At The Huffington Post, Jeffrey Rubin writes: “Only a Recession Can Deliver Obama’s Energy Targets.”
Unfortunately, we have heard this song many times before. In 1973, President Richard Nixon unveiled “Project Independence” in response to the OPEC oil embargo that was triggered by the Arab-Israeli war. President Jimmy Carter called the need to lessen U.S. dependence on Middle Eastern oil the moral equivalent of war in response to the supply disruptions that followed the Iranian Revolution. President George Bush Jr. referred to America’s dependence on foreign oil as nothing short of an addiction.
Over the past four decades, U.S. presidents have waxed eloquent about the need to reduce the country’s dependence on imported oil. Yet the U.S. economy still relies on imports for more than 50% of the 19 million barrels of oil burned every day. As a result, the U.S. remains as vulnerable to soaring oil prices as it was during the OPEC shocks in the 1970s.
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Let’s acknowledge the irony here. From a copy of Obama’s prepared remarks today at Georgetown University discussing his administration’s energy plan:
But here’s the thing – we’ve been down this road before. Remember, it was just three years ago that gas prices topped $4 a gallon. Working folks haven’t forgotten that. It hit a lot of people pretty hard. But it was also the height of political season, so you had a lot of slogans and gimmicks and outraged politicians waving three-point-plans for two-dollar gas – when none of it would really do anything to solve the problem. Imagine that in Washington.
The truth is, of course, was that all these gimmicks didn’t make a bit of difference. When gas prices finally fell, it was mostly because the global recession led to less demand for oil. Now that the economy is recovering, demand is back up. Add the turmoil in the Middle East, and it’s not surprising oil prices are higher. And every time the price of a barrel of oil on the world market rises by $10, a gallon of gas goes up by about 25 cents.
President Obama is decrying gimmicks and slogans (as he should be), noting their inability to achieve anything, with his newest slogan “Win the Future” in the background.
The most astonishing event this week was President Barack Obama endorsement of more oil production—in Brazil. In a speech to a CEO Business Summit in Brasilia, the President said:
By some estimates, the oil you recently discovered off the shores of Brazil could amount to twice the reserves we have in the United States. We want to work with you. We want to help with technology and support to develop these oil reserves safely, and when you’re ready to start selling, we want to be one of your best customers. At a time when we’ve been reminded how easily instability in other parts of the world can affect the price of oil, the United States could not be happier with the potential for a new, stable source of energy.
This is the same President who has spent the last two years doing everything he can to reduce oil production in the United States. Cancelled and delayed exploration leases on federal lands in the Rocky Mountains; the re-institution of the executive moratorium on offshore exploration in the Atlantic, the Pacific, most Alaskan waters, and the eastern Gulf of Mexico; the deepwater permitting moratorium and the de facto moratorium in the western Gulf. The result is that domestic oil production is about to start a steep decline. An article on Red State by Steve Maley summarizes the future effects of the Obama Administration’s war against oil.
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Richard Morrison, William Yeatman and Ryan Young join forces to bring you Episode 74 of the LibertyWeek podcast. We talk about the COP-15 post-game and China’s changing reputation with the climate change crowd starting around (7:00).
Your hosts Richard Morrison and Jeremy Lott team up with special guest co-host Tim Carney to bring you Episode 73 of the LibertyWeek podcast. We start with happenings at COP-15 in Copenhagen and the suppression of questions (segment runs 0:45-7:00). We end with an interview with Tim Carney, author of the new book Obamanomics: How Barack Obama Is Bankrupting You and Enriching His Wall Street Friends, Corporate Lobbyists, and Union Bosses (available online and at fine booksellers everywhere).
Your host Richard Morrison teams up with collaborators Jeremy Lott and William Yeatman to bring you Episode 72 of the LibertyWeek podcast. We begin with UN climate hypocrisy in Copenhagen, presidential arm-twisting on health care and a cloudy look at government transparency. We conclude with the end of the tobacco road in Virginia and scandal of banking and nepotism in Venezuela.
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