American Elephants

Obama Talks Energy. Long on Gimmicks. Short on Action. by The Elephant's Child

After an incoherent speech on Libya, the president has followed up with a deeply dishonest and incoherent speech on energy, at Georgetown University.  Perhaps he really believes his claims. Some he has repeated often enough that we must make that assumption.

“We’ve known about the dangers of our oil dependence for decades….And every President…has talked about freeing ourselves from dependence on foreign oil.” Every President may have talked about it but they were all wrong.  Oil is an international commodity, on which the world depends. It doesn’t matter if it is “foreign,” If the Saudis don’t sell their oil, they don’t have any revenue. If they don’t have any revenue, they cannot keep order in their country.

We’re delighted to see the President re-committing to oil and gas production onshore and offshore, which can lower prices and create jobs. But, as usual, actions do not match the rhetoric. Drilling rigs are in place in the Gulf of Mexico, but only a few have been allowed to start drilling again in wells where they were previously producing oil.  The administration is still dragging its feet on new permits.

The Obama anti-energy agenda has decreases expected production in the Gulf of Mexico by 360,000 barrels of oil per day.  By withholding permits in Alaska, the Trans-Alaska Pipeline is only filled to one-third of its capacity. The Outer Continental Shelf holds at least 80 billion barrels—four times as much as the two percent the President says we have.

The President, however fell back on the old tired Leftist talking point:

Right now the industry holds tens of millions of acres of leases where they’re not producing a single drop.  They’re just sitting on supplies of American  energy that are ready to be tapped.

This is embarrassing. The earth is not a pincushion filled with oil, and all you have to do is drill a hole.  When a company buys a lease, they do not know if there is any oil there. A lease is the first step in a long complicated process that involves surveying, seismic studies, bureaucratic red tape, lawsuits by environmental activists determined to stop energy development, followed by appeals—long before there is any possibility of drilling.

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This was followed by the announcement that he’s going to cut our importation of oil by one-third a decade from now. Because we’re going to be getting so much electricity from wind and solar (and  oil from Brazil, which isn’t foreign?)  We’re going to do it with ingenuity, cleaner alternative fuels (ethanol) and greater efficiency. ” We’re going to replace oil with fuels like natural gas and biofuels, and reduce our dependence by making cars and trucks that useless oil in the first place.”

“There are few breakthroughs as promising …as electric vehicles.” Everybody has loved the idea of electric cars since the early 1900s.  So far this year, Government Motors has sold a resounding  928 Chevy Volts and 173 Nissan Leafs. That’s with a $7,500 bribe with taxpayer money. Since Obama is requiring the Government to buy Volts, and GE has announced their intention to buy half the output of Volts, the figures don’t seem very impressive.

The Leaf claimed a 100-mile range, but as that is tested in real life—stranded Leafs! One buyer said “2.3 miles from dealer. 4.2 miles from home.” Others reported similar results.  In several countries the Tesla electric car was less efficient and more polluting than its petrol sibling. Obama subsidized that one big time too.  [The dirty little secret that no one mentions is that the electricity for electric cars is produced with—fossil fuel.] We have reached the end of the periodic table in battery technology, and no one knows when or if there can be a breakthrough.

It was a remarkably dishonest speech, filled with gimmicks, misunderstandings and fantasy. and feel good fantasy.  Some of the current price of gasoline is due to the violence in Middle East, North African oil states, but some of the current price is due to the Obama anti-energy policy as well.  The American people deserve some straight talk, which is the missing element.


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Here is a very good commentary by Sean Casten on U.S. energy policy. Best lines:

Encouraging power from wind because “we’re the Saudi Arabia of wind” makes no more sense than passing immigration reform because we’re the Saudi Arabia of undocumented Mexicans — but somehow, that actually counts as a serious policy argument. No one should care if we are leaving untapped wind blowing across the plains; we should care only if our energy supplies are unreliable or too expensive.

… Solar incentives dwarf wind incentives, because our clean energy policies are essentially Marxist (“to each according to his needs”).

Wonderfully crunchy. And this from somebody that I would assume you Elephants would consider on the Left, if not the Far Left.


Comment by Subsidy Eye

[…] Obama Talks Energy. Long on Gimmicks. Short on Action. « American … […]


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Let’s just say that Grist is not one of my regular sources, but I agree.


Comment by The Elephant's Child

While some deep water drilling has resumed do not think for one minute that these are new wells because they are wells that were given the ok to continue drilling after the BP spill. There are several hundred permits that are held in limbo by the Obama Administration and they continue to tell one and all that they are renewing new well applications.Not true as even in Alaska where drilling has increased immensely in Cook Inlet they are not newly issued permits.


Comment by Richard Ibsen

This is one of my hot buttons. The Obama administration is doing such damage to the economy and the American people with his pursuit of his fantasy of an economy running on wind and solar. Can’t happen. All the subsidies, all the grants and loan guarantees are sheer waste. The Emperor has no clothes.


Comment by The Elephant's Child

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