placed the entire Pacific Coast, the entire Atlantic Coast, the Eastern Gulf and parts of Alaska off limits to future energy production until 2017 at the earliest.
"In 2011, when the new Republican-led House passed the Jobs and Energy Permitting Act, which would have unlocked an estimated 27 billion barrels of oil and 132 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, the president opposed it, just as he opposed the House-passed Restarting American Offshore Leasing Now Act (H.R. 1230) and Putting the Gulf of Mexico Back to Work Act (H.R. 1229).
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"Instead of focusing on increased domestic production of America’s abundant supply of fossil fuels, including coal, which has been under constant attack from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency through permit delays and costly regulations, the president and Mr. Chu have spent the past three years and billions of taxpayer dollars promoting a green-energy agenda that has failed to produce results."
To paraphrase Fox News' motto, we report, you decide.
UDATE (3/23/12): Matt Cover reports much the same news at CNS News about oil production on federal land as do the IBD editorial and the two Big Government news items.