Someone obviously whispered in our Dear Leader's ear that gas prices have skyrocketed, and it wasn't polling well. So he decided to address the peons in front of a friendly crowd at th eUniversity of Miami, Florida, telling them in effect 'hey, it's not my fault, it's the greedy oil companies so stop whining and go buy a Volt or something.'
The speech was so ruthlessly cynical and lacking in truth that it would take more space than it's worth to fully debunk it, but there are several points worth underlining:
Now, some politicians they see this as a political opportunity. I know you’re shocked by that. (Laughter.) Last week, the lead story in one newspaper said, “Gasoline prices are on the rise and Republicans are licking their chops.” That’s a quote. That was the lead. "Licking their chops." Only in politics do people root for bad news, do they greet bad news so enthusiastically. You pay more; they’re licking their chops. You can bet that since it’s an election year, they’re already dusting off their 3-point plan for $2 gas. And I’ll save you the suspense. Step one is to drill and step two is to drill. And then step three is to keep drilling.
You know there are no quick fixes to this problem. You know we can’t just drill our way to lower gas prices.
That seems to be a key phrase for this president 'we can't drill our way to lower gas prices.'
An honest response would be, 'how the hell would you know, sir'?
One of the first things President Obama did when he became president was to cancel leases for oil and gas drilling in Utah, and he followed up with cancellation in in Virginia, in the Gulf and suspended them in Colorado and Montana. In 2010, he doubled down with new, stringent regulations to make future leasing on federal land for energy exploration and drilling far more difficult.
He issued not one but two executive orders halting drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, one of which defied a court order. And his administration has been refusing to issue any new permits ever since. The Department of Energy's own figures says that Gulf oil output will be down 17% by the end of 2013, compared with the start of 2011.
This president is also blocking access to an estimated 19 billion barrels of oil on the Pacific and Atlantic coasts and the eastern Gulf of Mexico, another 10 billion barrels estimated in the Chukchi Sea off the Alaskan coast, and another 10 billion barrels of oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve. This is th esame president who later on inhis speech said 'we're focused on production'!
The amount of oil that we drill at home doesn’t set the price of gas by itself. The oil market is global; oil is bought and sold in a world market. And just like last year, the single biggest thing that’s causing the price of oil to spike right now is instability in the Middle East -– this time around Iran. When uncertainty increases, speculative trading on Wall Street increases, and that drives prices up even more.
If we’re going to take control of our energy future and can start avoiding these annual gas price spikes that happen every year — when the economy starts getting better, world demand starts increasing, turmoil in the Middle East or some other parts of the world — if we’re going to avoid being at the mercy of these world events, we’ve got to have a sustained, all-of-the-above strategy that develops every available source of American energy.
The president blamed high prices several times on turmoil in the Middle East rather than his own mismanagement and incompetence. And mentioned global demand as a factor,particularly in China.
Just a little while ago, there was a bill in Congress to approve the Keystone Pipeline, a project that would have not only provided thousands of badly needed construction jobs but lowered the cost of transporting oil to American refineries - and not from some hot spot in the Middle East, but from Canada. That project was killed by the president with the assistance of his fellow Democrats in the Senate....and the fed up Canadians are routing that oil to Vancouver via an already existing Canadian pipeline and have sold those oil contracts to China.
President Obama blamed this fiasco on - wait for it - Republicans, simply because they wanted to end the dithering and give the Canadians some indication we were serious about buying their oil. hey, not only did President Obama see to it that we lost out on 900,000 barrels a day of badly needed oil to China, he insulted one of our closest allies in the bargain at the same time. Focused on production!
Another interesting factoid - remember the President gifting over a billion of your tax dollars to Brazil to finance their oil exploration because, as he told them 'we want to be your best customers' ? Instead oil financing oil exploration here?
The United States consumes more than a fifth of the world’s oil. But we only have 2% of the world’s oil reserves. That means we can’t just rely on fossil fuels from the last century. We can’t just allow ourselves to be held hostage by the ups and downs of the world oil market. We have to keep developing new sources of energy. We have to keep developing new technology that helps us use less energy. We have to keep relying on the American know-how and ingenuity that comes from places like the University of Miami. That’s our future. And that’s exactly the path we’ve been taking these last three years.
That 2% figure is demonstrably false on the face of it, since believe it or not, America is one of top five oil exporters. But even without going there, this president,who claims we're running out of oil and that he's focused on an all-of-the above strategy curiously leaves out two major oil sources here at home.
The first is shale oil, which the administration has fought tooth and nail but is providing quite a few jobs in the Dakotas and other Rocky Mountain states. The process of fracking, which the president has also tried to restrict as much as possible on faux environmental grounds is making headlines in a great many places, but getting hardly any support...certainly nothing like the bogus 'green energy' companies like Solyndra run by well-connected insiders and Obama campaign donors that have sucked up billions of taxpayer dollars and been an abysmal failure.
Another energy resource that has been totally ignored because of the Obama Administration's focus on cap n' tax, subsidizing the UAW friendly bailout of GM and similar pursuits is the gasification of coal, which I've mentioned a few times of these pages.
Gasification is a proven, clean technology that takes coal and reprocesses it into refinable oil and petroleum products. It's how Hitler kept the Panzers running after the British fleet cut off much of Germany's access to Middle East and Asian oil.
The United States is justifiably called the Saudi Arabia of goal, and we have ample supplies of it. Back in the 1970's, when our Arab friends put an embargo on oil shipments to America and oil was flirting with $100 per barrel, President Carter performed one of the few intelligent acts of his administration and authorized the development of American synthetic fuel made by this process, which could be done then for about half of what the Arabs were asking for their crude.
The project worked quite well for a few tears, but was scrapped when crude prices from the Middle East crashed in response and made it less economical.
Gasification is still a cheap source of oil, the technology has improved considerably since the 1970's, we have massive coal deposits and it could still produce oil for about half what Brent crude is going for on the spot markets. So why isn't Mr. 'all-of-the above strategy' jumping on this?
Here's why. First of all, President Obama, quite frankly, knows very little about energy but he does know that a lot of his base hates the coal and oil industry, because that's what Democrats have told them for years without letting them in on how ample energy affects things like food prices, the cost of goods and services and yes,what they pay at the pump. They've even got these well-trained lemmings buying electric and hybrid cars because they're not thinking about what the electric power plants run on that generate that 'non-fossil fuels' energy for that spiffy new Prius or not so spiffy GM Volt.
The oil companies make a convenient target, as the president demonstrates here:
Right now, four billion of your tax dollars subsidize the oil industry every year. Four billion dollars. These are the same oil companies that have been making record profits off the money you spend at the pump. And now they deserve another four billion dollars from us?
It’s outrageous. It’s inexcusable. And every politician who’s been fighting to keep these subsidies in place should explain to the American people why the oil industry needs more of their money. Especially at a time like this.
What the president is talking about is what the oil companies write off as R&D for exploration and for depreciation and depleting of existing equipment and resources, just like every other corporation. Make special rules that apply just to those 'greedy oil companies' and watch how research and development and the exploration for new resources dries up.
Which, by the way, is exactly what the president and other Big Government apparatchniks want.
They absolutely loves the high taxes generated by super-sized prices at the pump, which gives them huge sums to spend on pet projects and rewarding loyal constituencies. Those greedy, profiteering oil companies make, on average, about a 9% profit on a gallon of gas in exchange for finding, pumping, shipping, refining and retailing it. In California, the government's cut on a gallon of gasoline at today's prices simply for being there ranges from a 17% 'profit' per gallon in outlying areas to 22% in cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco, depending on sales taxes and the actual retail price involved.
President Obama is hoping that retailing the Big Lie on energy is going to spin the issue to make high gas prices the fault of the Republicans in Congress, who won't OK fresh giveaways of taxpayer dollars to his green energy cronies.
It shows exactly how much this president really cares about the 'little people', doesn't it?