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March 31, 2010

Obama Energy Announcement: More Imported Oil, Less Domestic Production, Fewer Jobs

March 31, 2010
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Photo: Eric Feferberg, AFP/Getty Images

Washington, DC – Earlier this morning, President Obama delivered remarks at Andrews Air Force Base on offshore energy exploration and production, and what a scene it was. While many newspapers and cable news pundits cheered the announcement as a positive development, we at the Institute for Energy Research caution lawmakers, the media, and the American people from rushing to conclusions until all the facts are on the table. This is a huge step backward for America’s energy security.

Prior to today’s announcement, the vast majority of OCS areas were open for business. No longer. Today, while President Obama may have stated his support for increased energy development in the Eastern Gulf (which requires congressional action) and the Southern Atlantic (which he’ll study over the next year), he also announced that he would delay the development of the energy resources off Virginia’s coast and lock up vast resources off the Alaskan coast.

Additionally, those who cheer the President’s newfound support for domestic energy resources should remember that the very same President’s FY 2011 budget proposal includes upwards of $36 billion in new oil and natural gas taxes, which will discourage domestic production, especially in areas like the Southern Atlantic that have little to no existing infrastructure. While today’s rhetoric made for a good news cycle, the policy is not a step forward, but a huge leap backward.

Thomas J. Pyle, president of the market oriented Institute for Energy Research, issued the following statement:

“America’s offshore energy resources belong to the American people. Not a company, not a special interest, and not a single administration. And a clear majority of the American people supports the commonsense strategy of producing more oil and gas here in America. Unfortunately, today, and to our economic detriment, the President once again ignored the will of the American people.

“Just as he did in his State of the Union Address, President Obama cited the imperative of offshore energy exploration. But words alone will do nothing to move this country’s energy policy forward in a meaningful way. It’s similar to his announcement on nuclear loan guarantees—the President talked a good game, then eliminated funding for the only nuclear waste repository in the nation.

“In 2008, when Congress and then-President Bush retired the decades-old moratorium on the safe and environmentally sound practice of producing energy miles off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, the American people, and our economy, scored a huge victory. Unfortunately, what President Obama outlined today puts part of that moratorium back in place. Kicking the energy can further down the road is not a change in policy.

“Canada drills for oil in the North Atlantic. Cuba, Brazil, and Venezuela produce energy in the water to our South. The Russians do the same to our West. Yet, America, the most technologically advanced nation in the world, with the most stringent environmental policies on the books, remains the only nation that imposes burdensome regulations and endless streams of red tape on domestic production. Americans want to stop embargoing our own oil. The president’s plan expands that existing embargo, and Americans will pay the price. ”

What the President announced today at-a-glance:

  • Cancelled five lease sales off the Alaska coast that were planned over the next 2 years. One of the areas is estimated to hold up to 77 billion barrels of oil, or more than 3 times US reserves.
  • A study of the southern Atlantic OCS, with the findings due back next year….no leasing
  • Delaying a planned lease sale off Virginia until at least 2012

#####

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 31, 2010
CONTACT:
Patrick Creighton: 202.621.2947
Laura Henderson: 202.621.2951


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  • http://www.sundanzer.com David Bergeron

    Seems like we are saving the oil for a rainy day. Not unlike a strategic reserve for the next generation. Not all bad. Higher energy costs for us today, but maybe better for the next generation. It is a sacrifice, no question. But I’m personally ok with it. But I agree that my decision to conserve should not be forced on my neighbors.

  • http://www.sundanzer.com David Bergeron

    Seems like we are saving the oil for a rainy day. Not unlike a strategic reserve for the next generation. Not all bad. Higher energy costs for us today, but maybe better for the next generation. It is a sacrifice, no question. But I’m personally ok with it. But I agree that my decision to conserve should not be forced on my neighbors.

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  • Kevin D. Korenthal

    David Bergeron: With oil over $89 a barrel right now and expected to cross triple digits this summer, I think it is raining like a mofo right now! Drill baby! Drill!

  • Kevin D. Korenthal

    David Bergeron: With oil over $89 a barrel right now and expected to cross triple digits this summer, I think it is raining like a mofo right now! Drill baby! Drill!

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  • Bryan Butts

    Once again the American people are being held hostage by 4 or 500 mandarins in
    DC, cheered on by the President. The massive redistribution of wealth will continue as we send billions to Saudi Arabia. Carter promised to get us off of foreign oil during the embargo in the 1970′s. Today we are MORE dependent on foreign oil than at that time. When are the American people going to say “enough is enough”, we want “all of the above” energy, and we want it right now…

  • Bryan Butts

    Once again the American people are being held hostage by 4 or 500 mandarins in
    DC, cheered on by the President. The massive redistribution of wealth will continue as we send billions to Saudi Arabia. Carter promised to get us off of foreign oil during the embargo in the 1970′s. Today we are MORE dependent on foreign oil than at that time. When are the American people going to say “enough is enough”, we want “all of the above” energy, and we want it right now…

  • Uncle B

    Americans are totally addicted to oil and will never change, not even after their country is driven into Third World receivership! Economic suicide has already been committed by America – they are totally oil dependent. Their entire infrastructure irreversibly committed to OPEC oil! They cannot switch to the domestic alternatives – Solar, Wave, Wind, Hydro, Geothermal, and Nuclear, electricity – Every one in America owns a gas tank – few own rechargeable batteries! Americans must learn to accept their shortcomings and do the best they can with the oil they can access and allow this natural progression to the bottom of the barrel for their society to take its natural course, then suffer the gentle evolution to domestically produced electricity and all the consequences that implies. The gulf, thoroughly polluted by now, is just a harbinger of the horrors about to unfold in an America where the latest 610 horsepower Corvette car designed to titillate suburbia’s house-wives and yielding 6 miles per gallon on gasoline holds greater esteme than the environment.

  • Uncle B

    Americans are totally addicted to oil and will never change, not even after their country is driven into Third World receivership! Economic suicide has already been committed by America – they are totally oil dependent. Their entire infrastructure irreversibly committed to OPEC oil! They cannot switch to the domestic alternatives – Solar, Wave, Wind, Hydro, Geothermal, and Nuclear, electricity – Every one in America owns a gas tank – few own rechargeable batteries! Americans must learn to accept their shortcomings and do the best they can with the oil they can access and allow this natural progression to the bottom of the barrel for their society to take its natural course, then suffer the gentle evolution to domestically produced electricity and all the consequences that implies. The gulf, thoroughly polluted by now, is just a harbinger of the horrors about to unfold in an America where the latest 610 horsepower Corvette car designed to titillate suburbia’s house-wives and yielding 6 miles per gallon on gasoline holds greater esteme than the environment.

  • Buck

    Uncle B, get your facts right, mister! The latest Corvette doesn’t have 610 horsepower, it has 638 horsepower. But it still gets 20 mpg on the highway and 14 in the city. That’s American oil. And it ought to be fueled with American energy from our huge fields that the government won’t let us develop. http://www.chevrolet.com/corvette-zr1/features-specs/
    Americans are addicted to prosperity. And everyone else in the world is where life is better and better and people live longer and longer. That’s a good thing.

  • Buck

    Uncle B, get your facts right, mister! The latest Corvette doesn’t have 610 horsepower, it has 638 horsepower. But it still gets 20 mpg on the highway and 14 in the city. That’s American oil. And it ought to be fueled with American energy from our huge fields that the government won’t let us develop. http://www.chevrolet.com/corvette-zr1/features-specs/
    Americans are addicted to prosperity. And everyone else in the world is where life is better and better and people live longer and longer. That’s a good thing.

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