Town Crier: Obama holds energy development hostage
by Steve Wampler
Oct 12, 2012 | 4429 views | 14 14 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Earlier this summer, with almost no media coverage, President Barack Obama quietly locked down tens of billions of barrels of oil and immense reserves of natural gas from development for the next five years.

As the nation was focused on the U.S. Supreme Court’s health care decision, Obama reinstituted a moratorium on offshore oil drilling that shuts down about 85 percent of America’s Outer Continental Shelf from exploration or drilling. Currently, the federal government only allows searching for energy on 2 percent of the OCS.

The Obama decision, which overrides a previous decision by a Democratic Congress and President George W. Bush in 2008, blocks the exploration and development of an estimated 86 billion barrels of oil and 420 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in the OCS.

The July decision is only one of dozens of occasions during the past four years when the Obama administration has stymied, blocked and done almost everything possible to hinder domestic oil, gas and coal energy production.

His actions have reduced America’s energy supplies, cost hundreds of thousands of good-paying jobs for U.S. workers and resulted in increased energy costs for American consumers.

Gas prices, which stood at $1.84 per gallon when Obama took office, had climbed to more than double that rate ($3.82) as of Monday, Oct. 8, and he has almost institutionalized $3 to $4 per-gallon gas.

Drilling permits issued, which rose by 58 percent during Bill Clinton’s years as president and by 116 percent during the George W. Bush era, have fallen by 36 percent under Obama.

While U.S. oil production has increased during Obama’s presidency, it has risen — despite his best efforts to stifle energy production — because it has climbed on non-government lands, such as the Bakken formation, where Obama has little power to curtail such production.

To some observers, it is as if Obama is waging a war against domestic oil and coal production, while he touts government subsidies to solar firms like Solyndra that reward his donors and then go bankrupt.

The Keystone XL pipeline: For months, Obama has blocked progress on the construction of the Keystone pipeline that would transport 700,000 barrels of oil per day from Canada.

Now in its fourth year of review, the pipeline would “have a degree of safety over any other” approach, according to government officials. It would produce 20,000 jobs now and 180,000 jobs by 2035.

The Gulf of Mexico: Obama’s deepwater drilling moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico has been declared illegal by federal judges, and his administration’s drilling permit slowdown has been condemned in a judicial ruling. The administration’s policies have led to a decline in production of 300,000 barrels of oil per day.

Furthermore, last year ExxonMobil sued the federal government for canceling an oil-drilling lease in the gulf that held “billions of barrels of oil.”

Chukchi and Beaufort Seas off Alaska: After Shell Oil spent about $4 billion to develop shallow-water drilling on vast tracts already leased from the federal government in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas north of Alaska, the Obama administration rescinded the already-issued permits for drilling in the Chukchi sea.

That decision leaves an estimated 27 billion barrels of oil in the ground that could produce $2.7 trillion for the U.S. economy.

Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: By drilling for oil in a tiny patch — 2,000 acres of 19.6 million acres, the U.S. could open the door to another estimated 5.7 billion to 16 billion barrels of oil. Opening ANWR would create 736,000 new jobs and is expected to add $325 billion to the economy, according to Wharton Econometrics. Obama opposes this plan.

In conjunction with his fight against drilling for domestic oil and natural gas, Obama has battled against the U.S. coal industry, which provides 40 percent of America’s electricity.

His efforts there have reduced coal production from 1.2 billion tons to 800 million tons and helped close or lead to future closure of 175 power plants.

Obama is on record as supporting higher gas prices — his Secretary of the Interior has said he would oppose offshore oil drilling even if gas prices hit $10 per gallon, and another Obama cabinet member is supportive of gas prices at Europe’s levels (about $8 per gallon).

The president and his team are doing a first-class job helping gas prices rise and hindering the development of jobs in the energy sector.

• Steve Wampler is a Tracy native who holds a master’s degree in political science from the University of Kent, Canterbury, England. He is among a select group of local residents with a rotating column in the Tracy Press.
Comments
(14)
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LuckyInTracyNot
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October 28, 2012
Obama is in step with the tree hugging liberals, if he goes with drilling here he looses support. He's killing jobs and bankrupting our nation. He knows nothing about running anything except his mouth and he keeps that shut when he needs to come clean on Bengazi. Stupid liberals yes you are.
mtrew
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October 17, 2012
http://theconspiracyzone.podcastpeople.com/posts/43733

Sad to say that I always thought this was crazy, but I see it unfolding right in front of our eyes! I think there is something to it!
RedHotChilliPeppers
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October 17, 2012
There's no easy way to say this, so I'm just going to be straight forward about it. I think it makes the president look like a fish out of water, when he defends a secretary of state who already admitted she screwed up. I think it tells us with what kind of people he surrounds himself with. People who are inept, but do little or nothing to challenge him to think better. In other words, people who think like liberal, bobble head dolls. On energy, there appears to be no clear and concise plan. If we take a look at recent performance, the plan is more failure. We are not an energy sustainable nation, and nowhere does anything approximately come close to that. To tout this as a goal, is tantamount to saying I want to walk on Neptune. It ain't happening, but unfortunately there are voters who will fall for it. To show this as progress over the last four years just goes to prove that not only are the people writing the president's speeches twisting the truth, but we Americans who voted for him are gullible enough to believe anything now. To me the sad part is a president said he would not run for office again if he screwed up, but some people would love to see more of it.

Reality TV.
Ornley_Gumfudgen
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October 17, 2012
RHCP

While I do agree with ya on what yer sayin here thair are two exceptions I make ta yer comments.

First ya state, "We are not an energy sustainable nation, and nowhere does anything approximately come close to that."

That simply is not true unless yer talkin of eternity an then in that aspect th planet ain't energy sustainable.

A lot of petroleum engineers who know what's below th surface of our nation would disagree with ya on crude oil alone. Then thair's coal an natural gas as well.

We also have uranium in sufficient quantities ta supply nuclear power plants fer hundreds of years as well.

Thair's wind, if th NIMBYs can agree whair ta put th windmills an how ta best distribute th power.

Thair's geo thermal that can also be tapped inta.

An thair is also one great energy source that still remains largely untapped an is totally clean an renewable. That deals with th ebb an flow of oceanic tides that goes on continuously.

Th immediate problem we desperately need ta overcome, in my unlarned opinion, is ta wean ourselves from foreign oil an use our own energy ta develop th others.

Our "drug/oil cartels are not going to easily let us do that as they control us
Ornley_Gumfudgen
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October 17, 2012
Th next exception I have in regards ta yer statement, "To tout this as a goal, is tantamount to saying I want to walk on Neptune."

I want to walk on Neptune. Granted at this point in time I can't and probably won't be able to in my lifetime but if we don't end up destroying ourselves one day we will.

Striving to make things better is really a good thang. Th trouble is gettin everyone ta decide what is best an ya simply can't use media generated pseudo-science without substance ta achieve that goal as people tend ta believe what they hear instead of verifying facts.
shelly13
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October 17, 2012
I agree Ornely. The oil cartels would make it very hard. But we need a leader who can get it done! So who do we pick?
shelly13
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October 17, 2012
PS I have no desire to walk on Neptune. Lol
RedHotChilliPeppers
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October 17, 2012
Ornley_Gumfudgen,

By sustainable, I mean lack of dependance on foreign oil. Everyone understands that, and all a president has to do is tap into this public sentiment, via a speech writer; without any understanding of the issue. We are seeing total meltdown there. I would like space travel too, but I am going to be realistic, here.

I think big oil is less a problem than I believe and we are doing it to ourselves. Several people came to my door trying to sell me solar, but I do not qualify, because our own government wrote laws preventing me from saving money with solar.

A few windmill farms are useless, if they are not even being used. From the speech last night, I doubt he knows that, either that or he is lying because he thinks there is little risk that Americans know any better.

shelly13,

You have to decide/pick the best based on your analysis. I cannot do that for others. Frankly, I am voting for the best VP.
dcose
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October 17, 2012
...Frankly, I am voting for the best VP.
Ornley_Gumfudgen
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October 21, 2012
shelly13

"The oil cartels would make it very hard."

No, actually at this point in human history, th oil cartels would make it impossible.

At best we only have a one ta two week supply of crude oil fuel ta run our entire nation.

If th cartels really felt we were gonna become energy independent an take our heads out of their noose they'd simply cut off all supply like any drug dealer would until th addict came around an paid th price. Then instead of givin em a lifetime supply they would continue ta trickle it out ta us an thus have complete control.

RHCP

I do agree that this a problem we have levied on ourselves, as much as we would like ta blame someone else fer it.

Th notion of it's OK ta pollute foreign shores an deplete their resources while keepin our beaches, rivers an streams clean was flawed frum th very start because people didn't much consider that on a planetary scale pollution an depletion thair affected th entire globe an not just those rather isolated areas.

Our failure ta recognize th big picture is what allowed us ta elect th politicians who in turn did exactly what we told em ta do an th result is what ya are seein taday.

An those rich Oil Companies? How many wealthy portfolios did it create for th investors. Investors, by th way, who are in th same economic level that you an I are taday. Ever take a look at yer retirement benefit holdins an see how they diversify yer investments? Ya just might be surprised if ya really take a close look an follow th money.

Yep, we agree, we did it ta ourselves.
manddf
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October 15, 2012
I certainly remember gas prices being over 3.00/ gallon when Obama took office, I sure would like to know where you got gas at 1.84/ gallon?
RedHotChilliPeppers
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October 12, 2012
Look, it's a lot simpler than anyone thinks.

The Obama Administration promised us the "sun" and bankrupted Solyndra, right?

Then they claimed they kept GM alive?

But they somehow want us to forget about Ford?

Enough already!
TimMichaelCase
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October 12, 2012
I am stunned and shocked to see that a bonafide conservative would be selected by the TP gods to be a Town Crier. I got too used to calling the "Town Crier" column the "Liberal Whiners" column.

Great facts that hit the nail on the head. I am so glad to hear Romney and Ryan both talking "ENERGY INDEPENDENCE" as in drilling our own oil in our very own country.

We currently produce 2 million barrels per day and we consume 21 million barrels per day. A recent government study shows at 21 million barrels per day consumption in America we have enough oil in AMERICAN ground and immediately offshore to produce CONSERVATIVELY produce over 200 years worth of oil at 21 million barrels per day use.

If we produce 30 million barrels per day we can become net exporters of oil. It is a fact that American Industry regard oil as its' life blood. With enough oil production to take care of our needs and can sell excess production to others, we will no longer be at the mercy of the middle east kings and dictators.

On top of everything else, our prices will be cut to less than half of what they currently are under the Obama regime.

Great read Steve! Keep those columns coming!
manddf
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October 15, 2012
No they wont because the billion dollar corporations will keep charging the same prices no matter where they drill from. Greed is the only language these companies speak.


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