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Posts Tagged ‘Oil’
July 2nd, 2014 at 6:22 pm
An Energy Policy that Creates Jobs and Prestige

“By boosting our energy production, the U.S. could restore its diminishing influence in the world without expending blood and treasure – in fact, we would reap major economic benefits,” writes Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA).

Nunes is an up-and-coming member of the House Ways and Means Committee and is known for thinking big on how to use tax reform as a means to reestablish American leadership in the global economy.

Rationalizing our energy policy would go a long way too.

Thanks to improvements in technology large, untapped domestic oil and natural gas reservoirs are now reachable. States like North Dakota, Texas and Oklahoma are moving to capitalize, while huge potential awaits enterprising politicians and businesses in California and Colorado.

The benefits are many. More energy production means more jobs in extracting, refining and shipping. For example, an entry-level rig worker in North Dakota averages about $66,000 a year, while the average oil industry job in the state was $112,462 as of 2012. That also means more jobs for people serving workers flush with disposal income.

There’s also a national security angle. With Iraq’s oil fields under siege by Islamic militants, Venezuela constantly swayed by demagogic collectivists and Russia threatening to cut off natural gas shipments, it’s time for the United States to take the steps necessary to ensure greater energy independence.

Unsurprisingly, Nunes wants President Barack Obama to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, as well as implement other measures to put the nation in a game-changing position. Of course, that isn’t happening unless Obama adopts Bill Clinton’s triangulation strategy.

Don’t hold your breath.

Still, Nunes makes a compelling case for using national energy policy as a way to improve both our domestic economy and global prestige.

It’s an angle that economically recessed, war-weary Americans might soon embrace.

February 5th, 2013 at 5:25 pm
CA’s Brown Faces Big Test over Shale Oil Fracking

It’s an interesting time to follow California politics.

Last month, Democratic Governor Jerry Brown announced that, thanks to the voter-approved tax hikes from last November, the state looks poised reap budget surpluses for the first time in years.

But instead of using those projections as an excuse to restore funding for programs pared back by budget cuts, Brown is promising to set aside the money in a rainy day fund.

Moody’s and S&P rewarded Brown’s announcement by upgrading California’s credit rating.

Now Brown faces an even bigger test.

There’s an estimated 15.4 billion barrels of oil in California’s Monterey Shale formation, or four times as much as North Dakota’s Bakken Shale reserves.  Another way to put it is that California is home to two-thirds of America’s projected shale oil reserves.  Opening it up would be a game changer for the nation’s oil security and California’s economy.

But here’s the rub, according to Walter Russell Mead:

The intrigues in this drama are many. Does California’s Democratic Party come down on the side of low income Californians, who desperately need the jobs and state services new oil extraction will fund? Or does it come down on the side of a green lobby that is heavily backed by some of the wealthiest people in the state? To what extent does the wealthy coastal elite control the future of the inland poor in California? Can the GOP use the issue as a wedge to rebuild its credibility in a state it once dominated? Will black gold bail out big blue California?

Bring lots of popcorn. This is going to be a terrific show.

January 16th, 2013 at 8:12 pm
Calif. Has $1 Trillion in Oil, But Would It Stop Govt. Spending?

Mark Mills writing in The Wall Street Journal says that projections about California’s latent shale oil reserves could be the silver bullet for the state’s fiscal woes:

The overall economic benefits of opening up the Monterey shale field could reach $1 trillion. One can only imagine the impact on California’s education system, social programs, infrastructure, and even energy-tech R&D. Moreover, with that kind of revenue, Sacramento tax collections could wipe out debt and deficits.

But is it really plausible that California’s big-spending political class would use the $1 trillion windfall to pay off the state’s debts and seed a rainy day fund?  Call me cynical, but it seems way more likely that state spending would increase above and beyond whatever windfall comes from oil drilling.

That said, I’d love for Sacramento to prove me wrong.  Let the fracking begin!

November 13th, 2012 at 7:34 pm
Obama Shuts Down More Energy Development Out West
Posted by Troy Senik Print

It was just a few weeks ago that President Obama was on the debate stage telling that nation that Mitt Romney had unfairly tarred his administration as anti-energy development:

We have increased oil production to the highest levels in 16 years … Now, I want to build on that. And that means, yes, we still continue to open up new areas for drilling.

As I noted at the time, Obama’s defense of his record was essentially dishonest. Increased oil production was due almost entirely to a combination of private-sector development and federal efforts initiated by the Bush Administration. As for his pledge to open up new drilling sites? Well, judge for yourself. From The Hill:

The Interior Department on Friday issued a final plan to close 1.6 million acres of federal land in the West originally slated for oil shale development.

The proposed plan would fence off a majority of the initial blueprint laid out in the final days of the George W. Bush administration. It faces a 30-day protest period and a 60-day process to ensure it is consistent with local and state policies. After that, the department would render a decision for implementation.

Interior’s Bureau of Land Management cited environmental concerns for the proposed changes. Among other things, it excised lands with “wilderness characteristics” and areas that conflicted with sage grouse habitats.

The sage grouse, it should be noted, is not endangered, though it is on the waiting list to earn that classification. In 2010, the Fish and Wildlife Service described the bird’s status as, “numerous relatively small populations existing in a patchy mosaic of increasingly fragmented habitat.” Count me skeptical that  a population in such shape requires 1.6 million acres (2,500 square miles) to survive.

May 31st, 2012 at 11:36 am
Obama Still Blocks Gulf’s Oil

This study should put to rest the idea that the Obama administration actually has helped to boost domestic supplies of energy (not that anyone really believed it anyway. See here.

It continues the sorry tale I wrote about at this site a year ago, here.

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May 16th, 2012 at 12:48 pm
Forget Obama’s Energy Scarcity — More Oil in Three U.S. States than Rest of the World Combined
Posted by Troy Senik Print

President Obama’s views on energy have always been defined by a sense of false scarcity. This is the man, after all, who told Oregon voters in 2008, “We can’t drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times.”; who constantly invokes the fact that “the U.S. has only 2 percent of the world’s oil supplies” (an utterly misleading statistic that would be irrelevant even if it were literally true); who admitted to wanting the price of coal “to necessarily skyrocket”; and who hired an Energy Secretary who longs to see American gasoline prices reach the stratospheric levels of Europe.

Testifying before the House Science Subcommittee on Energy and Environment last week, Anu Mittal, Director of Natural Resources and Environment at the Government Accountability Office delivered some stunning news about the amount of oil shale available in the Mountain West.

Here’s how CNSNews reports the story:

“USGS estimates that the Green River Formation contains about 3 trillion barrels of oil, and about half of this may be recoverable, depending on available technology and economic conditions,” Mittal testified.

“The Rand Corporation, a nonprofit research organization, estimates that 30 to 60 percent of the oil shale in the Green River Formation can be recovered,” Mittal told the subcommittee. “At the midpoint of this estimate, almost half of the 3 trillion barrels of oil would be recoverable. This is an amount about equal to the entire world’s proven oil reserves.”

Read that again. If less than half of this oil shale is recoverable, it still represents an amount equal to that available in the rest of the world. By extrapolation, that means that as future extraction methods become more technologically sophisticated (and more economical) we could be talking about a grand haul equal to more than double current global reserves. And that’s only in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming — not in the other 47 states.

There are huge policy implications here because of the simple fact that most of this shale occurs on federal lands. That means that getting this material out of the ground will require a proactive effort from government. The current President — who likes to boast about record oil production without noting that the vast majority of it is coming from private land — is not the person to kick start this new era of energy abundance. One more reason to send him packing in November.

March 12th, 2012 at 1:15 pm
California Willfully Rejects Prosperity
Posted by Troy Senik Print

Over the weekend, the Wall Street Journal’s Stephen Moore had an instructive and inspiring piece on the economic boom occurring in North Dakota as a result of the Peace Garden State’s (yes, that’s their actual nickname) aggressive development of oil resources.  More depressing, however (especially for this Golden State resident), was the contrast Moore drew with California:

In 1995, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated 150 million “technically recoverable barrels of oil” from the Bakken Shale [in North Dakota]. In April 2008 that number was up to about four billion barrels, and in 2010 geologists at Continental Resources (the major drilling operation in North Dakota) put it at eight billion. This week, given the discovery of a lower shelf of oil, they announced 24 billion barrels. Current technology allows for the extraction of only about 6% of the oil trapped one to two miles beneath the earth’s surface, so as the technology advances recoverable oil could eventually exceed 500 billion barrels.

Now contrast this bonanza with what’s going on in another energy-rich state: California. While North Dakota’s oil production has tripled since 2007 (to more than 150 million barrels in 2011), the Golden State’s oil production has fallen by a third in the past 20 years, to 201 million barrels last year from 320 million in 1990. The problem isn’t that California is running out of oil: In 2008, when the USGS estimated four billion barrels of recoverable oil from the Bakken, it estimated closer to 15 billion barrels in California’s vast Monterey Shale.

As Moore elaborates later (and as I’ve written at length both here and elsewhere), California’s failures are the byproduct of a governing class that regards traditional (read: viable) energy sources with suspicion at best and contempt at worst, prohibiting many efforts at energy exploration, setting renewable energy mandates, and enacting a statewide version of cap and trade.

One statistical contrast tells the whole story. The resources in California’s Monterey Shale are nearly four times as great as those in North Dakota’s Bakken. Meanwhile, California’s 10.9 percent unemployment rate is more than three times as high as North Dakota’s 3.3 percent rate. This is not fate. This is the result of choices made by California’s policymakers. The state’s voters should judge them accordingly.

February 29th, 2012 at 4:31 pm
Obama’s Energy Secretary: Administration’s Goal is Not to Lower Gas Prices
Posted by Troy Senik Print

About the only thing that Dr. Steven Chu, President Obama’s Secretary of Energy, deserves credit for these days is honesty. Testifying before Congress yesterday, Chu was asked by Republican Congressman Alan Nunnelee of Mississippi whether the Obama Administration’s energy goal is to reduce the cost of gasoline. Chu’s response, according to Politico:

“No, the overall goal is to decrease our dependency on oil, to build and strengthen our economy,” Chu replied. “We think that if you consider all these energy policies, including energy efficiency, we think that we can go a long way to becoming less dependent on oil and [diversifying] our supply and we’ll help the American economy and the American consumers.”

… “We agree there is great suffering when the price of gasoline increases in the United States, and so we are very concerned about this,” said Chu, speaking to the House Appropriations energy and water subcommittee. “As I have repeatedly said, in the Department of Energy, what we’re trying to do is diversify our energy supply for transportation so that we have cost-effective means.”

In other words, “We’re perfectly content to see oil prices shoot through the roof if it means all you knuckle-draggers will start driving Smart Cars.” Should we really be that surprised from the man who once told the Wall Street Journal, “Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe,”? Chu’s intransigence represents a broader liberal pathology: an ideological allergy to economic growth.

February 28th, 2012 at 5:34 pm
On Obama’s Responsibility for High Gas Prices

Jim Geraghty at NRO has the story:

A report by Greater New Orleans Inc., an organization of businesses large and small in Southeast Louisiana, lays out how the Obama administration is approving only a fraction of the new permits, significantly less than preceding administrations in both deepwater projects and shallow water projects, that getting approval from Obama’s Department of Interior takes much longer than before he took office, and how Obama’s administration rejects a much higher percentage of proposals for drilling than before he took office….

The three-year average for shallow-water drilling permits had been 14.7 per month; the Obama administration now has that down to 2.3 per month…. The average approval time has increased from an average of 60.6 days in the preceding five years to 109 days in 2011….

I wrote about this general topic last year right here. And here. Meanwhile, as has been reported numerous places elsewhere (I believe I first broke the story four years ago in the Washington Examiner, or at least broke it within the US), Obama has gone out of his way to help promote and subsidize Brazil’s efforts to develop its own oil industry.

This is madness. And it is costing Americans a fortune.

January 23rd, 2012 at 9:12 pm
Mapping Obama’s Energy Winners & Losers

A funny thing happens when you overlay two of President Barack Obama’s recent energy proclamations onto a 2008 electoral map: You find out just how political is his decision to kill the Keystone XL pipeline and embrace natural gas from the Marcellus Shale formation.

Here’s a map of the Keystone XL project.  And this is a map of the 2008 presidential election.  Note that the path of Keystone XL runs from Canada directly south through six states: North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas.  All of these states voted for John McCain in 2008.  (Incidentally, not even a sideline to Obama’s Illinois during the pipeline’s initial phase could placate the anti-fossil fuel President.)

Now look at this map of the Marcellus Shale natural gas formation that the Obama White House now says would be a great place to start drilling for America’s energy future.  It touches vast swaths of New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio, with a large portion covering West Virginia.  Obama won New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio in 2008, and will need to do so again in 2012 to stay in the Oval Office.

As I said in my column last week, expect to hear Obama make the pitch that natural gas from Marcellus Shale is the new way forward as a way to placate blue collar energy workers in states he needs to maintain – and in the case of West Virginia, possibly pick up.  (Reports are coming in that the President will devote a significant portion of his State of the Union Address to promoting domestic natural gas production.)

It’ll be a tough sale.  Obama’s EPA is trying to regulate the West Virginia coal industry out of existence, while working class voters are rightfully suspicious of a President who promises everything from expanded offshore drilling to solar powered miracles (Solyndra, anyone?), only to be exposed as a fraud.  Natural gas may be the next big thing, but it won’t mean anything to a coal worker out of work because his industry went out of business thanks to Obama’s latest round of picking winners and losers.

The big question is: Will the GOP be able to turn Obama’s politicization of America’s energy future into an articulate appeal for an all-of-the-above approach?

January 20th, 2012 at 5:21 pm
Everything That’s Wrong About the Keystone XL Pipeline Decision in One Paragraph
Posted by Troy Senik Print

This insight, courtesy of Warren Meyer writing in Forbes, tells you everything you need to know about why the Obama Administration’s decision to block the Keystone XL Pipeline is misbegotten:

Some would argue that [the pipeline's] opponents aren’t anti-energy, they just want to shift energy use from fossil fuels to “green” energy like wind and solar.  This is either disingenuous or unbelievably naive. The Keystone XL pipeline would have single-handedly carried more energy to the United States than the sum of all the green energy projects funded by the Obama Administration. And it would have done so entirely with private  funds rather than the Administrations increasingly ill-fated and ham-handed attempts at venture capitalism with taxpayer funds. The fact of the matter is that, for the foreseeable future, opposing fossil fuels is equivalent to opposing energy use.

That, my friends, is the nub of the issue. Liberal environmentalists — those same individuals that sneeringly deride their opponents as “anti-science” — can’t come to grips with the empirical reality: there are conventional energy sources that work and “alternative energy” sources that are viable only in the more fevered recesses of their imaginations. The greens can deny that reality all they want, but they won’t be able to deny the subsequent consequences: higher energy prices and lower economic well-being. That’s a very high price to pay for a sense of moral superiority.

January 20th, 2012 at 12:21 pm
Obama’s Keystone XL Folly Puts Swing States in the Mix

From BusinessWeek:

President Barack Obama’s rejection of TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone XL pipeline permit exposed a split in a core Democratic constituency and handed Republicans a new line of election-year attack.

Unions representing construction workers condemned the move while labor groups including the United Steel Workers, the United Auto Workers and the Service Employees International Union joined with environmental advocates in saying they support Obama’s decision. It also triggered swift criticism from congressional Republicans and the party’s presidential candidates.

Expect Republicans to run ads targeting blue collar workers in Rust Belt swing states like Pennsylvania and Ohio where ties to manufacturing jobs run deep.  When Obama ran against Hillary Clinton in 2008 he consistently lost the white working class vote for stances like picking sky-is-falling environmentalists over John and Jane hardhat.

Dissatisfaction among traditionally Democratic blue collar voters toward Obama has been building for months due to political decisions that – as discussed in my column this week – kill unionized jobs in coal and oil, but interestingly not natural gas.  Obama’s turn away from blue collar voters has been met with a renewed emphasis on ginning up votes among other core Democratic constituencies like recent college graduates (hello, Occupiers!) and other gentry liberals.

But the strategy of maximizing votes in liberal enclaves like college towns and deep blue coastal states that Obama would win anyway doesn’t quite add up for one simple reason: the Electoral College – not the popular vote – elects the President.  Even if Obama gets a larger share of liberals in blue states like California he still nets only 54 electoral votes.  But if he fails to connect with everyday Democrats in swing states in Ohio and Pennsylvania that see their President willfully killing jobs they’d otherwise have, he’ll move entire states into the Republican column.

This kind of divide-and-conquer strategy looks like a recipe for defeat.  Then again, from my perspective, I couldn’t ask for a better campaign strategy.  (Unless, of course, this scenario occurs.)

May 17th, 2011 at 4:40 pm
CFIF to U.S. Senate: Reject New Taxes Targeting Domestic Energy Producers
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

As the Senate debates proposed tax rules that would unfairly and discriminatorily target domestic oil and gas producers, the Center for Individual Freedom on behalf of its 300,000 supporters and activists across the United States today formally urged all Senators to vote “NO” on S. 940.   Addressing that counterproductive proposed legislation, Grant Aldonas (former Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade) and Pamela Olson (former Assistant Treasury Secretary for Tax Policy) warned of its likely destructive consequences in a Washington Examiner opinion piece today.   Here is one particularly relevant excerpt from their commentary:

Rather than offering serious ideas about how to tackle entitlements, cut wasteful spending or reform the tax code, proponents of raising the oil companies’ taxes have seized on the notion that American energy producers benefit from billions of dollars in alleged tax subsidies.

[The] single most damaging thing the proposal does is mortgage our energy future to the state-owned energy giants that now dominate global energy markets. The U.S. economy runs on oil, but we produce only 40 percent of what we consume, meaning our economy and standard of living depend heavily on our access to foreign oil and gas resources.

Reid’s plan works just fine if you are comfortable having America’s energy future decided in Beijing, Moscow, or Tehran. Not so much if you think we should be deciding our own destiny.

Any proposal that would enhance the competitiveness of foreign government-owned oil giants at the U.S. companies’ expense and lead to greater volatility in oil markets and rising prices for U.S. consumers qualifies as a damaging unintended consequence.”  (Emphasis added.)

To read this excellent commentary in full, please click here.

CFIF also urges you to contact your Senators (contact information for your Senators available here) and urge them to vote “NO” on S. 940.

March 25th, 2011 at 11:37 am
CFIF’s Senik in Daily Caller: Obama Thinks Brazil Exceptional, US Overhyped

CFIF Senior Fellow Troy Senik takes President Barack Obama to task in a column for The Daily Caller today, arguing that the commander-in-chief has the power to bring down gas prices, but won’t.  Instead, Obama would rather enrich a semi-socialist state like Brazil while America’s economy sputters.

In fact, gas prices are up 67 percent since President Obama took office a little more than two years ago. Lest you think this analysis one-sided, during the same period in President Bush’s tenure gas prices increased by only seven percent.

Yet that doesn’t seem to bother President Obama much. Earlier this month, he said that we can’t drill our way out of our energy problems. That is like suggesting you can’t medicate yourself out of an illness.

Read the entire article here.

March 25th, 2011 at 9:57 am
Obama’s Domestic Energy Policies Killing Jobs Across America

A damning study that shows the true cost of President Barack Obama’s disastrous domestic energy policies:

The study, “Domestic Vendor Spending Outside the Gulf” found that approximately $1.3 billion of the $1.8 billion in shallow water vendor spending was concentrated in 7 states:

  • Illinois: $376.2 million
  • Pennsylvania: $245.0 million
  • Wisconsin: $176.5 million
  • New York: 139.6 million
  • California: $138.0 million
  • Oklahoma: 125.8 million
  • Alabama: $104.5 million

Here’s what that means in political terms:

Additionally, the survey found a nationwide economic impact. Shallow water expenditures were made in 219 congressional districts — including 102 congressional districts with expenditures of $1 million or more, 32 congressional districts with expenditures of $10 million or more and 7 congressional districts with expenditures of $75 million or more.

Refusing to issue new permits for deep and shallow water drilling only increases the costs of gasoline and natural gas to consumers and destroys jobs across America.  Along with financial boondoggles like ObamaCare, the president’s willful refusal to increase domestic energy supplies is likely to be a huge liability in his reelection bid.

March 21st, 2011 at 9:48 pm
Obama Comes Out in Favor of Oil Exploration … in Brazil
Posted by Troy Senik Print

As developments in the Middle East and a wayward monetary policy send gas prices consistently north, President Obama — no friend of hydrocarbons he — seems to be turning over a new leaf on the topic of oil exploration. The only problem? He wants other countries to do the heavy lifting so that we can then import the black gold. An editorial in today’s Investor’s Business Daily has the POTUS dead to rights:

Now, with a seven-year offshore drilling ban in effect off of both coasts, on Alaska’s continental shelf and in much of the Gulf of Mexico — and a de facto moratorium covering the rest — Obama tells the Brazilians:

“We want to help you with the technology and support to develop these oil reserves safely. And when you’re ready to start selling, we want to be one of your best customers.”

Obama wants to develop Brazilian offshore oil to help the Brazilian economy create jobs for Brazilian workers while Americans are left unemployed in the face of skyrocketing energy prices by an administration that despises fossil fuels as a threat to the environment and wants to increase our dependency on foreign oil.

Despite some of the more emotional pleas for energy independence, there’s nothing inherently wrong with importing fuel from foreign sources. In fact, developing new oil production anywhere lowers the price everywhere. However, someone might want to tell President Obama that this maxim applies to U.S. sources as well.

March 11th, 2011 at 12:22 pm
Soaring Gas Prices Inspire Republicans to Invest, Democrats to Spend

As if we needed another issue to highlight the differences between conservatives and liberals, the skyrocketing price of gasoline is showing each side’s true colors.

Fox News reports that House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) wants to put forward several ‘bite-sized’ bills to expand domestic energy production through increased oil drilling, easier permitting, and promoting nuclear power plant construction.  (The piecemeal legislation is also intended to be a jab at Democrats’ penchant for ‘comprehensive’ legislative fixes.)

Liberals like Ed Markey (D-MA) want to tap into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to drop prices by increasing supply.

How brazenly foolish.  As usual, liberals want to blow a savings account instead of increasing their revenue streams.  Shattering the nation’s energy piggy bank isn’t a solution to the problem – it’s a delaying tactic that puts off the hard decisions until later.

The time for stop-gap measures is over.  If liberals continue to show a genetic inability to create sustainable budget and energy policies, conservatives should bypass them and get America back on a sound footing.

July 15th, 2010 at 5:53 pm
Phone Book and Faculty Agree: Obama’s Drilling Moratorium a Bad Idea
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

William F. Buckley, Jr. famously said that he’d rather be governed by the first 400 names in the Boston phonebook than by the Harvard faculty.

Every so often, however, the phone book and the faculty actually agree.  According to a new Bloomberg poll, a remarkable 73% of respondents oppose our supposed philosopher-king Barack Obama’s drilling moratorium.  What makes this remarkable is that approximately three-quarters of the American public, which very rarely seems to find consensus on anything these days, just doesn’t buy Obama’s constant drumbeat of scapegoating the oil industry, “deregulation” or the previous administration.  What makes this even more remarkable, however, is that Obama’s own appointed “experts” agree with everyday citizens.  As noted in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal, the hyper-partisan investigatory panel selected by Obama himself expresses skepticism toward his moratorium.

Add the fact that two separate courts have rejected the Obama Administration’s ill-advised moratorium, which is jeopardizing even more jobs in that hard-hit region, and we’re approaching unanimity against the self-professed “bridge-builder” Obama.

July 6th, 2010 at 10:25 am
Headline: “Obama Decried, Then Used, Some Bush Drilling Policies”
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

Hypocrisy in a president is shameful enough.  But combining that hypocrisy with outright dishonesty is inexcusable.

Compare a front-page headline from today’s Wall Street Journal versus President Obama’s speech from the Oval Office regarding the Gulf oil spill.  In his June 15 speech, Obama descended into his usual habit of scapegoating the allegedly “deregulatory” Bush administration and falsely attempting to distinguish his own:

Over the last decade, [the federal Minerals Management Service] has become emblematic of a failed philosophy that views all regulation with hostility — a philosophy that says corporations should be allowed to play by their own rules and police themselves…  When Ken Salazar became my Secretary of the Interior, one of his very first acts was to clean up the worst of the corruption at this agency.  But it’s now clear that the problem there ran much deeper, and the pace of reform was just too slow.  And so Secretary Salazar and I are bringing in new leadership at the agency…  So one of the lessons we’ve learned from this spill is that we need better regulations, better safety standards, and better enforcement when it comes to offshore drilling.  But a larger lesson is that no matter how much we improve our regulation of the industry, drilling for oil these days entails greater risk.”

But that’s not true.  According to a front-page report from today’s Wall Street Journal entitled “Obama Decried, Then Used, Some Bush Drilling Policies,” the Obama White House urged a federal court of appeals to reverse its environmental risk analysis and allow Gulf oil drilling to proceed:

Less than four months after President Barack Obama took office, his new administration received a forceful warning about the dangers of offshore drilling.  The alarm was rung by a federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., which found that the government was unprepared for a major spill at sea…  Despite its pro-environment pledges, the Obama administration urged the court to revisit the decision.”

The appellate court did reverse its previous ruling, allowing more Gulf drilling to proceed.  That includes BP’s well.

Obama’s halting leadership style sows economic uncertainty at home and international menace abroad.  His increasing dishonesty, however, creates an even more disturbing spectre haunting the nation.

July 1st, 2010 at 1:19 pm
BP and the Obama Agenda
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

Today’s BigGovernment.com queue includes our commentary on the disturbingly cozy marriage of convenience between BP and the Obama Administration.

BP and the Obama Agenda

By Timothy H. Lee

For years, liberals in Washington have tirelessly thwarted America from tapping its domestic sources of energy, while hypocritically lamenting our “addiction to foreign oil.” They have forsworn abundant energy supplies just off our coasts and erected boundaries against drilling and energy development right here at home. The unfortunate effect of their effort is to unnecessarily drive exploration further and further offshore, to deeper and deeper depths.

Suddenly, those same forces are forging a marriage of convenience with BP to scapegoat the entire energy industry for BP’s individualized failures. In his Oval Office speech to the nation, for instance, President Obama resorted to sloppy slurs against “oil industry lobbyists” and “an entire way of life being threatened by a menacing cloud of black crude.” …

Read the entire piece here.