Now he has done it. President Obama has alienated the Washington Post, the Washington home of the progressive movement. After two years of sabotaging America’s efforts to become energy independent by exploiting its own energy resources, the President went to Brazil last week where he promised to help fund it’s oil exploration and promising that we would be their best customers.
By some estimates, the oil you recently discovered off the shores of Brazil could amount to twice the reserves we have in the United States. We want to work with you. We want to help with 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. At a time when we’ve been reminded how easily instability in other parts of the world can affect the price of oil, the United States could not be happier with the potential for a new, stable source of energy.
WAPO, Obama’s home town paper has accused the POTUS of changing the chant from “Drill Here Drill Now” to “Drill THERE, Drill now:
Brazil is probably a more stable, secure supplier than, say, Libya. Still, the president’s words were ironic. Brazil already produces vast quantities of a fuel — ethanol — that the U.S. government, under a policy long supported by presidents and farm-state members of Congress from both parties, has promoted as a green alternative to gasoline. But the United States, protecting its own heavily subsidized ethanol industry by means of a 2.5 percent tariff and a 54-cent-per-gallon duty, prevents Americans from importing all but trivial amounts of the stuff from Brazil. Therefore, we need more oil — much of it imported. In Brasilia, Mr. Obama spoke of strengthening U.S.-Brazilian technical cooperation on ethanol but did not propose allowing U.S. protectionist measures to lapse after their scheduled expiration on Dec. 31.
As for offshore drilling, Mr. Obama’s enthusiasm for punching holes in the ocean floor off Brazil is hard to reconcile with his decision, announced Dec. 1, to keep the waters off the East and West coasts and the eastern Gulf of Mexico off-limits to exploration indefinitely. His policy was a reversal of an earlier decision he had made to open some of those areas. We can understand that reversal, after the massive oil spill in the western Gulf last year. And, demonstrating a measure of flexibility even after the disaster, the administration has announced five deep-water drilling permits in the western Gulf since the spill.
Actually only two of those permits were new, the other three were leases that were on hold because of the BP freeze.
Privileged residents of scenic landscapes in America have long cried “NIMBY” — “Not In My Back Yard” — to stave off unwanted but necessary projects, from railway tracks to wind farms to power lines. Now NIMBY-ism, it seems, has become U.S. policy on offshore oil production. But the Nigerias, Angolas and Brazils of the world do not have that luxury. This makes no sense, economically or environmentally, and, sooner or later, a more balanced view must prevail.
What the Washington post didn’t mention is all the anti-drilling moves made since Obama was inaugurated. One of the first actions the Obama team took when it assumed office in was to direct Secretary of the Interior Salazar to cancel 77 oil and gas leases in Utah. The next year they canceled 61 onshore leases in Montana.
President Obama has also repeatedly delayed exploration plans for America’s oil shale resources, which contain more than three times as much oil as there is in Saudi Arabia. At the same time one of our allies Israel, has developed technology to make shale oil drilling cheaper and cleaner, this will be used for Israel to extract its vast shale oil resources.
One of the Administration’s “misstatements” is US oil production is at its highest point in seven years. That was both incorrect and misleading. Daily average production of oil last year 5,361,000 barrels/day the best since 2005’s 5,419,000/day. The real misleading fact about his statement, is that neither year is even close to levels seen only ten years before when production was 20% higher.
The President mentioned 35 offshore contracts were awarded, hiding the fact that off shore oil production has been way down since 2005, and that production took a big drop as soon as Obama took office (even before BP). Out of those 35 contracts, 33 were existing contracts that were stopped because of BP and allowed to restart.
Source for both charts above the US Energy Information Administration.
The administration grossly underestimates America’s oil supply, saying that we only have 2% of the worlds supply.
That particular number is America’s proven reserves where we are already drilling. It does not include the 10 billion barrels available in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. It does not include most of the 86 billion barrels available offshore in the Outer Continental Shelf, most of which President Obama has placed under an executive drilling ban. And it does not include the estimated 800 billion barrels of oil we have locked in shale in Wyoming, Utah, and Colorado. Those shale resources alone are actually three times larger than the proven reserves of Saudi Arabia, so the claim that the U.S. only has 2% of the world’s oil is clearly false.
A 2009 study by the non partisan Congressional Research Service (CRS) sheds light on America’s energy resources. It shows show the U.S. supply of recoverable oil to be 167 billion barrels of oil, the equivalent of replacing America’s current imports from OPEC countries for more than 75 years. And that’s just the oil, when you include gas and coal, the U.S. has energy reserves the equivalent of 1.3 trillion barrels
On top of that there is more Oil to find. For example, in 2008 the US Geological Survey announced that the Arctic holds about 90 BILLION barrels of Oil, more than Nigeria, Kazakhstan and Mexico combined about one third of the reserves are in Alaskan waters. In the graph below the darker the blue the better the probability of Oil. In the map below the darker the green the more oil. The Dark green area between five and six o’clock is in Alaska territory, which is just under 30 Billion Barrels of Oil. And just like anything else in this world, politics will play a huge part in how soon we can get to it
The administration tries to deflect criticism by saying the oil industry holds leases on tens of millions of acres both offshore and on land where they aren’t producing a thing. The President has said he wants to “encourage companies to produce [on] the leases they hold.”
If Obama is telling the truth, those oil companies must be run by idiots why else would they pay for leases but they refuse to make money so they leave the product in the ground. Thankfully for those who hold stock in big oil, the companies aren’t run by idiots. The fact is the President thinks the American people are idiots and will believe this particular pack of horse hooey.
A lease is for exploration and production, not just production, and because oil is not equally distributed across the globe, one parcel of leased acreage may not hold any oil. Moreover, due to government red-tape, which has gotten more complected under the Obama administration, it can take years for companies who own a lease to complete their exploration activities. To get to the production phase, it could take as long as ten years. Ironically, President Obama wants to tax companies for not producing on their leases, even if the federal government’s refusal to grant permits is the reason why those companies are not drilling.
The truth is, ever since Barack Obama took office the President has been making it more difficult to exploit our own energy resources and now it seems as if President Obama’s energy policy consists of making America more dependent on foreign oil. If today’s Washington Post is indication, the left may be waking up.