Cheap energy = wealth, and expensive energy = poverty. That correlation is obvious, so the Obama administration has to pretend that it is not suppressing American energy development, even as it does everything in its power to make us poorer. The administration’s latest misleading claim is that leases for energy exploration on public lands increased by 20% in 2011. That is true, but what Obama fails to note is that the increase is measured against the historic collapse in leasing that has occurred during the Obama administration. The Institute for Energy Research sets the record straight. This chart shows each of the last five administrations stacks up with respect to BLM leases:
The real question, of course, is how much petroleum is being recovered from public lands. Because of three years of Obama anti-energy policies, energy development is down substantially:
Oil production on federal lands is down 13 percent in 2011: 97,721,813 barrels in 2011 versus 112,124,812 barrels in 2010.
This is what happens when we have an administration that thinks Americans consume too many resources, which is to say, live too well.