Under The President’s Failed Energy Policies, Gas Prices Reach Record Highs
PRESIDENT OBAMA’S FAILED GAS POLICIES
While the Obama administration continues to implement new rules to limit domestic energy production, gas prices are climbing to record highs. The Obama administration’s refusal to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline has only added to the growing concern about domestic production and availability of affordable oil resources. In late March, President Obama said, “Under my administration … we've added enough oil and gas pipeline to circle the Earth and then some.” However, according to the Washington Post Fact Checker, “Obama … was claiming credit for some pipelines that required little or no administration input.” In fact, the president’s proposed five-year plan for oil leasing locks-away 85 percent of America’s offshore from energy production and re-imposes the pre-2008 offshore moratorium.
While other countries continue to explore and develop new energy supplies, the Obama administration’s permitting delays have resulted in rigs moving to foreign waters, companies going bankrupt, and thousands of American jobs lost. In March 2011, the president visited Brazil to encourage their efforts to expand their domestic energy production, saying, “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.” Instead of encouraging more dependence on foreign energy sources, the president should stop blocking job creating production here in the U.S.
During a speech on March 15, 2012, President Obama claimed that, “We’re drilling all over this country. I guess there are a few spots where we’re not drilling. We’re not drilling in the National Mall. We’re not drilling at your house.” However, the unfortunate reality is that the president has done nothing to increase domestic exploration, and there are a lot of “spots” where we aren’t drilling (the Gulf of Mexico, Alaska, or the outer continental shelf). Even Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) made it clear that, “When people say we’re drilling everywhere—well, we’re not drilling everywhere!”
In July, 2012, the Interior Department released a five-year plan for offshore drilling. The plan would reinstitute a 30-year moratorium on offshore energy exploration that will keep our most promising resources locked away for years to come. According to a Washington Times article, once you add those restrictions to the vast amount of shale oil that is being blocked, the administration has embargoed nearly 200 years of domestic oil supply. The article goes on to say, “But facts are stubborn things, and the Obama administration cannot run forever from its abysmal energy record. In the past three years, the government has collected more than 250 times less revenue from offshore lease sales than it did during the last year of the George W. Bush administration—down from $9.48 billion in 2008 to a paltry $36 million last year. Meanwhile, oil production on federal lands dropped 13 percent last year, and the number of annual leases is down more than 50 percent from the Clinton era.” In late July, House Republicans voted to reject this Obama administration plan for offshore drilling leases and instead approved legislation to replace it with a more a House Republican alternative.
Furthermore, according to the Congressional Research Service, President Obama’s FY 2013 budget would make oil and natural gas more expensive for U.S. consumers and likely increase the nation’s dependence on unstable foreign sources of oil. House Republicans understand that this only means more American jobs sent overseas and more revenue lost.
Increasing access to American energy sources will create private sector jobs, grow our economy, and reduce our nation’s dependence on energy from hostile foreign countries. Republicans support an all-of-the-above energy approach that includes development of alternative energy sources such as wind, solar, hydropower, nuclear, geothermal and biomass, along with clean coal and American-made oil and natural gas—a comprehensive plan will help protect the environment and improve our economic and natural security.
As part of House Republican’s “all-of-the-above” energy plan, the House has approved the Domestic Energy and Jobs Act that would expand domestic energy production, help to lower gas prices at the pump and remove barriers to private sector job creation. It’s time President Obama and Senate Democrats stop blocking our bipartisan jobs bills. To access a summary of steps House Republicans have taken to create more American energy, spur job growth, and lower prices at the pump, please see our August 2012 House Republican Solutions.