The US is experiencing an unprecedented boom in energy production in both oil and gas. Oil production has increased by 70% since 2008 and the US is now the #1 producer of natural gas in the world. You’d probably think that the President should get credit for that great accomplishment – and it IS a great accomplishment. If you’re thinking that, you’d be wrong. Dead wrong. In fact, the guys who are really responsible for the growth in US energy production are George W Bush and Dick Cheney.
Why Bush & Cheney? Because the entire increase comes from production on private or state owned land, and the driving force for the production is hydraulic fracturing, also known as “fracking.” Texas alone has oil production o 3 million barrels per day, and would be the 6th largest oil producer in the world by itself. The 3.5 million barrel increase by the US, from 5.0 million in 2008 to 8.5 million this year is more production than all of the OPEC countries combined excluding Saudi Arabia.
President Bush and VP Cheney met with energy producers, to the howls of Democrats. Their work with producers and private land holders is the single reason that energy production us dramatically up.
In the eight years since his election, President Obama has taken firm and resolute action in the area of energy production. That would be AGAINST energy production. They’ve had the EPA working on study after study trying, unsuccessfully, to prove that there is “environmental damage” from fracking. They even had the Transportation Department issue rules that directly impacted truckers who work on oil rigs. The State Department, with the help of the State of New York, went after fracking because they said that it increased methane emissions. The President has managed to avoid approving the Keystone Pipeline, and he’s slow-walking approvals for LNG export approvals and LNG terminals.
Since Obama took office, oil and gas production has soared on private and state land, for which he deserves little or no credit. Meanwhile, production on federal lands has dropped sharply due to a cutback in leasing of deepwater areas for energy development.
The U.S. government leases less than 2.2% of the energy-rich Outer Continental Shelf, and less than 6% of federal onshore lands. Offshore leasing is at half the level recorded during the Clinton administration, and its decline is indicative of Obama’s hostility toward the oil and gas industry.
The Keystone Pipeline is the poster for the President’s hypocrisy on energy. He refuses to approve the pipeline and one of his most vocal supporters benefits. Call it “crony capitalism” or even “crony environmentalism” if you will, but the beneficiary of the President’s blockaid of Keystone is none other than Warren Buffet who owns the railroads that are shipping the oil to gulf refineries. No oil that would be shipped via Keystone is NOT being refined, and the State Department came up with a study – Barack Obama’s State Department – that said Keystone would be more environmentally friendly than rail shipment.
First, rail has been proven much more dangerous than pipeline transport. In fact, rail is 3400% more dangerous when it comes to injuries and deaths per mile ton shipped. Second, although rail has seen a recent resurgence, it is not an economically viable option. In the EIS, the State Department included an estimate of rail prices compared to the cost of pipeline export. Pipeline cost is approx. $7/bbl. while actual rail cost is $31/bbl. Third, rail causes much more harm to the environment than pipelines. It was estimated in the EIS, rail would cause 8% more greenhouse gas per year than the XL pipeline.
Next time some Obamaphile tries to tell you that their President/Messiah is making the US “energy self-sufficient” you’ve got the facts to refute that lie.