Policy Feature Facts: Energy Policy under President Obama

Policy Feature Facts: Energy Policy under President Obama

The President has touted an “all-of-the-above” Energy Policy, which promises to put the United States on the pathway to domestic energy independence, economic growth, and job creation.  But once again, the facts do not support the rhetoric.

What You Really Need to Know:

  • While oil and natural gas production has boomed in the United States, production on federal lands has fallen by 33% since 2007.[1]  In addition, the average time to process an Application for Permits to Drill (APD) has increased 41% from 2006 to 2011.[2]  Although the administration claims credit for the expansion of domestic oil and natural gas production, it has actually grown in spite of the President’s policies, not because of them.
  • While green, renewable energy is necessary to create a comprehensive energy portfolio, the administration’s efforts to fund green energy projects have largely failed.  A study from the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) found that green energy projects started by the President have cost American taxpayers $26 billion while only creating 2,300 permanent jobs, an average cost of $11.5 million per job.[3]
  • Due to the recent domestic natural gas boom, there has been increasing demand from U.S. companies to be able to export Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) to non-free trade countries.  Exporting LNG has the potential to create between 73,000 and 452,000 jobs between 2016 and 2035.[4]  Since the President took office, only two petitions for LNG export facilities have been approved, and nineteen petitions remain pending.[5]
  • In 2007, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) approved 7,124 drilling permits with an average time of 196 days. In 2012, the BLM approved 4,256 permits with an average time of 226 days.[6] This means that the BLM is taking 16% longer to do 60% of the work.
  • The BLM under President Obama has made a concerted effort to regulate fracking at the federal level in order to curtail its use.  The BLM’s new revised rule for federal fracking permits will only serve to add more bureaucracy to the permitting process, further contributing to the underutilization of federal lands for fracking.
  • EPA regulations have led to the closure of 205 coal units representing more than 31,000 megawatts of power costing as many as 17,000 jobs.[7]  The EPA’s plan to regulate coal ash under the Resource Conservation and Recovery act is estimated to cost over 300,000 jobs and drive up the price of electricity.[8]

[5] See DOE List of Pending Applications (April 2013) and DOE Press Relase (May 17, 2013)

[8] Frank Ackerman, “Employment Effects of Coal Ash Regulation” Stockholm Environment Institute Report, October, 2011, p. 3