President Obama gave a speech on energy today, evidently in response to rising gasoline prices. As always on this topic, his claims were mostly deceitful. He dragged out the long-exploded canard that America can’t drill its way to lower gas prices, since we have “have only 2% of the world’s oil reserves.” We and others have written about this many times, as has the Congressional Research Service, so Obama and his staffers–Robert Gibbs repeated the same talking point today–undoubtedly know that it is a lie.
As we have said over and over, the U.S. actually has the largest fossil fuel deposits of any country in the world. Most people assume, as Obama intends, that “reserves” means oil in the ground. It doesn’t; not in the U.S., anyway. Here, the definition of “reserves” is controlled by securities law, not be geology. Oil isn’t counted as part of our “reserves” unless it is 1) legal to extract under current laws and regulations, and 2) economic to extract at current prices. So ANWR isn’t part of our reserves; the large majority of offshore areas that are off-limits to drilling are not part of our reserves; and all other deposits that can’t be accessed under current EPA regulations are not part of our reserves. Our reserves would grow overnight if the Democrats would allow more areas to be opened up for energy development.
Investors Business Daily has a good editorial on the “Five Biggest Whoppers In Obama’s Energy Speech.” They include:
“We’re focused on production.”
Fact: While production is up under Obama, this has nothing to do with his policies, but is the result of permits and private industry efforts that began long before Obama occupied the White House.
Obama has chosen almost always to limit production. He canceled leases on federal lands in Utah, suspended them in Montana, delayed them in Colorado and Utah, and canceled lease sales off the Virginia coast.
His administration also has been slow-walking permits in the Gulf of Mexico, approving far fewer while stretching out review times, according to the Greater New Orleans Gulf Permit Index. The Energy Dept. says Gulf oil output will be down 17% by the end of 2013, compared with the start of 2011. Swift Energy President Bruce Vincent is right to say Obama has “done nothing but restrict access and delay permitting.”
“The U.S. consumes more than a fifth of the world’s oil. But we only have 2% of the world’s oil reserves.”
See the many posts we have written about this fib, like this one.
“Because of the investments we’ve made, the use of clean, renewable energy in this country has nearly doubled.”
Fact: Production of renewable energy — biomass, wind, solar and the like — climbed just 12% between 2008 and 2011, according to the federal Energy Information Administration.
“We need to double-down on a clean energy industry that’s never been more promising.”
Fact: Renewable energy simply won’t play an important role in the country’s energy picture anytime soon, accounting for just 13% of U.S. energy production by 2035, according to the EIA.
“There are no short-term silver bullets when it comes to gas prices.”
Fact: Obama could drive down oil prices right now simply by announcing a more aggressive effort to boost domestic supplies. When President Bush lifted a moratorium in 2008, oil prices immediately fell $9 a barrel.
The Obama administration has engaged in a deliberate policy of suppressing fossil fuel development while subsidizing Obama’s political allies who are perpetrating “green” scams. For an overview of the Obama energy scandal, see Cronyism 101.
There are many good reasons to evict Barack Obama from office, but one of the best is that he is exceptionally dishonest for a politician.