On Friday Obama began his press conference with a few words about how “wonderful” is his energy policy. Much of the information the president offered was at best misleading, some might even call it a pack of lies. America isn’t buying the President’s spin either
According to a new poll conducted for The Hill, two-thirds of Americans want the president to encourage new gas and oil exploration, half of the country favors releasing oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to moderate gas price increases.
Slightly more than half the respondents — 52 percent — said neither party should be blamed for high gas prices. Twenty-two percent of those polled blame Republicans, while 19 percent blame Democrats.
The US has more than 80 billion barrels of oil offshore in the Outer Continental Shelf, more than 10 billion barrels in one small portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and an astounding 800 billion barrels, three times the proven reserves of Saudi Arabia, in shale oil deposits in parts of Wyoming, Colorado, and Utah.
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All of these resources represent opportunities to lower prices at the pump and boost the American economy. A recent study, for example, found that offshore drilling in Alaska could create 50,000 new American jobs every year and generate $160 billion in new federal revenues. Additional offshore and onshore drilling could create hundreds of thousands of additional jobs and generate even greater revenues, which could be used to reduce the massive federal deficit.
But all of these resources are also off limits due to Obama administration policies.
Average gasoline prices late last week were $3.54 per gallon, compared with $3.12 a month ago and $2.78 at this time last year, according to the American Automobile Association. The Energy Department’s statistical arm estimated last week that there’s a 25 percent chance average prices could top $4 per gallon this summer.
The March 9 survey of 1,000 likely voters found a partisan divide on expanding drilling on U.S. lands and in federal waters.
Eighty-three percent of Republicans favored more drilling, while only 47 percent of Democrats thought the same. Forty-two percent of Democrats oppose more drilling.
Opening more areas for drilling would generally not lead to increased oil production for years, and the Energy Department has estimated that wider offshore drilling in the Lower 48 states would have little effect on oil prices. That’s because like the President, the DOE is counting America’s proven reserves where we are already drilling and ignoring the areas that have potential but we are not as of yet drilling.
Republicans have also revived calls for drilling in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), a proposal the White House opposes that last came close to passage in the middle of the last decade.
The Hill’s poll shows most likely voters are opposed to drilling in ANWR, with 42 percent wanting Congress to allow drilling there, 46 percent opposed and 13 percent unsure. The partisan divide here also is stark: 61 percent of Republican likely voters support drilling there, while 61 percent of Democrats oppose it.
While half of the poll respondents favored releasing oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, the idea is not starkly partisan. Republicans favor the idea 54-38 percent, while Democrats favor it by a slightly narrower 47-32 percent and independents by a narrower still 49-36 percent.
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But in the Hill poll, just 21 percent of likely voters believe rising oil prices are a good thing because they hasten development of green alternative sources, while 58 percent disagreed and 21 percent said they were unsure.
The truth is, ever since Barack Obama took office the President has been making it more difficult to exploit our own energy resources, one of his first actions was having the Secretary of the Interior cancel leases to exploit our shale oil reserves in Utah. It seems as if President Obama’s energy policy consists of making America more dependent on foreign oil and raising prices.