Obama’s Energy Strategy: Delay, Deny and Deceive

Today Barack Obama continued his fraudulent energy tour in Cushing, Oklahoma. The purpose of his visit to petroleum-producing areas is to convince the American people that he is a pro-energy, pro-development president. Today Thomas Pyle, President of the Institute for Energy Research, released this statement in response to Obama’s speech in Cushing:

President Obama wants to deceive the American people into believing that he’s somehow responsible for the southern segment of the Keystone XL pipeline, much like he wants them to think he’s responsible for increased oil and gas production in the United States. Neither claim is true, and the president knows it.

The administration has blocked full development of the Keystone XL pipeline, from delays last fall to the outright rejection of the pipeline permit earlier this year. The president wants to reject the pipeline, and yet take credit for approving it. Similarly, he’s closed development of millions of acres of onshore and offshore federal lands for oil and gas production, while attempting to take credit for production increases on state and private lands where he has no role.

Just this week, the Congressional Research Service released a report showing that federal oil production represents 7.5 percent of the total oil produced from all U.S. lands in 2011, despite the fact that the federal government owns more than 30 percent of the lands with oil producing potential.

And the Energy Information Administration released data this month that shows oil production on federal lands is down 13 percent this year under the Obama administration. Natural gas production is at a 9 year low. These energy facts stand in stark contrast to the President’s bogus claims.

Today, the Washington Post “downgraded” the president’s record of truthfulness on America’s vast oil resources. The administration continues to claim that the U.S. only has 2 percent of the world’s oil resources. But according to his own administration’s data, America has 200 years of domestic oil supply at current consumption levels. And that’s not counting Canadian oil that the Keystone XL pipeline would bring to U.S. refineries.

Had the president authorized the Keystone XL permit in January – when he denied it – America would be well on our way to bringing more than 700,000 barrels of Canadian oil on line. That’s more than twice the oil that was produced on federal onshore lands last year, and it could have created as many as 20,000 jobs in the process.

The glaring hypocrisy of the president’s speech today is that he announced that his administration would fast-track approval of a pipeline project that the White House has no control over. And if the president has the ability to fast-track permits, why has he waited until today to use that executive authority? And why only for this project?

This administration’s record speaks for itself. For more than three years, President Obama has implemented a three part energy strategy: delay, deny, and deceive.

Pyle refers to the fact that Glenn Kessler, who writes the “Fact Checker” column for the Washington Post, concluded today that Obama’s constant “2%” claim is worse than he originally assessed it. Kessler now gives “2%” two Pinocchios–still generous, in my opinion. Kessler writes:

[T]he president has not dropped his language since we wrote our column; instead, he has repeated it at least four times.

In fact, in the speeches in Prince George’s County and in New Mexico, he made it worse. As we explained before, “proven oil reserves” has a very strict definition, in part because reserves are considered actual assets owned by companies. The oil must have been discovered, confirmed and economically recoverable, with at least 90 percent certainty.

But in his Prince George’s speech, Obama claimed that even if “we went to your house and we went to the National Mall and we put up those rigs everywhere, we’d still have only 2 percent of the world’s known oil reserves.” In New Mexico, Obama declared, “even if we drilled every square inch of this country, we’d still only have 2 or 3 or 4 percent of the world’s known oil reserves.”

That’s just simply wrong.

How long do you think it will be before a White House reporter calls Obama on his constant misrepresentation of the facts relating to energy?

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