Thursday, March 15, 2012

Obama's Energy Lies: President Spews on American Energy at Prince George's Community College in Largo, Maryland, March 15, 2012

I watched the president's speech.

It's offensive. Indeed, it's offensive on so many levels my first thought was the proverbial, "Where to begin"?

Well, the easy answer is to start off with Obama's epic gaffe on Rutherford B. Hayes. Obama didn't simply botch a quote; he attempted to revise history. Folks are all over this at Memeorandum, for example, at Washington Free Beacon: "Obama on Pres. Hayes, 'Flat Earthers,' and the History of Science." It turns out that President Hayes never criticized the invention of the telephone with the comment that "It's a great invention but who would ever want to use one?" Actually, upon first listening to the telephone, a blown away President Hayes said "That is wonderful."

But listen at the clip, starting around 22 minutes. Obama attacks unnamed "politicians" as members of a "flat earth society," and he doesn't stop there:

Now, all of that would be one thing. We can expect hard hitting partisan speeches from here on out until November. Indeed, today basically kicked off the Obama campaign's reelection drive, with Vice President Biden giving a speech earlier in Toledo, Ohio. But listening to Obama you'd think he was campaigning as Homeboy-in-Chief, trying to nail down the bandanas and grillz constituency. Obama's down with the misogynist hip-hop demographic, but this was a community college in suburban Maryland with the state's governor and members of Congress in attendance. You'd think one of the White House advisors would have suggested that O' save the swagga for the basketball court, yo.

Obama's continued insinuations of Republicans as backwater yokels are particular abrasive. This is a president who's giving a speech with manufactured history looking to smack down GOP "politicians" as anti-science nitwits and technological Luddites? Obama went on and on about how "drilling won't solve high gas prices," blah, blah, rehashing stump-speech remarks going back to 2008. His classic statistic is 2 percent. America's proven reserves amount to just "2 percent of world oil reserves." Frankly, all that talk is a bunch of bull, as Investor's Business Daily pointed on this morning, "Scarce Oil? U.S. Has 60 Times More Than Obama Claims":
... the figure Obama uses — proved oil reserves — vastly undercounts how much oil the U.S. actually contains. In fact, far from being oil-poor, the country is awash in vast quantities — enough to meet all the country's oil needs for hundreds of years.

The U.S. has 22.3 billion barrels of proved reserves, a little less than 2% of the entire world's proved reserves, according to the Energy Information Administration. But as the EIA explains, proved reserves "are a small subset of recoverable resources," because they only count oil that companies are currently drilling for in existing fields.

When you look at the whole picture, it turns out that there are vast supplies of oil in the U.S., according to various government reports. Among them:

At least 86 billion barrels of oil in the Outer Continental Shelf yet to be discovered, according to the government's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.

About 24 billion barrels in shale deposits in the lower 48 states, according to EIA.

Up to 2 billion barrels of oil in shale deposits in Alaska's North Slope, says the U.S. Geological Survey.

Up to 12 billion barrels in ANWR, according to the USGS.

As much as 19 billion barrels in the Utah tar sands, according to the Bureau of Land Management.

Then, there's the massive Green River Formation in Wyoming, which according to the USGS contains a stunning 1.4 trillion barrels of oil shale — a type of oil released from sedimentary rock after it's heated.
Continue reading at the link.

Obama doesn't mention any of those statistics. Instead, he portrays his political opponents as reactionary and un-American. This coming from an administration which has long touted its agenda to drive the coal industry out of business --- and now the Energy Secretary is walking back earlier comments calling for $8.00 gas prices like those in Europe.

The president wrapped up his speech with an attack on "Big Oil," claiming that the petroleum industry didn't need the "subsidies" since it was raking in windfall profits. The Wall Street Journal anticipated the president's attack on the oil companies, and noted with respect to subsidies:
As for the “subsidies” that Mr. Obama says the oil industry receives, these aren’t direct cash handouts like those that go to the green lobby. They’re deductions from taxes that cover the cost of doing business and earning income to tax in the first place. Most of them are available to other manufacturers.

What Mr. Obama really means is that he wants to put the risky and capital-intensive process of finding, extracting and producing oil and gas at a competitive disadvantage against other businesses. He does so because he ultimately wants to make them more expensive than his favorites in the wind, solar and ethanol industries.
But listen at the clip. The president's obviously desperate to change the narrative after recent polls have revealed a growing public backlash on gas prices. But to hear the president, it's not the White House that's behind the curve but the "anti-science" Republicans looking to turn back the clock. Meanwhile, with all those proven reserves sitting untapped around the country, folks have been thinking more and more about bringing that oil to market. While Obama whines about how out of touch those "politicians" are about the technologies of the future, the Los Angeles Times reports, "Oil extraction method widely used in California with little oversight":
Nationwide, fracking is driving an oil and natural gas boom. Energy companies are using the procedure to extract previously unreachable fossil fuels locked within deep rock. The industry is touting the potential of fracking in California to tap the largest oil shale formation in the continental United States, containing 64% of the nation's deep-rock oil deposits.

State regulators said fracking here is "radically different" from drilling in the Rocky Mountain West, Mid-Atlantic region and Northeast, where operators inject millions of gallons of chemical-laced water and sand to break apart rock and release natural gas. In California, the process has long been performed for shorter duration with much less water to loosen crude in depleted oil wells.

"We believe it is a safe practice," said Tupper Hull, a spokesman for the Western States Petroleum Assn. "It is not a new technology. It is a tested, proven technology."
The report stresses the environmental side of the debate actually; but clearly, we have the technology to achieve energy independence, and industry experts affirm the safety and effectiveness of the procedure. In contrast, President Obama is spewing lies and distortions on America's energy capabilities, and attempting to paint political opponents as medieval.

The president's agenda is anti-American and anti-progress. It's driven by a statist ideology. Frankly, the country's not likely to expand domestic supply and reduce foreign dependence while the Democrats are in power. The only alternative is to throw the bums out.

Americans have long championed our rugged individualism and can-do spirit of self-sufficiency. The polls show a public longing for a renewed effort at energy independence using U.S. resources and home-grown ingenuity. It's time for an energy policy grounded in pragmatism and reality. A pro-market agenda can reduce gas prices now and secure energy independence long into the future. It's time for a change.