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Obama Uses Gulf Oil Spill For Energy Agenda
Obama used the oil spill crisis in the Gulf of
Mexico to advance his alternative energy agenda Wednesday, calling it a
warning that America needs to transition away from dependence on fossil
"The catastrophe unfolding in the Gulf right now may prove
to be a result of human error -- or corporations taking dangerous
shortcuts that compromised safety," Obama said in remarks at Carnegie
Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
"But we have to
acknowledge that there are inherent risks to drilling four miles beneath
the surface of the Earth -- risks that are bound to increase the harder
oil extraction becomes. Just like we have to acknowledge that an
America run solely on fossil fuels should not be the vision we have for
our children and grandchildren."
Obama's emphasis on energy
issues was part of a broader focus in his speech on the state of the
economy. Administration officials pledged to focus strongly on job
creation earlier in the year but have since been forced to grapple with
a host of unexpected challenges, including the oil spill.
time has come, once and for all, for this nation to fully embrace a
clean energy future," Obama said. "That means [making] everything
from our homes and businesses to our cars and trucks more energy
efficient. It means tapping into our natural gas reserves, and
moving ahead with our plan to expand our nation's fleet of nuclear power
plants. And it means rolling back billions of dollars in tax
breaks to oil companies so we can prioritize investments in clean energy
research and development."
Obama also renewed his call for a
"The only way the transition to clean energy will
succeed is if the private sector is fully invested in this future," he
said. "And the only way to do that is by finally putting a price
on carbon pollution."
energy is a wonderful notion, but Obama's socialism will bankrupt
America in the process. It's going to take 50 years to change
Obama Asks America To Commit Suicide
Obama is one of the most articulate we have had in that office.
His ability to deliver a speech or a short talk such as his first from
the Oval Office Tuesday evening is impressive. He knows how to
deliver an address.
What he doesn’t know or doesn’t care about is
the difference between the truth and a lie. His fifteen-minute
address was the piling on of one lie after another regarding America’s
use of energy and its needs for the future.
It is a lie to say
America is "addicted" to "fossil fuels." Oil is not a fossil fuel.
It is not the result of dead dinosaurs. It is created deep in the
bowels of the planet. There is an abundance of oil, but with the
wealth it creates there is also massive corruption in many of the
nations that possess it.
We are no more addicted to oil than we
are addicted to oxygen. This extraordinary mineral is a part of
every aspect of our lives; used to create plastic, used in
pharmaceuticals, used for the asphalt that pave our highways, and used
as the fuel for our cars, trucks, and for countless other applications.
Oil is not "finite" as Obama suggested. There is no end of
There are, however, tremendous challenges and costs to find
it, drill for it, transport it, and refine it. It is an industry
that requires huge amounts of money to discover new reservoirs of oil
and even more to acquire it. It involves tremendous risk as well.
Oil companies that hit too many dry wells are no longer in business.
Obama cited China as a nation pursuing "clean energy", but Obama
said nothing of the new coal-fired plants to generate electricity that
China has been opening every week in recent years and will continue to
do in the years ahead. Obama did not mention that China is
literally drilling for oil in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Cuba.
Like every modern nation, China needs oil.
Obama is lying.
There is no "clean energy future" when he talks of solar and wind
energy. America needs oil, but the policies of previous administrations
from the 1970s onward have stymied production, shut down existing wells,
driven oil companies to seek it anywhere but here!
devoted the thrust of his address to tell Americans they must "embrace a
clean energy future", must "transition away" from so-called fossil
fuels, and that the nation must, in fact, "accelerate" that effort.
Obama is lying. There is no "clean energy future" when he talks of
solar and wind energy.
Neither solar or wind can begin to
compete with oil, coal and natural gas. If they were viable, the
government would not have to plunder the national treasury to provide
them with subsidies, requiring that they be included as a source by
Together, after many years of propaganda, they only
provide about three percent of the nation’s energy requirements.
They will never provide enough because the wind does not always blow and
the sun does not always shine. Every wind and solar farm must be
backed up by a traditional plant, be it coal-fired, nuclear, natural gas
Instead, this administration has declared war
on the most abundant source of energy we have in America, coal. We
are the Saudi Arabia of coal. Coal provides fifty percent of our
electricity and it could provide even more; a source that could last for
centuries, except that the Obama administration is doing everything it
can to thwart the building of new coal-fired plants, to shut down coal
If Americans continue to believe this
president’s lies, if we continue to believe decades of lies by
environmental organizations, many of whom have been the happy recipients
of oil industry largess and support, and if we abandon the very sources
of energy on which our entire economy and way of life depends, Obama
will have led America off the cliff.
Obama is asking America to
says Obama has a solution to the Gulf oil spill: $7-a-gallon gas.
That's a Harvard University study's estimate of the per-gallon price of
Obama's global-warming agenda. And Obama made clear this week that
this agenda is a part of his plan for addressing the Gulf mess.
So what does global-warming legislation have to do with the oil spill?
Good question, because such measures wouldn't do a thing to clean up the
oil or fix the problems that led to the leak.
The answer can be
found in Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel's now-famous words, "You
never want a serious crisis to go to waste -- and what I mean by that is
it's an opportunity to do things that you think you could not do
That sure was true of global-warming policy, and
especially the cap-and-trade bill. Many observers thought the
measure, introduced last year in the House by Reps. Henry Waxman
(D-Calif.) and Edward Markey (D-Mass.), was dead: The American people
didn't seem to think that the so-called global-warming crisis justified
a price-hiking, job-killing, economy-crushing redesign of our energy
supply amid a fragile recovery. Passing another major piece of
legislation, one every bit as unpopular as ObamaCare, appeared unlikely
in an election year. So Obama and congressional proponents of
cap-and-trade spent several months rebranding it -- downplaying the
global-warming rationale and claiming that it was really a jobs bill
(the so-called green jobs were supposed to spring from the new
clean-energy economy) and an energy-independence bill (that will somehow
stick it to OPEC).
Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Joe Lieberman
(I-Conn.) even reportedly declined to introduce their new cap-and-trade
proposal in the Senate on Earth Day, because they wanted to de-emphasize
the global-warming message. Instead, Kerry called the American
Power Act "a plan that creates jobs and sets us on a course toward
energy independence and economic resurgence." But the new
marketing strategy wasn't working. Few believe the green-jobs hype
-- with good reason. In Spain, for example, green jobs have been
an expensive bust, with each position created requiring, on average,
$774,000 in government subsidies. And the logic of getting us off
oil imports via a unilateral measure that punishes American coal, oil
and natural gas never made any sense at all.
Now Obama is
repackaging cap-and-trade -- again -- as a long-term solution to the oil
spill. But it's the same old agenda, a huge energy tax that will
raise the cost of gasoline and electricity high enough so that we're
forced to use less.
The logic linking cap-and-trade to the spill
in the Gulf should frighten anyone who owns a car or truck. Such
measures force up the price at the pump -- Harvard Kennedy School's
Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs thinks it "may
require gas prices greater than $7 a gallon by 2020" to meet Obama's
stated goal of reducing emissions 14 percent from the transportation
Of course, doing so would reduce gasoline use and also
raise market share for hugely expensive alternative fuels and vehicles
that could never compete otherwise. Less gasoline demand means
less need for drilling and thus a slightly reduced chance of a repeat of
the Deepwater Horizon spill -- but only slightly. Oil will still
be a vital part of America's energy mix.
Oil-spill risks should
be addressed directly -- such as finding out why the leak occurred and
requiring new preventive measures or preparing an improved cleanup plan
for the next incident. Cap-and-trade is no fix and would cause
trillions of dollars in collateral economic damage along the way.
Emanuel was wrong. The administration shouldn't view each
crisis -- including the oil spill -- as an opportunity to be exploited,
but as a problem to be addressed. And America can't afford
Obama's Energy Pipe Dreams
Robert J. Samuelson
says just once, it would be nice if a politician would level with
Americans on energy. Barack Obama isn't that guy. His speech
the other night was about political damage control -- his own. It
was full of misinformation and mythology -- Obama's forte. Obama
held out a gleaming vision of an America that would convert to the
"clean" energy of, presumably, wind, solar and biomass. It isn't
going to happen for many, many decades, if ever.
we won't soon end our "addiction to fossil fuels." Oil, coal and
natural gas supply about 85 percent of America's energy needs. The
U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) expects energy consumption
to grow only an average of 0.5 percent annually from 2008 to 2035, but
that's still a 14 percent cumulative increase. Fossil fuel usage
would increase slightly in 2035 and its share would still account for 78
percent of the total.
Unless we shut down the economy, we need
fossil fuels. More efficient light bulbs, energy-saving
appliances, cars with higher gas mileage may all dampen energy use.
But offsetting these savings will be more people (391 million vs. 305
million), more households (147 million vs. 113 million), more vehicles
(297 million vs. 231 million) and a bigger economy (almost double in
size). Although wind, solar and biomass are assumed to grow as
much as 10 times faster than overall energy use, they provide only 11
percent of supply in 2035, up from 5 percent in 2008.
physical limits on new energy sources, as Robert Bryce shows in his book
"Power Hungry: The Myths of 'Green' Energy and the Real Fuels of the
Future." Suppose an inventor "found a way to convert soybeans into
jet fuel," Bryce writes. "Even with that invention, the conversion
of all of America's yearly soybean production into jet fuel would only
provide about 20 percent of U.S. jet fuel demand." Jet fuel, in
turn, is about 8 percent of U.S. oil use. Similarly, wind turbines
have limited potential; they must be supported by backup generating
capacity when there's no breeze.
The consequences of the BP oil
spill come in two parts. The first is familiar: the fire; the
deaths; coated birds; polluted wetlands; closed beaches; anxious
fishermen. The second is less appreciated: a more muddled energy
Obama has made vilification of oil and the oil industry
a rhetorical mainstay. This is intellectually shallow, if
politically understandable. "Clean energy" won't displace oil or
achieve huge reductions in greenhouse gas emissions -- for example, the
83 percent cut by 2050 from 2005 levels included in last year's House
climate change legislation. Barring major technological advances
(say, low-cost "carbon capture" to pump CO2 into the ground) or an
implausibly massive shift to nuclear power, this simply won't happen.
It's a pipe dream. In the EIA's "reference case" projection, CO2
emissions in 2035 are 8.7 percent higher than in 2008.
than admit the obvious, Obama implies that other countries are
disproving it. "Countries like China are investing in clean energy
jobs and industries that should be right here in America," he said in
his address. If China can do it, so can we! Well, whatever
China's accomplishing on wind and solar, it's a sideshow. In 2008,
fossil fuels met 87 percent of its energy needs, reports the
International Energy Agency. Coal alone accounted for 66 percent.
China represents about half of the world's hard coal consumption.
Usage grew 10.7 percent annually from 2000 to 2008.
of a pragmatic energy policy are clear. A gradually increasing tax
on oil or carbon would nudge people toward more energy-efficient
products, including cars. Any tax should be part of a budget
program that includes major spending cuts. This is a better
approach than the confusing cap-and-trade proposals -- embraced by the
House and the administration -- that would inevitably be riddled with
exceptions and preferences. Finally, research and development
should search for cheaper, cleaner energy sources.
it's imperative to tap domestic oil and natural gas. This creates
jobs and limits our dependence on insecure imports. Drilling
advances have opened vast reserves of natural gas trapped in shale.
Human error and corner-cutting by BP seem the main causes of the spill.
Given the industry's previously strong safety record, Obama's six-month
moratorium on deepwater drilling isn't justified and should be
shortened. It's not industry lobbyists who sustain fossil fuels
but the reality that they're economically and socially necessary.
A candid president would have said so.
Obama's strategy for the Gulf oil spill -- just ignore it -- it's time
for a big GAY party at the White House -- whooppee!
Energy Department To Force Market
Penny Starr says Assistant Secretary of Energy
Cathy Zoi said Thursday that the U.S. Department of Energy has a
"mandate" to issue regulations that will determine what household
appliances are available to Americans in the future.
the inaugural meeting of the recently reestablished Secretary of Energy
Advisory Board (SEAB), Zoi pointed to four tactics the Obama
administration intended use to advance the "deployment of clean energy."
The first three were government subsidies for private-sector green
energy projects, special tax incentives for green energy projects and
low-interest government-backed loans for green energy projects.
"The fourth one, which the secretary and I love," said Zoi, "is where we
have a mandate. Where we can actually just issue regulations and
do market transformation."
Zoi, who stands to
benefit directly from the government's spending, was referring to
authority the department has under the Energy Policy and Conservation
Act of 1975 as amended by the Energy Policy Act of 2005. That law
gives the DOE the power to set efficiency standards for energy-consuming
"That’s an existing statute that this department of
energy is going to make work really hard," Zoi said. "We’ve
already issued appliance standards that are going to save the American
public somewhere between $250 billion and $300 billion over the next 20
years just by getting the crummy stuff off the market."
Secretary Steven Chu, who also spoke at the meeting, announced in April
that the department had finalized five new "higher energy efficiency
standards" for commercial clothes washers, small electric motors, water
heaters, direct heating equipment and pool heaters.
10 additional categories of products are expected to be finalized by the
end of next year, according to a DOE spokeswoman. These will
include new standards for refrigerators, microwave ovens, residential
and mobile home furnaces, fluorescent light ballasts, residential
clothes washers and dryers, room and central air conditioners, and
"We’re going to update [the standards] more
frequently" said Zoi. "We have the power to do that in the
Is there anyone in Obama's
government that doesn't think like a dictator?
Who Needs Domestic Oil Production?
The Institute for Energy Research
one of the sad truths about the Obama administration is the indifference
they have for producing energy domestically.
administration has given us another piece of evidence of their hostility
toward energy production. On page 69 of a new
proposed drilling rule, the administration argues that we don't need
to worry that their permitorium will reduce oil production in the Gulf
of Mexico (and destroy good paying jobs) because we can always get more
oil from the oil dictators at OPEC:
It's a sad state of affairs when our government
halts domestic oil production and tells us to just buy oil from OPEC.
Will the Obama administration ever get serious about creating jobs in
John Hinderaker observes that the U.S. is the only
country in the world that, as a matter of policy, does not develop its
own energy reserves. It is hard to see a rational basis for that
policy. Energy is an important component in every physical object
that is manufactured and shipped. If a country is not competitive
in energy, it is not competitive, period. A Facebook friend
PETROBRAS BRAZIL DISCOVERS TRILLION-DOLLAR
CRUDE OIL FIND. AND AMERICA IS F****** AROUND WITH USELESS
BATTERY-POWERED GOLF-CART CHEVY VOLTS?
Well, yes. The difference is that Brazil
wants to become richer and more powerful. I think there are many
in the Obama administration, especially Obama, who think it is
unjust that we are richer and more powerful than Brazil and many other
countries. So they design policies that are intended to retard our
progress so that others can catch up. If you think this makes any
kind of sense, you are undoubtedly a Democrat.
It looks like Obama's billions of dollars
to Brazil's state-owned oil company, Petrobras, to finance exploration
of the huge offshore discovery in Brazil's Tupi oil field in the Santos
Basin near Rio de Janeiro has paid off -- for Brazil.
Obama's America Faces Energy Shortage,
The Washington Times
says the Obama administration is ushering in 2011 with new powers
that will jack up energy costs for consumers. In the name of
fighting unproven climate-change theories, bureaucrats are pushing
through tough new business restrictions on emissions from energy plants
that light and heat homes across the country. As a result,
Americans in the near future may be forced to pay a hidden tax in their
electric bills or, worse, find themselves in the dark and cold.
The Environmental Protection Agency's new rules, which take effect Jan.
2, will impose limits on carbon dioxide. The EPA's primary targets
are coal-plant operators, who will be forced to choose between
retrofitting their facilities with expensive emissions-control equipment
and cooling towers or shutting them down. Democratic Sen. John D.
Rockefeller IV -- whose West Virginia coal-country constituents have the
most to lose from the tough emissions restrictions -- announced Friday
that he had failed in his 11th-hour attempt to force a Senate vote to
suspend the regulations before they take effect. His measure would
have delayed for two years the new emissions requirements for power
plants, refineries and manufacturing factories under the Clean Air Act.
A study released Dec. 8 by the Brattle Group, an economic
consultancy, found that the new EPA rules could force the retirement of
older power plants that produce 50,000 to 67,000 megawatts of
electricity, or roughly 20 percent of the nation's coal-fired power
plants. As many as 70 million homes could be subject to blackouts,
according to American Solutions, an advocacy group for conventional
energy. Equipping remaining plants to comply with the mandates
would cost $100 billion to $180 billion, the Brattle report warned.
Those expenses would be passed along to consumers in the form of higher
Look no further than the White House to find the
source of this assault on America's energy supply. The Obama
administration's energy policy is driven by global-warming true
believers. Their intent is to flip the economics of energy and
raise the cost of carbon-dioxide-based power, making purported green
energy appear more cost-efficient by comparison. A review of 2010
recalls a series of obstacles to a fully powered nation that Team Obama
has tossed in the path of nuclear waste disposal, offshore oil and gas
drilling and now coal-produced electricity. All the while,
billions are funneled to politically favored industries in order to
subsidize expensive alternatives such as solar panels that produce
electricity at double the cost.
During this Great Recession,
families must make wise decisions on how to allocate their limited
financial resources. Unelected bureaucrats at the EPA have
appropriated the power to force consumers to spend more on their energy
bills, leaving less for other necessities. When the 112th Congress
convenes on Jan. 5, the newly fortified Republican caucus needs to get
behind the Rockefeller bill, which would halt EPA's power grab and
return energy choice to the people.
Obama’s Energy Power Grab
is reporting that the United States Environmental Protection Agency
(USEPA) announced its intention to deliver yet another body blow to the
power and petrochemical industries, piling on another layer of unneeded,
unwanted and economically disastrous regulations to reduce emissions of
greenhouse gases in the United States. Before we consider the
agency’s latest move, let’s take a moment to consider all that has been
done and will be done in the name of fighting the non-existent problem
of global warming. States and the feds are already moving forward
with at least six major regulatory programs designed to reduce the use
of fossil fuels and thus decimate the energy sector.
Standards -- The Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFÉ) standards are
arguably the least bad of the bunch, because the due date for the new
35.5 miles per gallon CAFÉ standard is at least a few years out (2016).
Nonetheless, the new CAFÉ standard will make automobiles more expensive
-- as even the White House admits -- less safe (lighter cars don’t do as
well in accidents as compared to heavier ones) and will do almost
nothing to lower greenhouse gas emissions.
Standards -- More than thirty states, encompassing about three quarters
of the population of the United States, have adopted Renewable Portfolio
Standards. These standards require using ever decreasing amounts
of electricity generated by the combustion of fossil fuels.
Regional Trading Programs -- States in three parts of the country, the
east coast, the west coast and the midwest, have formed partnerships to
create regional cap and trade programs. The east coast cap and
trade program has been up and running for two years. The west coast and
midwest programs will "go live" in the near future.
Greenhouse Gases -- Recent USEPA guidance directed state permitting
authorities to treat greenhouse gases as regulated pollutants when
considering the construction of new major sources and major
modifications to existing sources. Permitting authorities are
further directed to apply the Best Available Control Technology standard
to the control of greenhouse gases from these sources.
Ambient Air Standards -- The USEPA’s new ambient air standards for
"traditional" air pollutants are so ridiculously low that it’s virtually
impossible for any new facility to comply with them. This is thus
a back-door way of ensuring that no new fossil fuel fired power
facilities can be built.
New Hazardous Air Pollution Rules -- The
USEPA’s new rules limiting emissions of hazardous air pollutants from
industrial boilers are also draconian. Again, the net effect will
be to ensure that new industrial boilers powered by fossil fuels are
just about impossible to construct.
Related:White House Plans to Push Global Warming Policy
Obama's Breezy Hypocrisy
The Washington Times
says that just before Christmas, Obama's top trade negotiator
dropped off a report to Congress complaining of Chinese wind-turbine
incentives. U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk wants the World
Trade Organization (WTO) to intervene in the dispute over Beijing's use
of grants and loans to prop up its domestic propeller industry.
The administration is irked that U.S. firms aren't allowed to enjoy a
slice of the Chinese pork. "Specifically, the United States is
challenging subsidies being provided by the Chinese government to
manufacturers of wind turbine systems that appear to be contingent on
the use of domestic over imported components and parts," Mr. Kirk's
There are plenty of trade policy issues where
China is in the wrong, but Obama is living in a glass house on this one.
The Obama administration has significantly boosted the support targeted
to our own domestic windmill industry. "The Recovery Act is
helping to ramp up manufacturing and deployment of wind-power components
in the U.S., maintaining strong demand and financing for wind projects
and helping to attract billions of dollars of additional investment into
U.S. wind manufacturing," a White House fact sheet boasted.
of the primary mechanisms for this assistance is the production tax
credit, which Obama's "stimulus" bill renewed through the end of 2012.
This measure offers an inflation-adjusted 2.1 cent per kilowatt-hour
credit for windmill owners, which covers about 21 percent of the average
retail cost of the power. The "stimulus" added a cash grant option
covering 30 percent of the capital cost of wind-farm installation.
Federal and state governments also offer "Buy American" incentives
available only to U.S. firms.
The biggest beneficiary of this
generosity happens to be General Electric, the top U.S. wind-turbine
manufacturer, and a huge Obama contributor. GE got into the
windmill business after gobbling up "renewable energy" assets from Enron
as that ill-fated firm was forced into bankruptcy in 2002. Enron's
rent-seeking business model didn't change when its wind business moved
into the house that Edison built. Billions in taxpayer dollars
continue to fan the rebirth of this fundamentally medieval technology.
Wind power hasn't made sense since the Industrial Revolution
perfected the steam engine. Instead of looking to the skies to
know when a trip across the Atlantic was possible, travelers were free
to go when they pleased. Americans looking for reliable
electricity aren't going to find it by returning to the whim of an
The Obama administration doesn't care about
efficiency or reliability. It's responding to the distress call of
a political ally. In September, the United Steel Workers union
urged WTO intervention on the grounds that, "U.S. imports from China of
the towers and masts for windmills have grown 17 times over since 2006."
Big Labor wants its cut of the international subsidies doled out to
bird-slicing blade producers.
Both Washington and Beijing are
wrong to intervene in the marketplace by bankrolling Enron-style wind
boondoggles. The White House should drop its own "green energy"
programs if it really wants China to do the same.
Team Obama Yanks Coal Permit
reminds us that on Sunday April 25, 2010, Barack Obama attended the
memorial service in West Virginia for the 29 miners who perished in the
nation’s worst mining disaster in 25 years. During his speech to
the families Obama praised the coal miners and "the fruits of their
labor that so often we take for granted."
"Five miles into a mountain. The only
light, the lamp on their caps. Day after day they would burrow
into the coal. The fruits of their labor that so often we take
for granted. The electricity that lights up a convention
center; that lights up our church or our home our school our office.
The energy that powers our country. The energy that powers the
Obama praised the coal industry at the miner
memorial service -- but that was then.
Now, for the first time
ever, the Obama Administration blocked an already approved bid
to build one of the largest mountaintop removal coal mines in
The Obama administration Thursday reversed a
Bush-era decision and blocked a bid to build one of the largest
mountaintop removal coal mines in Appalachian history.
first time, the Environmental Protection Agency is revoking a permit
already issued, taking back its approval for Arch Coal’s Spruce No.1
mine in southern West Virginia. EPA said the mine would cause
unacceptable damage to local waterways and public health.
decision is a major victory for environmental groups, who have fought
against the mine since it was proposed more than a decade and cements
agency administrator Lisa Jackson’s status as their environmental hero.
The George W. Bush administration had approved the Clean Water Act
permit in 2007.
"In sharp contrast to the previous
administration’s policies on mountaintop removal coal mining, EPA
Administrator Lisa Jackson is showing a strong commitment to the law,
the science and the principles of environmental justice," Sierra Club
executive director Michael Brune said today. "She deserves
enormous credit for changing policies to protect Appalachia’s health,
land and water."
But EPA’s critics are vowing to battle the
decision in the courts, Congress and the White House.
when democrats say they want to supply America with affordable energy
alternatives -- They’re lying.
Related:Oil at $99 -- if it breaks past $100 it will drive
up fuel costs and threaten the fragile economic recovery.
The Next Obama Disaster
John H. Hinderaker
in any other administration, Obama's energy policies would be dominating
the political debate. It is only because the administration has
pursued so many disastrous policies -- government medicine, bailouts,
faux stimulus, unheard-of deficits -- that energy has taken a back seat.
It will not be long, however, before rising energy costs are again in
the forefront of economic anxiety and political debate. Reuters
Oil rose on Wednesday after production
shutdowns, falling U.S. inventories and growing demand sent Brent
crude toward $100 a barrel for the first time since 2008.
U.S. government data showing U.S. crude stocks falling for a sixth
straight week helped extend this week's gains. Disruptions
from Alaska and Norway stoked supply concerns and cold weather in
the U.S. Northeast fed demand for heating oil. [EIA/S]
climb back toward $100 a barrel -- last touched in October 2008 --
has raised concerns about the impact of higher fuel costs on the
tenuous economic recovery. "Back in 2008, (U.S.) crude oil
only traded above $100 a barrel for about six months before the
world economy collapsed into the worst crisis since the 1930s,"
warned Sabine Schels, commodity strategist for Merrill Lynch.
Crude's rise on Wednesday was part of wider gains across
commodities, with metals rising and soybean and corn futures
touching 30-month highs that further stoked economic worries.
London Brent oil LCOc1, benchmark for European, Middle East, and
African crudes, rose 51 cents to settle at $98.12 a barrel, after
touching $98.85 a barrel earlier, the highest level since Oct. 1,
The Obama administration's announcement that
permitting for deepwater drilling in the Gulf will "likely" resume in
June is way too little, way too late, and basically amounts to kicking
the can even farther down the road.
Was it actually rising energy
prices rather than home prices that caused the Great Recession? I
don't think so, but The Fiscal Times makes an interesting point:
Some observers have suggested that the
recent financial crisis had its roots in a jump in oil prices.
James Hamilton of UC San Diego produced a report in 2009 saying that
higher oil prices in 2007-2008 impacted domestic spending and auto
purchases to such an extent that "in the absence of those declines,
it is unlikely that we would have characterized the period 2007:Q4
to 2008:Q3 as one of economic recession for the U.S."
other words, the Great Recession may have stemmed from a sharp jump
in the average cost of imported oil, which rose from $59.05 per
barrel in 2006 to $92.57 in 2008 -- and not from a collapse in the
value of subprime mortgages. Since the 1960s consumer outlays
on gasoline and heating fuel have ranged from a little below 5% in
the late 1990s to nearly 10% in the early 1980s. When this
ratio starts moving towards the higher end of the range, as it did
in the mid- 2000s, the consumer cuts back on other spending,
precipitating an economic downturn.
The Obama administration's attitude toward energy
costs is astonishingly cavalier. So far, Obama and his advisers
don't seem to have gotten past the idea the America is an exploiter
nation and therefore "too rich;" so if energy policy makes us all
poorer, it is probably just as well. This is not, to put it
mildly, an attitude that prevails among voters.
Obama Oil Policies Fueling Recession?
Dana Joel Gattuso
says as Obama and his team of regulators bring domestic oil
production to a crawl via their moratorium on offshore drilling,
standstill on drilling permits, and myriad regulations on accessing oil
on public lands, is it any wonder that oil and gas prices are climbing
toward the record highs we saw in 2008, prior to the economic collapse?
Last week, Greenwire reported that there were fewer new wells
drilled for oil on public lands in 2010 than in any other year in the
past decade, and that as many as two-thirds of the permits issued to the
oil and gas industry for drilling on federal lands were unused.
Kathleen Sgamma, government-affairs director for the Denver-based
Western Energy Alliance, said the Obama administration’s regulations
have discouraged new drilling in the West, where BLM controls some 250
million acres. "We were surprised," Sgamma said, "to see just how
much the additional regulatory burden has discouraged drilling in the
Meanwhile, U.S. crude supplies have fallen for the sixth
straight week, oil is inching toward $100 a barrel, the highest since
October 2008, and retail gas prices are close to $3.00 a gallon.
This has scary implications for an economic recovery -- as Ben Bernanke
alluded to last week when he testified that he was "closely watching"
increasing gas prices which could hurt economic growth.
experts are even warning that rising energy prices could push us into
Under Obama Gas Prices Have Risen 55%
The Heritage Foundation
points out this fact: Barack Obama’s Energy Secretary Steven
Chu wants to "figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the
levels in Europe." At the time he made the statement, gas cost $7
to $8 per gallon in Europe.
And this fact: Since taking
office, Obama’s entire energy agenda has made a gallon of gas more
• Immediately after taking office in
2009, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, canceled 77 leases for oil and
gas drilling in Utah. • The EPA announced new rules
mandating the use of 36 billion gallons worth of renewable fuels
(like ethanol) by 2020. • This summer Obama needlessly
instituted, not one, but two outright drilling bans in the Gulf of
Mexico. • After rescinding his outright offshore drilling
ban, Obama has refused to issue any new drilling permits in the
Gulf, a policy that the Energy Information Administration estimates
will cut domestic offshore oil production by 13% this year •
Interior Secretary Salazar announced that the eastern Gulf of
Mexico, the Atlantic coast, and the Pacific coast will not be
developed, effectively banning drilling in those areas for the next
seven years; • The Environmental Protection Agency has
announced new global warming regulations for oil refineries; •
Interior Secretary Salazar announced new rules making it more
difficult to develop energy resources on federal land.
All of these policies raise gas prices at the pump by
either: 1) decreasing the availability of domestic energy supplies, or
2) increasing regulatory costs on gasoline production.
George Bush was no saint when it came to free market energy policies
either. He mandated the use of ethanol, put off opening up the
Outer Continental Shelf till the end of his second term, supported the
expansion of renewable energy tax credits, tried to subsidize the
nuclear power industry, and caved into environmental pressure by
allowing the EPA to begin the global warming regulation process.
But as two time Super Bowl winning coach Bill Parcells says, "You are
what your record says you are." And the facts are these: during
the first two years under Barack Obama, gas prices have risen 55%.
You can compare that to the 5% drop in gas prices during the first two
years of President Bush’s term or the 2% drop under the first two years
of President Clinton’s term. Neither President Bush nor President
Clinton had perfect energy policies. But neither of them appointed
an Energy Secretary who wanted Americans to pay $9 for a gallon of gas
Obama’s Decrees Cause Energy Prices To
Ben Johnson says that in a candid moment while running for president,
Barack Obama told the editorial board of the San Francisco Chronicle,
"under my plan…electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket."
Last week, the Obama administration moved to make that a reality, using
rule by executive fiat to punish the
coal industry. The action comes as Obama is halting offshore oil
drilling and threatening one state alone with millions of dollars in
lost revenue. His most recent action was "unprecedented," could
kill jobs during a recession, and comes as heating oil and gasoline
prices are rising.
Obama’s latest environmentalist imbroglio is his declaration of war
on the coal industry. Last week, the EPA
revoked the mining permit of Arch Coal’s Spruce No. 1 Mine in Logan
County, West Virginia. The EPA granted the permit in 2007.
Since then, Arch Coal has
complied with all of the agency’s terms and made millions of dollars
of investments in the hard-hit Appalachian state.
The EPA reversed itself last week, revoking its validly granted
permit and calling into question whether it would honor any of its prior
obligations. Its pretext was the company’s use of mountaintop
removal mining, which it called "destructive and unsustainable.
However, it was known the mine would use this procedure when the EPA
granted the permit four years ago.
West Virginia’s lawmakers are rightly incensed. Newly elected
Democratic Senator Joe Manchin’s statement read in part:
"According to the EPA, it doesn’t matter if you did everything right,
if you followed all of the rules. Why? They just change the
rules." Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, a Republican,
revocation, "a staged event to reward a core constituency that
doesn’t want any coal mining or coal plants, no matter the cost to West
Virginia or our nation."
Democratic Senator Jay Rockefeller told Obama in a letter that his
action "needlessly throws other permits into a sea of uncertainty at a
time of great economic distress."
Industry leaders echoed his concern. "Every road project,
construction project or mine site that has received valid CWA 404
permits in the past is now in jeopardy of having that permit vetoed or
said Bryan Brown, executive director of the Foundation for American
Coal Energy. The
crippling handicap of uncertainty harms our economy, undermines
confidence in the government, and keeps industry executives from making
additional investments in energy exploration.
Which was the point. Obama is acting in a lawless manner to introduce
uncertainty and stop business from finding additional natural resources,
because they want to use skyrocketing energy prices to reduce our
nation’s carbon footprint.
Obama said he would bankrupt
I guess he meant it.
Drill, Baby, Drill
Jonah Goldberg reminds us that Obama will
deliver his State of the Union message on Tuesday.
conventional wisdom is that he will continue his "move to the center."
The quotation marks are necessary because some people think he really is
moving to the center, while others think he just wants to appear like he
Either way, this undoubtedly means Obama will try to seem as
if he's meeting Republicans halfway on their "reasonable" demands
(quotation marks for the same reason as before) while drawing a stark
line against their "unreasonable" ones.
As much as I may enjoy
it, this sort of strategizing leaves most Americans cold. As far
as I can tell, these days they are less concerned with "triangulation"
than they are with the creation of good jobs that aren't bogus
make-work, or paid for with money borrowed from China or our grandkids.
If that's the case, the solution is right in front of Obama's
face. To echo a chant from the 2008 Republican convention, "Drill,
The objective case for developing our oil and gas
wealth is pretty straightforward. With the exception of climate
change, pretty much everything the Obama administration considers a
major problem would be improved by opening the floodgates to new
The deficit? The oil industry already pays
the U.S. treasury more than $95 million a day in taxes, rent, royalties
and the like. If you expand exploration, you expand revenues.
According to estimates, if America unlocked its oil and gas reserves,
the government could take in somewhere between $1 trillion and $2
trillion in additional revenue over the coming years. And that's
not counting the increased revenues from the stimulus of lower fuel and
Trade imbalances? Domestic oil and gas is,
by definition, not imported. The more we produce here, the less we
import, or the more we can sell overseas. Either way, the trade
deficit goes down and GDP goes up.
Jobs? You can't drill
for American oil or natural gas in China, Saudi Arabia or anyplace other
than America. Oil and gas exploration jobs pay more than twice the
says, "it figures," Obama delivered his weekly address from a "Green
Energy" company that is losing money.
Here is what Obama said
about the Orion manufacturing plant (video):
I’m speaking to you today from Manitowoc,
Wisconsin, where I’m at an innovative company called Orion Energy
Just a few years ago, this was an empty warehouse.
A major employer had shut down this factory, moved its operations
abroad, and took a lot of jobs away from this town.
today, as you can see behind me, this is a thriving enterprise once
more. You are looking at a factory where 250 workers are
building advanced clean energy systems -- state-of-the-art
technologies that use solar power and energy efficiency to save
farms and businesses thousands of dollars on their utility bills.
I’m here because this business and others like it are showing us
the way forward. And in the coming days, I’ll be shining a
spotlight on innovators across America who are relying on new
technologies to create new jobs and opportunities in new industries.
That’s what companies like Orion are doing. And that’s
how America will win the future -- by out-innovating, out-educating,
and out-building our competitors. We’ll win the future by
being the best place on Earth to do business. That is what we
are called to do at this moment. And in my state of the union,
I talked about how we get there.
Unfortunately, just like we’ve seen so many times
before, there’s much more to the story.
Despite millions in
government grants and subsidies, the Manitowoc Company, Obama's "glimpse
of the future," lost $4.8 million last year and cannot promise
shareholders it will be profitable in the foreseeable future.
Orion stock has plummeted in the past four years. It closed 2007
at $18.82 a share. By the end of 2010 it was $3.34.
Obama's Contemptible Drilling Ban
Investor's Business Daily
says that an administration that has no respect for Congress, the
courts or the Constitution has been found in contempt for reissuing a
drilling moratorium that a U.S. district judge found overly broad.
The Obama administration's trouble with the courts has continued
with a judge's ruling last week that the Interior Department's
reinstating of a drilling moratorium followed by a de facto moratorium
via an overly restrictive permitting process constituted contempt.
Obama had issued a drilling moratorium in May in waters deeper than
500 feet after the explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon
drilling rig off Louisiana that resulted in the spill of more than 4.1
million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.
In June, Martin
Feldman of the Eastern District Court of Louisiana struck down Interior
Secretary Ken Salazar's original moratorium, saying it was overkill
based on flawed reasoning. "If some drilling equipment parts are
flawed, is it rational to say all are?" Feldman asked in his
ruling. "That sort of thinking seems heavy-handed and rather
Feldman further asked: "Are all airplanes a danger
because one was? All oil tankers like Exxon Valdez? All
trains? All mines?" The administration's answer still seems
to be yes, as offshore oil rigs find their way to other shores, and
communities dry up along with the oil business that sustained them.
So the administration went back, rearranged a few words and a few
deck chairs, and reissued its moratorium. That one was officially
lifted in October, although the permitting process, which mysteriously
includes shallow-water wells, has had the effect of continuing the
Feldman was not amused. "Each step the
government took following the court's imposition of a preliminary
injunction showcases its defiance," the judge said in his ruling.
"Such dismissive conduct, viewed in tandem with the reimposition of a
second moratorium ... provides this court with clear and convincing
evidence of its contempt."
Feldman even accused the
administration of outright lying, pointing out that "at the hearing on
the first moratorium, in response to a question by the court, the
government's answer then was wholly at odds with the story of the
misleading text change by a White House official, a story the government
does not now dispute."
As we have noted, now-departing climate
czar Carol Browner's office edited a May 27, 2010, report to Obama by a
panel of experts brought together by the administration to review
offshore drilling safety. The report was altered to make it seem
like the panelists supported the administration's six-month drilling
moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico when they did not.
Obama Favors Ideology Over Science
is reporting that Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) is accusing the Obama of
"leading with ideology and politics" instead of science on the deepwater
oil drilling debate.
"Unfortunately, I think it is politics and
ideology over sound science and common sense," Vitter said in an
interview with the Fox Business Network.
"The president...has also been attacking
traditional energy, particularly oil and gas."
Vitter, a vocal critic of the administration's
opposition to deepwater drilling, said he agreed with a recent court
ruling that held the administration in contempt for its repeat
imposition of a deepwater drilling moratorium.
On Wednesday, a
Louisiana federal judge held the Interior Department in contempt for
re-imposing a deepwater-oil drilling ban after the judge had struck down
an earlier version of the moratorium last year. Judge Martin
Feldman’s ruling requires the department to pay attorneys' fees in the
case against last year’s drilling ban that was brought by several
offshore oil services companies.
That second ban, which the
administration put in place in July, was lifted in October, but
permitting for deepwater projects has not resumed yet as the Interior is
requiring companies to meet tougher safety standards put in place after
the Deepwater Horizon disaster.
That "permit log jam" amounts to
a "de facto moratorium," Vitter said. "The Obama administration is
virtually issuing no permits, costing us jobs every day," he added.
And with much of the discussion in Washington focused on getting the
federal deficit under control, Vitter said expanding domestic energy
production, including oil, would bring in more revenue for the federal
"With a horrible deficit and spending and debt
crisis, guess what else we're driving away? Major federal revenue,
because after the U.S. income tax, the biggest category of federal
revenue are energy royalties. And we are pushing that beneath the
floor," he said.
Related:White House says no offshore drilling permits
without more details.
Court Orders Obama To Act On Drilling
Steve Hargreaves is reporting that a federal
court ordered the Obama administration Thursday to act on five deep
water drilling permits in the Gulf of Mexico within 30 days, calling the
delays in issuing new decisions "unreasonable, unacceptable, and
In a case brought by the drilling company Ensco,
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana Judge Martin
Feldman ruled that the four to nine months the company has waited for a
decision on the permits it has a stake in is simply too long.
Feldman acknowledged the difficulty the administration's Bureau of Ocean
Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement has had in implementing
new regulations in the wake of the BP disaster, but said the time has
come to act.
"The Court therefore orders that [the bureau] is
required to act on the five pending permit applications within thirty
days of this Order and simultaneously report to the Court its
compliance," Feldman wrote in his ruling, issued late Thursday.
A spokeswoman for the agency said it is reviewing the court's decision.
$535 Million In Porkulus Funds Lost On
says there wasn't much doubt about whether the White House would
back of Solyndra in California. The
report from November, about the dissipation of more than a half-billion
dollars, covered the facts well. In fact, let’s watch the original
report from the local ABC affiliate one more time:
Congress has now confirmed the waste in a letter from the House
Energy and Commerce Committee to Energy Secretary Steven Chu:
Solyndra, Inc. was supposed to have showcased the effectiveness of the
Obama administration’s stimulus and green jobs initiatives, but instead
it has become the center of congressional attention for waste, fraud and
abuse of such programs.
According to a Feb. 17 letter signed by
Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton, Michigan Republican,
and Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Cliff Stearns, Florida Republican,
to Energy Secretary Steven Chu, the Fremont, Calif.-based solar panel
manufacturer squandered $535 million of stimulus money. …
According to Biden’s speech, the $535 million loan guarantee was a
smaller part of the $30 billion of stimulus money the administration
planned to spend as part of its Green Jobs Initiative.
similar claims in a May 26, 2010 speech at the plant, but the 1,000 jobs
he and Biden touted in their respective speeches failed to materialize.
Instead, Solyndra announced on Nov. 3 it planned to postpone
expanding the plant, which cost the taxpayers $390.5 million, or 73
percent of the total loan guarantee, according to the Wall Street
It also announced that it no longer planned to hire the
1,000 workers that Obama and Biden had touted in their speeches and that
it planned to close one of its older factories and planned to lay off
135 temporary or contract workers and 40 full-time employees.
Gosh, who could have predicted that the Solyndra pork project might
fail? Perhaps all of those Wall Street investors that avoided Solyndra
for one obvious reason:
A closer look at the company shows it has
never turned a profit since it was founded in 2005, according to its
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings.
auditor declared that "the company has suffered recurring losses,
negative cash flows since inception and has a net stockholders' deficit
that, among other factors, [that] raise substantial doubt about its
ability to continue as a growing concern" in a March 2010 amendment to
its SEC registration statement.
Just another object lesson in why
government’s role shouldn’t be to pick winners and losers in a market. They’re usually no good at it. And in this case, we had two people
Barack Obama and Joe Biden -- with no experience in private investment,
management, or even energy production making those choices.
That’s a half-billion-dollar lesson that we’d all better heed in the
Obama’s Deprivation Nation
The Washington Times
says as Obama hurries to catch up to Europe in the conversion to
so-called green energy, our trans-Atlantic neighbors are finding that
they can no longer afford to support their "sustainable" power schemes.
Obama‘s fiscal 2012 budget, released Feb. 14, takes a page from the
global-warming believer’s hymn book. It calls for a 4.2 percent
boost in the Department of Energy‘s budget to $29.5 billion. It
also pours $8 billion into solar panels, windmills and batteries,
blowing the country in the wrong direction.
Republicans attempted a small but important course correction on
Saturday when they adopted an amendment to the House budget that
prohibits the administration from sending $13 million in U.S. taxpayer
dollars to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change,
an organization whose dodgy statistics have been used to inflame climate
hysteria. The United Kingdom, an early player in the green game,
is also cutting back on its sponsorship of intermittent sources of
power. The U.K. Department of Energy and Climate Change announced
Feb. 7 that it would reconsider one of its programs in light of evidence
that money intended for homes and small businesses to generate their own
electricity was being gobbled up by large-scale solar farms.
Investors who depend on government checks to bail out their money-losing
ventures are crying foul. "Change damages confidence in
established assets, and for fledgling industries such as solar, it could
be fatal," one investor told the Financial News.
Netherlands, which has always been at the cutting edge of windmill
technology, may pare back national goals for renewable energy.
Noting the unsustainable expense of underwriting such ventures in tough
economic times, the Dutch are dropping the renewable mandates and
instead planning to build their first new nuclear plants in nearly 40
With many on both sides of the Atlantic struggling through
yet another severe winter, trendy green programs look more and more like
luxuries everyone can do without. In Wales, about 26 percent of
households find themselves in "fuel poverty," spending at least 10
percent of their income heating their homes. Wales Online reports
that during this particular cold spell, some low-income families chose
to go hungry so they could afford to pay the bill to stay warm.
Until now, the European Union has been all-in on the green-power craze.
EU Energy Commissioner Gunther H. Oettinger recently threw cold water on
the European plan to boost carbon-dioxide-reduction targets from 20
percent to 30 percent. "If we go alone to 30 percent, you will
only have a faster process of deindustrialization in Europe," he told
Deindustrialization is precisely the goal of
the Obama administration. While other nations drop out of the race
to be the greenest, Obama soon could find himself running alone.
Winning this race would make losers of taxpayers, who would be the ones
left in the cold.
Obama Pushes For $8-A-Gallon Gas
says with oil prices surging above $100 a barrel, consumers are
realizing they will be paying a heavy price at the pump for the unrest
in the Middle East. A perfect storm of foreign and domestic policy
choices by the Obama administration has paved the way for European-style
energy prices to arrive on these shores. Far from being alarmed,
Obama sees the prospect of $8 a gallon gas as an opportunity.
When it comes to energy, the White House has sought to augment
government controls to prevent the "long-term threat of climate change,
which if left unchecked could result in violent conflict, terrible
storms, shrinking coastlines and irreversible catastrophe," in Obama‘s
words. Making energy more expensive is exactly what the
administration’s "cap and trade" scheme is meant to do. The theory
is that pricier power will be used more frugally, which in turn will
appease Mother Earth into blessing us with cooler weather. Obama
expressed the same outlook in May when -- with oil at $61 a barrel -- he
signed a memorandum dictating to automakers the kinds of cars they will
be allowed to sell. At the time, Obama noted with trepidation,
"The impetus for action would fade when gas prices started to go back
It’s not possible for domestic production to relieve the
pressure from international uncertainty. Obama and congressional
Democrats have blocked drilling in places like Alaska’s Arctic National
Wildlife Refuge, in millions of acres of federal lands and in offshore
locations. Obama even took advantage of the BP oil disaster to
shut down operations in the Gulf of Mexico. Obama points to the
small amount of oil currently produced at home to conclude, "We can’t
drill our way out of the problem." That’s only a true statement as
long as the current policies place 67 percent of America’s reserves
We’re now paying the price for weak leadership, but
it’s about more than just paying a few bucks more at the local Chevron
station. Every product and service depends on the price of oil and
the price of electricity. The vast majority of goods hit the
shelves after being transported by aircraft, ships and trucks powered by
fossil fuels. That’s why, as economists note, there is a direct
correlation between the number of miles vehicles travel in a year and
the nation’s Gross Domestic Product. Unless there’s an immediate
U-turn in the domestic and international agenda, we’re headed for rough
The ineffective response to problems in the
Mideast, economic malaise and sky-high gas prices are all symptoms of an
administration that take no interest in promoting economic growth.
Like his ideological soul brother Jimmy Carter, Obama is headed toward
Does Obama Want $8 Gasoline?
says that while we sit on abundant oil and natural gas reserves,
prices at both the wellhead and the pump are rising on fears of
spreading Mideast turmoil and short domestic supply. But then,
maybe that's the plan.
The silver lining for this administration
in the gathering storm over the Middle East may be what it's doing and
may yet do to energy prices. The average price for gasoline jumped
nearly 12 cents a gallon last week to $3.287, according to AAA.
But at the White House, that's not necessarily bad news.
surged to 2 1/2-year highs as the chaos in Libya chokes that nation's
exports. Yet among the "full range of options" the Obama
administration is considering as the Libyan crisis festers, and the lit
match of discontent gets perilously close to Saudi oilfields, ordering
the full resumption of domestic oil and gas production is not one of
Energy Secretary Steven Chu has said that "any
disruption in the Middle East means a partial disruption in the oil we
import. It's a world market, and (a disruption can) have real harm
on the price." And so, we would think, would the orchestrated and
carefully planned disruption of domestic supply by this administration.
It's not just Mideast turmoil that has brought us to this point.
It's also a deliberate program of restricting domestic energy to make
so-called green energy more attractive and necessary, keeping an Obama
campaign promise that energy prices would "necessarily skyrocket" on his
Before he was appointed energy secretary, Chu
expressed a fondness for high European gas prices as a means of reducing
consumption of fossil fuels. In September 2008, he told the Wall
Street Journal: "Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of
gasoline to the levels in Europe." Gas prices in Europe then
averaged about $8 a gallon.
Certainly every administration energy
decision has had the effect of raising energy prices. The
Deepwater Horizon disaster gave the administration the excuse for a
drilling moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico, one that a federal judge
overturned. When the administration reinstated the ban, it was
found in contempt of court.
A virtual regulatory ban continues
today. At least 103 drilling permits await approval by a federal
government that has not approved a single new permit since the
moratorium was allegedly lifted last October.
has announced that the eastern Gulf and the Atlantic and Pacific coasts
will be off-limits for the next seven years. The Interior
Department has canceled four pending lease sales in Alaska.
Drilling in that state's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is prohibited,
and oil-rich offshore areas have been designated as critical polar bear
habitat despite a booming bear population.
hostility to fossil fuels is documented. Immediately on taking
office, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar canceled 77 leases for oil and
gas drilling in Utah. Recently, in a stunning land grab, Salazar
issued an order allowing Bureau of Land Management officials to place
land with "wilderness characteristics" off-limits to energy development.
Some 6 million acres in energy-rich Utah would be affected.
day before Obama was inaugurated, the average price of a gallon of gas
was $1.83, the Heritage Foundation notes. Today it's well over $3
and on the way to $4. Prices for this February and last December
were the highest ever for those months.
John Hofmeister, former
president of Shell Oil, told Platt's Energy Week Television that
Americans could be paying $5 for a gallon of gasoline by 2012 based on
the uncertainty of world events, the lack of domestic supply and
increased worldwide demand fueled by countries like India and China.
Democrats once accused Big Oil of deliberately restricting supply to
enrich itself. Now Obama may be doing the same on purpose -- a
policy sure to impoverish us all.
Obama Continues His War On American Energy
that Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said that U.S. regulators would not
bow to political pressure to restart deepwater drilling in the Gulf of
Mexico before they are certain the oil-and-gas industry is capable of
containing an oil spill like the one that followed last BP's Deepwater
Translation -- "U.S. regulators would not bow to political pressure to
restart deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico before gas is $8 per
Salazar and Michael Bromwich -- the head of
the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement,
which oversees offshore drilling -- were in Houston Friday to meet with
oil industry executives to assess the spill-containment systems they
have developed in the wake of nation's worst-ever marine oil spill.
Bromwich said he was "quite confident that we are getting very close
to the point where we can begin issuing deepwater permits." But he
and Salazar said the industry still has work to do before exploration of
the Gulf's deepest waters can resume.
The U.S. government shut
down deepwater drilling shortly after the Deepwater Horizon exploded on
April 20, killing 11 and unleashing a catastrophic oil spill.
government's official ban was lifted in October, but regulators have yet
to allow drilling to resume in water deeper than 500 feet despite
mounting political pressure from congressional Republicans and Gulf
Coast Democrats to reopen one of the nation's primary energy fields.
"We don't respond to political pressure," Salazar said. "We
are frankly doing what's right for America's energy program."
While Obama, and his tool Salazar
continue to refuse to allow Americans to drill, The Gulf of Mexico and
with oil companies from abroad.
Companies from nations like
Norway, Spain, India, China, Russia and Brazil have signed exploration
agreements with Cuba and the Bahamas that could mean drilling south of
Key West in 2010, and 120 miles east of the Keys in the Cay Sal area of
the Bahamas in fewer than one year.
Cuba’s communist newspaper Granma
reported that the country’s state oil company Cubapetroleo, or CUPET,
inked a deal with Russian company Zarubzhnieft to begin exploring for
oil in four of the 59 blocks the island nation divvied up off its coast
in the Gulf of Mexico. Spain’s Repsol-YPF and Norway’s
StatoilHydro have reached an agreement with BPC Limited to become the
operator of three of BPC’s offshore exploration licenses in the Cay Sal
area of the Bahamas.
Who is going to contain an oil spill from
these companies? Hint -- its initials are "USA."
you know Obama sent
$2 billion to the Marxist government of Brazil to support Brazil's
offshore oil production? It's good for Brazil, but bad for
It is apparent that Obama is purposely doing everything
he can to cripple America's energy sector -- but, to what end?
Related:The Oil Crisis: How Bad
Must It Get Before Obama Chooses to Act?
Obama Prolongs American Power Drain
The Washington Times
says Obama has intentionally hamstrung domestic energy production
under the delusional theory that the U.S. economy can thrive on
so-called green power. As Mideast turmoil threatens the oil
supply, the price of domestic crude has jumped above $100 a barrel and
gas prices at the pump have now
hit $4.00 per
gallon in some states. This shows just how dangerous the Obama
administration’s economic and energy policies can be to our wallets.
There can be no doubt that Obama took deliberate action to block
access to the nation’s energy resources. A federal judge recently
found the Interior Department in contempt for ignoring his order
overturning the oil-drilling moratorium the administration imposed
following the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. On Feb. 22,
Judge Martin Feldman upped the pressure by insisting that the department
act on five pending permits within 30 days. Permits that would,
under normal circumstances, be processed in two weeks have been ignored
for four to nine months. "Not acting at all is not a lawful
option," Judge Feldman wrote. The department had no choice but to
issue the first permit since the spill on Feb. 28.
pinned the blame for delays on technical problems. Yet, as the
department dithered, oil companies atrophied and employees lost work.
According to a study released in January by the business alliance
Greater New Orleans, Inc., the moratorium cost Louisiana about 25,000
jobs. Houston-based Seahawk Drilling, the most recent victim of
the drilling ban, announced Feb. 18 that it had filed for bankruptcy and
agreed to a buyout from a competitor. The jobs of the company’s
494 employees are in jeopardy, according to USA Today.
Obama’s fiscal 2012 budget proposal calls for imposing a $4 per acre
fine on oil and gas companies for land on which they currently hold
leases but are not drilling. This gimmick helps the O Force imply
that the industry is holding off on drilling in the hope that shortages
will drive up prices. This is the ultimate in hypocrisy for a
leftist administration committed to hampering domestic production by
blocking drilling in the Gulf, the Outer Continental Shelf and elsewhere
across the country.
On Feb. 23, Treasury Secretary Timothy F.
Geithner brushed off questions about the impact of oil price spikes
resulting from civil war brewing in Libya and turmoil throughout the
Middle East. "The world’s got a lot of experience in managing the
tensions that could come with short-term impact on commodity prices," he
said. For Americans who must bear the strain of these policies on
their family budget -- while dutifully paying their taxes -- the
consequences are real.
Prior to his election, Obama vowed to
"transform" the nation. Americans have learned too late that the
transformation is from exceptionalism to mediocrity and from prosperity
to bankruptcy. America needs an energy policy where the most
proven, cost-effective techniques are harnessed wherever possible here
at home to fuel long-term, sustainable economic growth.
Related: Check out this eye-opening email
that subscriber *M* sent us. He adds, "If we were to build at
least two new refineries in this country, develop ANWAR and build a
pipeline to Prudhoe Bay, it would create a half a million jobs. Then we
could tell the Saudi's to shove it. The bottom line is that this
is the real road to recovery and yet the left are fighting it tooth and
nail. Its time to get an actual American running things with real
vision and loyalty to We the people."
Click the link and use the
slider to view entire email.
$5.00 Gallon Gas Comes to LA
In May, 2010, Obama
announced that he would limit new oil drilling in the Gulf of
Mexico, and he has banned offshore oil drilling on the outer continental
shelf until 2012 or beyond.
In June it was reported that Team Obama fudged a report
to support their drilling moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico, but this
didn’t stop the Obama Administration. Last Friday the Obama
Administration appealed a ruling to restore deepwater drilling permits
in the Gulf of Mexico.
Meanwhile, Russia is making a bold strategic leap to begin
drilling for oil in the Gulf of Mexico.
While the United States attempts to shift gears to alternative fuels to
battle the evils of carbon emissions, Russia will erect oil
derricks off the Cuban coast.
Russia is using this oil
exploration to establish a new presence in the Western Hemisphere.
It recently concluded four contracts securing oil-exploration rights in
Cuba’s economic zone in the Gulf of Mexico. A Russian-Cuban joint
partnership will exploit oil found in the deep waters of the Gulf.
Cuba has rights to the area in which drilling will be conducted
under an agreement the Carter administration recognized.
And, yesterday, White House chief of
staff, William M. Daley,
said Obama is considering tapping the
Strategic Petroleum Reserve in response to rapidly rising gasoline
prices brought on by turmoil in the Middle East.
that only has been done on very rare occasions," Daley said on Meet
the Press on NBC, adding, "It’s something we’re considering."
Of course Obama is considering
tapping the emergency oil reserve. It will weaken America.
If he was serious about the energy crisis, he would issue the drilling
permits, and he would lift the offshore drilling bans he imposed
just last December.
Gas Prices Up 67% Under Obama
reminds us that in January of 2009, hope was in the air, but more
importantly, gas was under two dollars a gallon. Since then gas
prices, have gone up 67 percent and it's an ominously upward trend.
Interestingly enough, the Heritage Foundation also took a look at the
first 26 months of Bush's presidency -- gas only rose 7 percent during
that time frame.
Now obviously turmoil in the Middle East has
something to do with our current astronomical gas prices, but keep in
mind that by this point in the Bush presidency 9/11 had happened and we
were on the verge of invading Iraq. So while Obama can't be
entirely responsible for global commodity prices, it's still worth
asking what Obama's doing to make things worse.
After all, this
is the guy who told us, "We can’t drive our SUVs and eat as much as we
want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times … and then just
expect that other countries are going to say OK."
And Obama was
that one that appointed a Secretary of the Interior that famously said
he didn't mind if gas hit $10 a gallon.
High Energy Prices Are Obama’s "Explicit
is reporting that a prominent GOP senator on energy issues
accused Barack Obama of having set an "explicit policy goal" of making
energy prices more costly for Americans.
"My message today is
simply this: higher gas prices -- indeed, higher prices for the energy
we use -- are an explicit policy goal of the Obama administration," said
Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla), ranking member of the Senate Environment and
Public Works Committee. "Let me put it another way: the Obama
administration is attacking affordable energy."
come as crude oil futures traded up on anxiety over unrest in the Middle
East and broke the triple-digit mark in recent weeks. As of
Thursday, light crude was trading at over $101 per barrel.
have, in fact, 163 billion barrels of recoverable oil -- nearly six
times higher than what Obama and the Democrats like to claim," Inhofe
continued. "Let's think about 163 billion barrels for a moment:
that is enough to maintain our current levels of production and replace
our imports from the Persian Gulf for more than 50 years."
senator, who regularly rails against the Obama administration’s support
of so-called "cap-and-trade" legislation, said such policies are about
starving the country of energy supply.
"You see, the
cap-and-trade agenda is also about energy austerity," Inhofe said on the
Senate floor. "The hope is that if we restrict enough supply, the
price will increase, and we can then simply shift to less costly
alternatives. Yet this is wishful thinking."
"If you think
$4.00 is too much for a gallon of regular, fasten your seat belts."
Inhofe made the speech in support of the Energy Tax Prevention Act,
legislation designed to bar the Environmental Protection Agency from
moving to regulate carbon dioxide emissions under the Clean Air Act,
which Republicans claim is outside the agency’s purview. After he
introduced the bill last week, it quickly picked up 42 more co-sponsors,
including Democrat Joe Manchin (W.Va.).
The One Campaign Promise Obama Has Kept
That is, his promise to increase the price of
gasoline. Sarah Palin explains:
Through a process of what candidate Obama
once called "gradual adjustment," American consumers have seen
prices at the pump rise 67 percent since he took office. Let's
not forget that in September 2008, candidate Obama's Energy
Secretary in-waiting said: "Somehow we have to figure out how to
boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe." That's
one campaign promise they're working hard to fulfill! Last
week, the British Telegraph reported that the price of petrol in the
UK hit £6 a gallon -- which comes to about $9.70. If you think
$4 a gallon is bad now, just wait till the next crisis causes oil
prices to "necessarily" skyrocket. Meanwhile, the vast
undeveloped reserves that could help to keep prices at the pump
affordable remain locked up because of Obama's deliberate
unwillingness to drill here and drill now.
American people with higher gas prices like this is essentially a
hidden tax and a transfer of wealth to foreign regimes who are
providing us the energy we refuse to provide for ourselves.
Like inflation, higher energy prices are a hidden tax on Americans
who are struggling to make ends meet. And these high gas
prices will be felt in the form of higher food prices due to higher
transportation costs. Energy is connected to everything in our
economy. Access to affordable and secure energy is key to
economic growth, which in turn is key to job growth. Energy is
the building block of our economy. The President is purposely
weakening that building block and weakening our country.
2012 can't come soon enough.
Every word of that is true.
This chart, from the Heritage Foundation, is also instructive
John Hinderaker says Barack Obama took office as a naive leftist
with essentially no knowledge of how our economy works or how wealth is
created. He subscribed to the leftist view that America is too
rich and too powerful. He therefore took office intending to make
America poorer and weaker. The single easiest way to accomplish
this goal is by making energy more expensive. Obama said that he
would increase gasoline prices gradually and cause the cost of
electricity to "skyrocket." I'm not sure he has fulfilled any
other campaign promise, but he has certainly made good on that one.
And every American is paying the price, every day. Just as Obama
Gasoline Up 100% Under Obama
James S. Robbins
asks, feeling pain at the pump? Gas prices have doubled since
Obama took office. According to the GasBuddy gasoline price
tracking web site, the price of a gallon of regular gas was around $1.79
when Obama took office. Today the national average is $3.58.
The lowest average price in the continental United States is $3.31 in
Tulsa Oklahoma, the highest is $4.14 in Santa Barbara, CA.
Four-dollar-a-gallon gas has arrived on average throughout California,
and a number of other states are headed in that direction.
Consumer price index (CPI) figures from February show an unadjusted 12
month gasoline inflation rate of 19.2%, but in the last month alone
prices jumped 6.8%, probably because of oil price increases due to
instabilities in the Middle East. If the trend continues, gas
prices would double again within a year. 100% gasoline price
inflation is nothing to brag about, but imagine Obama going into the
2012 election having to explain why gas costs $7.00 a gallon? I'm
sure the White House would spin it as one of their "Green" initiatives.
says the weekly national average gas price showed the highest price
ever during the month of March and the seventh consecutive increase this
week, according to the Department of Energy. Prices are at their
highest level since 2008.
The national average gas price is
$3.60 today, according to the Department of Energy, up 3 cents from a
week ago and 80 cents from one year ago. Last week's national
average was an updated $3.56 per gallon for regular gas, the 13th
consecutive week that the average was above $3 a gallon, according to
the DOE. The last time gas rose higher than $3.50 was Sept. 29,
2008, when the weekly average hit $3.64.
China is the second
biggest consumer of oil, behind the U.S., and is expected to increase
its demand by 6.5 percent this year, according to the U.S. Energy
And in California, where you MUST
drive, gasoline has soared to $4.06 per gallon.
Related:Gulf Coast Residents "Galled"
by Obama’s Suggestion We Buy More Brazilian Oil
Excerpted from the Obots at ABC
News. You can read how they spin this very bad news
here . . .
Obama Meets With Greenies At White House
is reporting that Barack Obama met with a dozen environmental
activists at the White House Friday during a meeting between White House
staffers and Energy Action Coalition activists in town for the Power
Shift 2011 conference -- a gathering of some 10,000 people, almost
entirely college students, organizing to promote clean energy and the
The discussion could be seen as an attempt to head
off discontent on the left over the failure to pass a comprehensive
climate change bill and Obama's embrace of offshore oil drilling,
nuclear power and the use of "clean coal" technology.
The above statement, "Obama's
embrace of offshore oil drilling, nuclear power and the use of "clean
coal" technology," is complete nonsense -- actually, it's a lie.
Courtney Hight, co-director of the Energy Action Coalition and a
former White House Council on Environmental Quality staffer, said the
group is happy the White House and congressional Democrats were able to
stop GOP attempts to block greenhouse gas regulations in the budget
White House spokesman Clark Stevens said Obama "appreciated
the opportunity to discuss the administration's record on clean energy
as well as his ongoing focus to build a 21st Century clean energy
economy with Power Shift leadership."
Former Vice President Al
Gore opened the Power Shift conference Friday night with speech took aim
at the fossil fuel lobby.
"It's true that governments, by and
large, have been politically paralyzed because the energy companies --
the coal companies, the oil companies, the coal-burning utilities --
they have spent enormous amounts of money and they have succeeded in
many countries in paralyzing the political process," Gore said, citing a
statistic that there are four "anti-climate" lobbyists per lawmaker in
"But at the same time governments have been
paralyzed, we are seeing at the grassroots level a fantastic growing
movement, and we're also seeing some responses with renewable energy and
To that end, Gore, who's family fortune
from Occidental Petroleum -- lied, when he said wind and solar
energy is "just a couple of years away" from being competitive on the
national electric grid -- and energy efficiency.
As Gas Prices Reach $4 Per Gallon
is reporting that Shell Oil Company has announced it must scrap
efforts to drill for oil this summer in the Arctic Ocean off the
northern coast of Alaska. The decision comes following a ruling by
the EPA’s Environmental Appeals Board to withhold critical air permits.
The move has angered some in Congress and triggered a flurry of
legislation aimed at stripping the EPA of its oil drilling oversight.
Shell has spent five years and nearly $4 billion dollars on plans to
explore for oil in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas. The leases alone
cost $2.2 billion. Shell Vice President Pete Slaiby says obtaining
similar air permits for a drilling operation in the Gulf of Mexico would
take about 45 days. He’s especially frustrated over the appeal
board’s suggestion that the Arctic drill would somehow be hazardous for
the people who live in the area. "We think the issues were really
not major," Slaiby said, "and clearly not impactful for the communities
we work in."
The closest village to where Shell proposed to drill
is Kaktovik, Alaska. It is one of the most remote places in the
United States. According to the latest census, the population is
245 and nearly all of the residents are Alaska natives. The
village, which is 1 square mile, sits right along the shores of the
Beaufort Sea, 70 miles away from the proposed off-shore drill site.
The EPA’s appeals board ruled that Shell had not
taken into consideration emissions from an ice-breaking vessel when
calculating overall greenhouse gas emissions from the project.
Environmental groups were thrilled by the ruling.
modeling showed was in communities like Kaktovik, Shell’s drilling would
increase air pollution levels close to air quality standards," said Eric
Grafe, Earthjustice’s lead attorney on the case. Earthjustice was
joined by Center for Biological Diversity and the Alaska Wilderness
League in challenging the air permits.
And NorCal blog
is reporting that Obama has cleared the way to shut down oil
production in America's richest source of domestic energy, the Permian
Basin of West Texas. This is their rational:
The current threat to America's freedom comes from
a 3 inch lizard called the Sceloporus Arenicolus, or better known as the
Dunes Sagebrush Lizard or the Sand Dune Lizard. It was originally
classified as a subspecies of the Sceloporus Graciosus, or Common
Sagebrush Lizard. Before they designated the Dune Lizards as a
separate species, there were so many of them you could feed them to the
Chinese as a delicacy and never run out.
It was in
2002 that the Center for Biological Diversity first petitioned to have
the lizard listed as endangered. The Bush administration stood in
the way of the lizard being listed for 6 years, but last year Obama
cleared the way by ordering his administration to back off from delaying
the listing. This in spite of the news that Obama has repeatedly
refused to grant species the protection for which they are known to
qualify adding them instead to the waiting list. So why did he
allow this lizard to be listed? There can be only one reason, and
that is because Obama wants to destroy America's ability to be energy
free. So his relentless attack on America's energy capabilities
Obama Keeps Up Assault On Oil Companies
is reporting that Obama used his weekly address to push his plan to
end tax breaks to oil companies. Amid rising gas prices and a
heated debate over cutting the federal debt, Obama has targeted the
incentives Washington gives the energy industry.
"I don’t have a problem with any company or
industry being rewarded for their success. The incentive of
healthy profits is what fuels entrepreneurialism and helps drives
our economy forward."... "But I do have a problem with the
unwarranted taxpayer subsidies we’ve been handing out to oil and gas
companies -- to the tune of $4 billion a year."
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus
(D-Mont.) Thursday vowed to shepherd a plan through the panel that ends
billions of dollars in tax breaks for the largest oil companies.
Baucus released a short "blueprint" of the plan -- which would expand
investment in "clean" fuels and efficient vehicles -- the same day that
oil giants Exxon and Shell reported big gains in first-quarter profits.
The office of House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) rejected
Democratic calls to consider legislation eliminating billions of dollars
in tax breaks for the same corporations. "The Speaker wants to
increase the supply of American energy to lower gas prices and create
millions of American jobs," Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said
in an email. "Raising taxes will not do that."
average price for a gallon of regular gas is $3.93, according to AAA's
Fuel Gauge Report.
Obama said in Saturday's message that he wants
an energy policy that increases energy production through traditional
and alternative sources.
"We need to operate on all cylinders, and
that means pursuing a broad range of energy policies, including safe
and responsible oil production here at home."
"But I also believe that instead of
subsidizing yesterday’s energy, we should invest in tomorrow’s --
and that’s what we’ve been doing. Already, we’ve seen how the
investments we’re making in clean energy can lead to new jobs and
Obama says a lot of things.
It's what he does that matters, and Obama has done everything he can to
shut down or otherwise hobble the fossil-fuels industry.
Obama's Scandalous War Against Domestic Oil
you remember the terrible things the left was saying about President
George W. Bush when gas prices soared under his watch? Yet Obama,
whose policies and actions are actually contributing to rocketing gas
prices today, gets the usual mainstream media pass.
Is it that
the liberal media exempt Obama from accountability because they're on
his team in general? Is it because they think he's blameless in
the equation even though they sprang to the unfounded conclusion that
Bush was culpable? Or could it be that they aren't critical
because they share his bias against conventional energy and believe the
pain caused by his policies is necessary to move us toward alternative
During Bush's term, gas prices went down 9
percent, adjusted for inflation. Yet, preposterously, he was
excoriated for allegedly colluding with "big oil" to drive up prices.
When prices spiked later in his term, he took proactive steps to
increase our supply and reduce prices, and they worked. But Obama
has taken action to impede conventional energy sources and shove us into
alternative ones. Even so, liberals ignore any possible causal
Obama told us he would bankrupt the coal industry.
He's pushing high-speed rail down our throats despite the lack of public
demand for it and our inability to finance it. Transportation
Secretary Ray LaHood said the administration intended to coerce us out
of our cars. Energy Secretary Steven Chu said, "Somehow we have to
figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe."
In view of exploding gas prices, why aren't these statements seen as
scandalous? Where are the calls for investigations?
demeans "big oil," pushes alternative energy every time he gets a chance
and does everything in his power to suppress domestic oil production,
then looks us in the face and tells us he's increasing domestic
production -- kind of like how he says his budget won't add a penny to
the national debt. The audacity is of Hollywood magnitude, and so
is the lack of scrutiny that enables it. Behind the smoke and
mirrors of his rhetoric, it's hard not to conclude that Obama's on a
mission to suppress or shut down the existing oil infrastructure in the
United States in pursuit of his stated alternative priorities.
The Heritage Foundation's Rory Cooper reports that, as of February 2011,
at least 103 permits were awaiting review by the Bureau of Ocean Energy
Management, Regulation and Enforcement. And since February, the
administration has issued on average only 1.3 permits a month, a 78
percent reduction in the monthly average according to the latest Gulf
Permit Index. Obama even reversed an earlier decision to open
access to coastal waters for exploration, placing a seven-year ban on
drilling in the Atlantic and Pacific Coasts and in the eastern Gulf of
Mexico. Oil production in the Gulf is expected to drop by 220,000
barrels per day in 2011, which is going to cost the U.S. some $1.35
billion in revenues in 2011.
Not only are we losing oil
production and revenues, the administration's actions are destroying
jobs in the oil industry and elsewhere. Many companies are going
out of business. The Heritage Foundation reports that Seahawk
Drilling, of Houston, laid off 632 employees before recently filing for
bankruptcy as a direct result of Obama's moratorium and subsequent "permitorium."
Seahawk owned and operated 20 shallow-water rigs in the Gulf.
Randall Stilley, president and CEO of Seahawk, said, "As an American,
you never want to look at your own government and say they're hurting
you personally, they're hurting your business and they're doing it in a
way that's irresponsible. I'm not very proud of our government
right now and the way they handled this."
Cooper explains that
these crippling policies are having a negative rippling effect
throughout the economy. Many vendors, suppliers, restaurants and
retailers are losing revenues or going out of business. More than
30 deepwater rigs, which each employ around 200 people, have moved from
the Gulf to other markets. While the industry is on "life
support," Obama is at war with it, brazenly spending billions to support
foreign oil and jobs in Brazil. Making matters worse, the
administration and congressional Democrats are considering legislation
that would further damage energy businesses by significantly increasing
taxes on domestic oil and gas concerns. And just in the past few
days, we've been reading that the administration is floating a plan to
tax cars by the mile.
Can you imagine the insanity and
insensitivity of raising taxes on this ailing industry and its consumers
(drivers) at a time when both need all the relief they can get?
Obama is no less determined to cram his preferred energy alternatives
down Americans' throats than he was to force feed us socialized
He certainly is, and Obama lies
with impunity because he knows no one in the ObamaMedia will call him on
American journalism is a joke.
House Approves Bill To Lift Drilling
is reporting that the House of Representatives voted to open more of
the nation's oceans for oil and gas exploration on Thursday by a vote of
243 to 179.
The "Reversing President Obama's Offshore Moratorium
Act," requires the Interior Department to set a production goal of three
million barrels of oil per day for its 2012-2017 leasing plan.
order to reach that target, the legislation requires the department to
hold lease sales off the coast of Southern California, in the Arctic
Ocean, off Alaska's Bristol Bay, and in the Atlantic Ocean from Maine to
Republicans say that the bill, along with two
other drilling measures passed earlier this month, would create 1.2
million jobs and lower the price of oil. The Congressional Budget Office
says that the offshore lease sales would generate $800 million in
revenue over ten years.
The Obama administration released a
statement opposing the bill Wednesday. The White House argued that
the proposal would undermine the current leasing process and mandate
drilling leases without input from the affected states.
That Was Then -- This Is Now
On March 31, 2010, John Broder, of The New York
penned a report that said Obama was proposing to open vast expanses
of water along the Atlantic coastline, the eastern Gulf of Mexico and
the north coast of Alaska to oil and natural gas drilling, much of it
for the first time.
didn't. he lied.
Yesterday, John Broder
reported that Obama, facing voter anger over high gasoline prices
and complaints from Republicans and business leaders that his policies
are restricting the development of domestic energy resources, announced
Saturday that he was taking several steps to speed oil and gas drilling
on public lands and waters.
Obama said the administration would
begin to hold annual auctions for oil and gas leases in the Alaska
National Petroleum Reserve, a 23-million-acre tract on the North Slope
of Alaska. The move comes after years of demands for the auctions
by industry executives and Alaska’s two senators, Lisa Murkowski, a
Republican, and Mark Begich, a Democrat.
The administration will
also accelerate a review of the potential environmental impact of
drilling off the southern and central Atlantic coast and will consider
making some areas available for exploration. The move is a change
from current policy, which puts the entire Atlantic Seaboard off limits
to drilling until at least 2018.
Obama also said he would extend
leases already granted for drilling in the Arctic Ocean off Alaska and
the Gulf of Mexico that had been frozen after the BP spill last year.
The extension will allow companies time to meet new safety and
environmental standards without having to worry about their leases
Broder notes that, "Tens of millions of acres onshore
and offshore are under lease but have not been developed."
So what's the point of issuing new
leases if Team Obama won't let the oil companies exploit their existing
just more smoke and mirrors. Obama is lying -- again.
report, Broder repeated Obama's biggest lie from last the week, that
"Last year, America’s oil production reached its highest level since
2003," when in reality we are producing fewer barrels of oil here than
we did in 1951. The U. S. Energy Information Agency statistics
demonstrate Obama's lie here,
Obama lied in 2010. What are the
odds that he's lying now?
Obama's Gas Solution: More Government
is reporting that Obama took his weekly radio address to speak
towards the growing gas prices across the country and offered a variety
of solutions. The common denominator of most of his solutions,
however, was the direction of, funding from, and oversight by the
At the onset, Obama announced the creation of
a task force to search and destroy "manipulations in the market that
might affect gas prices" with particular focus on speculators.
Speculators have been the go-to scapegoat on oil prices by both the left
and right. Unfortunately, Obama's efforts are misguided.
Speculators are those trained individuals who -- with advanced knowledge
of supply, demand, and the effects on each by current events -- buy and
sell oil at risk to themselves. If they speculate that a new
fervent uprising in Iraq or Nigeria will shake the production of oil,
then they will buy oil, increasing its price. If an oil company
strikes a new bountiful oil well, they will sell, and prices will
decrease. We rely on speculators' insight and knowledge of the oil
market to give us oil at its market price.
Obama seems to view
things differently. Such high gas prices shouldn't be so, facts or
market signals be damned. Instead, Obama seeks to root out,
regulate, or annihilate the very components of the oil market that make
it tick. Just as a contractor has the experience and know-how to
complete a project on time and on budget, so too do speculators have the
skill to buy and sell oil based on the facts of production. To
assume that the federal government could "resolve" anything related to
speculation is an insulting irony.
Secondly, Obama seeks to
expand domestic oil production, which is a step forward, but he
qualifies such production with more regulation and misguided
incentives...which make for two steps backwards. Obama wants to
unleash new permits to oil companies for drilling off the coast of
Alaska, but he says that in order to make the process streamlined, a new
government organization is required. Such logic seems
counterintuitive; how is it that more government bureaucrats and red
tape will quicken leasing and not in fact slow it down? Moreover,
Obama wants to incentivize companies to drill in unused leases -- leases
that do not have production-worthy quantities of oil or gas. So
while he pushes for the end of oil subsidies, he's more than willing to
subsidize unproductive oil wells. It seems a little two-faced.
The only difference between "incentives" and "subsidies" is the name.
The money still comes from you and me.
Obama has taken a statist
approach to solving the "problem" of high gas prices. Yes, gas
prices are high, but oil is a limited resource subject to an infinite
array of market conditions, current events, weather, and simple luck of
the draw in drilling. To demand a set price based on nothing but
wishes is anti-capitalist speak. Dictating prices didn't work for
Stalin, Lenin, or Brezhnev; it won't work for Obama.
An Incandescent Bulb In Obama's Head
says Obama is sucked in by nearly every utopian idea that floats
across his desk.
He backs cap and trade, green chimeras and
restricting drilling. He is a proponent of spending fortunes on
high speed rail and electric plug-in cars.
Obama is Don Quixote
chasing after absurd windmills to supply our need for energy. He
is riding with his faithful, flunky, Sancho Panza --Joe Biden.
Obama is investing billions of dollars in Brazilian oil while inhibiting
oil jobs in America.
He has insisted that all incandescent bulbs
be replaced by compact fluorescent bulbs, even though they are
manufactured in China and will cost us jobs. All in the pristine
name of "clean" light bulbs. Well, what the hell, let the Chinese
be poisoned by these harmful compact fluorescent light bulbs.
why does Obama do all these silly things? Democrats boast
altruistic purposes. Obama ruins our economy so that polar bears
won't die and glaciers won't melt in a few hundred years. Forget
that the glaciers are growing in Antarctica.
But where are our
jobs? How do we resurrect the economy?
Obama rode into
office on Quixote's donkey with the promise that he would fix the
economy and provide more jobs. He has totally failed to do either.
Our economy is more in debt than ever and unemployment is certainly
higher than it was.
Let's put an old incandescent bulb in Obama's
head. Let him light up to the idea that he should quit selling
practical realism down the river for utopian, self-destructive idealism.
Report Finds Obama Policies To Blame For
High Energy Prices
says a new report from the House Committee on Oversight and
Government Reform details a disturbing "pattern of evidence" indicating
that not only are the Obama administration’s energy policies responsible
for higher oil and gas prices, but that the administration’s energy
policy, in fact, is higher gas prices.
The report’s findings are
the result of an extensive committee review of public records, policy
analysis, statements and e-mails from administration officials, and
reveal "a pattern of actions [that] shows the Administration is, in
fact, pursuing an agenda to raise the price Americans pay for energy,"
according to a copy of the report obtained by National Review Online.
"What Obama failed to accomplish through the so-called 'cap and
trade' program, his administration is attempting to accomplish through
regulatory roadblocks, energy tax increases, and other targeted efforts
to prohibit development of domestic energy resources," the report
Among the report’s key findings:
• Key administration officials, including
Obama and Energy Secretary Steven Chu have gone on record in support
of higher energy prices as a means to promote "green" technology by
making it more economically viable. The failed "cap and trade"
legislation is a prime example of this approach. "The result
of this government action is less production, higher costs for
producers, and more expensive energy," the reports states.
The United States currently boasts the largest domestic energy
resources on earth -- "greater than Saudi Arabia, China and Canada
combined." New technology has allowed for greater access to
these resources -- with the potential to increase domestic
production by up to 40 percent -- but government regulations
threaten to severely limit or restrict development.
Despite the fact that the United States relies on carbon-based fuels
for more than 80 percent of its energy needs, the Obama
administration has been "aggressively suppressing" the utilization
of these fuels.
• Current administration policies have
limited the domestic production of oil by restricting access to
resources located along the outer continental shelf. Many of
these restrictions were put in place before the disastrous Gulf oil
• Government agencies have stepped up efforts to
regulate energy production indirectly through environmental
restrictions, for example, by placing on the Endangered Species list
certain animals that live in resource rich habitats, or "targeting
independent energy producers for environmental concerns not related
to their operations."
• Obama’s proposal to increase
taxes on the energy industry (and transfer some of the money to
"green" energy) will severely impact the independent operators
responsible for 95 percent of domestic oil and gas production.
The proposed tax hikes would cost these firms a combined $12 billion
in the first year alone.
• Independent operators are
responsible for 95 percent of domestic oil and gas wells and they
currently invest 150% of their domestic cash flow back into future
projects development. Tax increases proposed by Obama, some of
which would be transferred to "green" energy producers, would cost
energy producing firms a combined $12 billion in the first year.
• Many of the "green" energy sources promoted by the
administration "create unintended environmental, security and
economic consequences," for example, by increasing the demand for
Chinese "rare earth" materials, which subsequently boosts harmful
coal production because that’s where more than two-thirds of China’s
energy comes from.
According to the report, the administration’s
"concerted campaign" to keep energy prices high extends "across
government agencies" and constitutes a complete disregard for
governmental transparency, much less the pocketbooks of all of those
affected by the increased cost of energy. "An effort to
intentionally raise the costs of traditional energy sources is a
dangerous strategy that will harm economic recovery and job growth," the
report asserts. "If past statements of key administration
officials are indeed reflections of the policies they are pursuing, this
strategy is playing a quiet but significant role in the higher energy
prices Americans are currently paying."
The committee is
releasing the report in conjunction with a hearing Tuesday morning
titled "Pain at the Pump: Policies that Suppress Domestic Production of
Oil and Gas." Members will hear testimony from Lisa Jackson,
Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, and David Hayes,
Deputy Secretary at the Department of the Interior. The hearing,
designed to examine the harmful effects of government regulation on
economic productivity, is part of the House Republican majority’s recent
efforts to promote the "growth" portion of its "cut and grow" agenda.
Obama's Regulations Will Cost $200 Billion
And Cause Rates To Skyrocket
says in January 2008 Barack Obama told
the San Francisco Chronicle:
"Under my plan of a cap and trade system
electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket. Businesses
would have to retrofit their operations. That will cost money.
They will pass that cost onto consumers."
He promised that his plan would cause electricity
rates to skyrocket.
He wasn't kidding.
In January the Obama Administration,
for the first time ever, blocked an already approved bid to build one of
the largest mountaintop removal coal mines in Appalachian history, and,
today it was reported by US News and World Reports that Obama's energy
plans will cause electricity rates to necessarily skyrocket… Just as he
Two new EPA pollution regulations will slam
the coal industry so hard that hundreds of thousands of jobs will be
lost, and electric rates will skyrocket 11 percent to over 23 percent,
according to a new study based on government data.
rules aimed at making the air cleaner could cost the coal-fired power
plant industry $180 billion, warns a trade group.
"Many of these
severe impacts would hit families living in states already facing
serious economic challenges," said Steve Miller, president of the
American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity. "Because of these
impacts, EPA should make major changes to the proposed regulations
before they are finalized," he said.
The EPA, however, tells
Whispers that the hit the industry will suffer is worth the health
Related:Obama Administration Spends
$17.4 Million to Explore Market for Carbon Credits