Reaction to President Obama’s Unsatisfactory Comments on Domestic Energy

By March 12, 2011Energy, General

Excerpting the reaction to President Obama’s comments on energy prices and domestic energy production on Friday.

Jack Gerard, president and CEO, American Petroleum Institute, “API to White House: Long Term Solutions Require Short Term Leadership:”

Long-term problems call for short-term leadership. Suggesting that we rely on other nations to solve our energy challenges is irresponsible and will not increase our energy security. The Obama administration continues to delay or defer action on developing our domestic resources of oil and natural gas at every turn.

The trend is alarming. The administration has postponed lease sales in offshore areas. It has cancelled lease sales in onshore federal lands. It has extended permitting timelines for current leases and added unnecessary regulatory burdens. It has chosen inaction on essential energy projects that would create jobs, drive economic growth, and boost federal revenues.

The administration is well on its way toward creating higher gasoline prices for Americans.

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA), “Landrieu Responds to President’s News Conference on Gas Prices“:

I share President Obama’s concern about how the current crisis in Libya and the constriction of supply in the U.S. are causing gas prices to skyrocket.  Unfortunately, this administration still doesn’t seem to understand that the best way to combat rising gasoline prices is to encourage new domestic development and production of oil.  By issuing permits in the Gulf and by opening new areas for development, we can combat the geopolitical events that affect what this country pays at the pump.

The president wants his administration to account for of all the undeveloped leases held by oil and gas companies in the Gulf.  I don’t know how the president expects companies to develop leases in the Gulf when they can’t even get permits to conduct exploratory activities.  Since new regulations went into place last year after the spill, only one new exploration plan has been approved by the BOEM – only one permit in 10 months. By contrast, in March 2010, the month before the Macondo accident, 48 exploratory plans were issued.  The president can’t hold companies accountable for development of leases when they simply can’t get permits to develop them.

Politico, “Bill Clinton: Drilling delays ‘ridiculous’“:

Bush said all the things you’d expect him to say” on oil and gas issues, said Jim Noe, senior vice president at Hercules Offshore and executive director of the pro-drilling Shallow Water Energy Security Coalition. But Clinton added, “You’d be surprised to know that I agree with all that,” according to Noe and others in the room.

Clinton said there are “ridiculous delays in permitting when our economy doesn’t need it,” according to Noe and others.

Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, “Upton Statement in Response to President Obama’s Remarks on Energy and Gasoline Prices“:

America needs a long-term, visionary energy strategy that begins with increased American energy production. For too long, opponents of American energy have cited the time it takes to go from exploration to production as an excuse for inaction. This is not a reason to delay – it is an urgent call for action.

The fact is, domestic oil production is projected to decrease in future years in large measure because of the actions this administration has taken to lock away our vast energy resources. Families are struggling with high prices at the pump today, and they will not stand for a government that refuses to take the steps needed now to alleviate that pain for the future.

Despite the President’s calls to “boost domestic production of oil and gas,”  the administration’s record tells a different story. Only one deepwater drilling permit has been issued since the Deepwater Horizon explosion, and this was just issued last week. The many struggling small businesses and families who continue to suffer the effects of the ongoing de facto moratorium in the Gulf deserve better.

Aric Newhouse, senior vice president, National Association of Manufacturers, statement, “Manufacturers Need Action To Increase Energy Supply, Not More Talk“:

In response to growing concerns over rising energy prices, the President expressed his supporttoday for domestic drilling, and we applaud him for doing so. Unfortunately, this support did not lead to an announcement of any new permits or policy changes from the Administration that would encourage the further development of our domestic energy supplies. Meanwhile, thousands of jobs are at risk as rigs sit idle.

UPDATE (7:30 p.m.): Just approved the 35 comments on this post, which is a record at Shopfloor. Thank you for the reaction, pro, con and hydrofactual.

Join the discussion 39 Comments

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  • Martel says:

    And I’d like to point out one more time that 19 billion barrels of oil is the likely maximum amount of oil that we can expect to produce from all existing – and POTENTIAL – fields in the U.S. and from offshore reservoirs. In other words, that’s all there is. Period. End of story. There won’t be any more. We’re already pumping 3.3 billion barrels of that per year. No matter how many hundreds of billions of dollars we spend to ramp up production from sources which aren’t currently being depleted, the amount of domestic production is going to decrease because we simply cannot deplete those new sources in less than 10 years (more likely, 20-30 years).

    There was always a limited supply. The earth is not creating new oil as we speak, even though some propagandists and very delusional know-nothings derive enjoyment from saying that it is. It has been quite clear for about 20 years now that we’ve found all of the significant oil fields that we’ll ever find in the United States. We have only a relatively small amount of oil now (compared to what we use annually).

    The oil age is over unless someone finds a way to produce oil from shale at a price which makes economic sense and with a process which doesn’t use up and chemically contaminate incredibly vast amounts of fresh water. The likelihood of that occurring any time in the next 15 years or so is roughly equal to the likelihood of successful nuclear fusion reactors. It might happen, but you should only bet on it if you don’t care about losing everything you have.

  • Martel says:

    Okay, so after reading most of the comments, it’s very obvious that we will never resolve this problem. There is no magic oil no matter how delusional we’re determined to be. As for oil from shale deposits, if anyone thinks that the environmental damage from all of the previous efforts to produce oil and coal in this country are in any way significant, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

    In addition to the fact that the oil companies don’t control the water rights to enough of the available water to produce a large quantity of oil from shale, oil production from shale will be far more expensive than drilling a well and pumping out the oil. It will cost at least $150-175 per barrel just to produce the oil if the cost of the water and the water contamination is ignored.

    Also, there’s the little problem of water use by the people of the western U.S., which no one seems to want to consider. There isn’t much more water available in the west than is currently being used. The best known method of production, in situ extraction, will contaminate at least 3 barrels of water, and as much as 7 barrels of water, for every barrel of recovered oil. Much of that will infiltrate the ground water supply of the region where the shale extraction process is carried out and the rest will be surface runoff or will go into local streams and rivers.

    So, sure, we can produce oil from shale fields. The ultimate cost of that – after a truly massive quantity of water is somehow diverted from the midwest and further south and east, and after the contamination is cleaned up – might not be more than about $350 per barrel of oil. We would be able to produce gas for our vehicles for several decades at about $9-10 per gallon initially, assuming we’re willing to pay the cost as we use the fuel instead of paying it later.

    A best case scenario for immediate use with deferred costs being paid by future generations, though, is presumably the route we’ll take because the free lunch is the only acceptable solution for most people. We would eliminate a significant percentage of the population of the western U.S. and/or reduce agricultural production significantly so that there would be enough water available to minimize the cost of using it, and would also ignore the many millions of acre feet of chemically contaminated water and outlaw legal action related to cancer deaths against oil producing corporations. If all of that were done, we could easily buy gasoline from oil shale sources at around $5-7 per gallon…initially. It would be a bargain at half the price!

  • Martel says:

    “the price IN THE U.S. will be determined by WORLDWIDE supply and demand realities.”

    I should amend that to point out that rapid increases and decreases in price are determined almost entirely by speculation in the futures market, and that won’t stop so long as there is an oil futures market. Speculators do, obviously, need to make money for nothing.

  • Martel says:

    According to oil industry geologists, there are roughly 19 billion barrels of oil in the ground, both in fields being currently pumped and in ALL potential reservoirs within the continental U.S. and offshore.

    We are currently consuming 6.8 billion barrels of oil per year (down a bit from 7-7.2 billion since the economic meltdown). 3.3 billion barrels of that consumption is produced from American oil fields on land and offshore. 3.5 billion barrels of that oil consumption is imported. At current rates of domestic production, there will be no more domestic oil in less than 6 years…but we’re not going to be able to produce that much oil over that period of time even if we were currently pumping oil out of every possible crevice available to us. So, the oil supply will last longer but it will take us 20 years to get it all out of the earth.

    Now for what’s really important: actual real world facts give us reason to hope that we can continue to argue about this as though reality is meaningless for another 20 years, during which time we do absolutely nothing to replace oil as a power generation source in this country and decline to third world status.

    Also: as long as we’re using ANY imported oil – in point of fact as long as we’re using ANY oil sold by multinational oil corporations – the price IN THE U.S. will be determined by WORLDWIDE supply and demand realities.

  • Roberto says:

    For those of you who are convinced that “Drill Baby Drill”
    is the answer, I would suggest that you do some research on proven oil reserves starting with the U.S. Energy Information Administration:

    Yeah…It’s boring…as is so often the case with dry statistics…no passion…well anyway…These guys seem to think that at current proven reserves and production levels…We got about 8 years left…Then what?

  • Homer Williams says:

    I might have more sympathy for the opinions expressed above if any concern had been shown for environmental issues. Apparently, the above commentators feel that the US should increase energy production at any cost along the lines of China. Such disregard for both public health and the demonstrated unwillingness of the oil industry to be frank about how much US imports would be reduced, the public health and affects on surrounding property show a lack of concern for anything except the health and profitability of the Oil Industry.

    If the Oil Industry was willing to contribute to the reduction of the national deficit by, say, agreeing to pay reasonable royalties on the public lands used for drilling, work out a way to ensure that the water used for fracking was properly cleaned before its release into the public watershed, or give up some of the tax breaks they have, then I might be more sympathetic.

    As matters stand, the Oil Industry and their advocates seem only to demand more at a time when everyone in the middle class and below are being asked to make extensive sacrifices.

  • denverdave says:

    Domestic drilling is at its highest point since 2003. I fail to see what the problem is.

  • Hope and Chains says:

    Hope and Talk Dos Not Produce Any Type of Energy for Our Economy.

    Hope and Talk Can Produce Only One Thing For SURE, and THAT IS The CHAINS to Drag US Down.
    WE Can’t wait for. 2012 to Bring This Great Country Of Ours Back on

  • joe russell says:

    It just seems so obvious. Too bad a lot of brainless politicians can’t see it.

  • bateman says:

    Obama is perfect example of Forrest Gump axiom. “Stupid is as Stupid does”

  • Stuart66 says:

    Obama, true to form will further kill America and big (and small) business.
    The very profits and donations from enterprises that Obama now helps to destroy, are the ones who once indirectly afforded him free tuition at Harvard.

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  • Steve G says:

    Oil companies are not even using close all of their existing leases, yet they want new ones to be expedited. I must be missing something (probably the profit motive of getting new leases).

  • Joseph says:

    Domestic drilling is not the answer. So idiots like u are willing to risk the economic impact of thousands along the coast, natural resources which include what makes our country great, and destroy what’s left of the aesthetics of the coast (not as important but is a concern) for a few more drops of oil. There isn’t a vast amount of oil out on american soils. It will only be a small bandaid. Fossil fuels are old technology as the invention of the wheel we must progress.

  • Bob Fowler says:

    Look at this shiny thing, and not at the sickening money trail. Fact, no refinery has been built in America in over 30 years. Fact, Galveston TX had refineries destroyed a couple of years ago. Fact, there is a limited amount of oil that can be refined, much like OPEC controlling supply to maintain prices and profit.

    Rewarding Big Oil with tax ‘incentives’ for keeping their profits up seems like a bit more of the problem. Students make cars annually that achieve 100 mpg, yet Detroit’s geniuses can’t do better than a 40 mpg hybrid that will cost twice as much as a ‘normal’ car? 35 years ago, a Yugo got 70 mpg. With all of the technological advancements, we now have cars that can get up to 38 mpg?

    Stop looking to oil production. Stop incentivizing poor results. WE THE PEOPLE need to demand results before the streets of America turn to revolution as a means of correcting the market. It seems to be working in the Middle East.

  • Pamela Merritt says:

    Looks to me like you people did not see the same Press Conference that I saw…and obviously didn’t listen.

    Increasing drilling without attention to safety is not in the best interest of the American public and that’s who President Obama works for…not you.

    That this is biased by your industry affiliation and or financial ties (big contributions Sen Landreau?) is obvious.

    As a consumer who has to commute 100 miles each day to a job that pays less than 25% of my previous job, I have to say my interest in lower gas prices is intense. I don’t see your industry doing anything to help me out.

    So, instead of putting down our President because he’s not pandering to you, why not come up with some lower gas prices and help out the American public? Dropping your profit margins by half for one year to lower prices at the pump would be a great step forward. As for innovation…I don’t trust that you would do anything productive.

  • Faye Dunne says:

    We need to bring JOBS back to the United States! We should drill in Alaska, Texas and Oregon and the EPA needs to lighten up on rules, AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL needs a Refinery, haven’t had one is over 30 years! Then there is a major need for the Fuel Cell, lets go America! Obama get on board, we are way too dependent on other countries and it needs to stop! Children are now more than ever homeless and hungry in the United States-Shameful!!!!!!!!!

  • Carolyn says:

    Perhaps now is the time to become energy independent by simply adopting European fuel economy standards.

  • Joey says:

    No, these are just comments on the oil and gas policy. Liberals and some conservatives have been screaming for years to get off the subsidized to hell oil and gas teat as much as possible(realizing it’s not 100% possible yet) so when prices go up, we are unaffected. Our “domestic resources” will be very short term, I believe Mr. Gerard just wants short term leadership to give a very short term profit boost and leave the nation struggling even more with a very long term problem. I suggest we cut these subsidies, and put them into productive domestic energy creation.

  • Jimmy says:

    In my mind the biggest thing to save the last recession was low gas and oil prices. Why do the oil companies continue to have “record” profits while the average working man like me is worried about how I am going to heat my house next winter. Let alone the current administration cut Liheap for low income families, in a state like Maine we have long hard winters.

    From what I see the President does not care, why should he? He has not been paying for his vacation trips, the fuel for his planes the gas for his limos, we have the tax payers!!! He lives in fantasy land. Most americans can’t even afford vacation! Heres a tip Obama: forgo your next vacation, take that million dollars that it costs to fly airforce one and put it to good use. He had no problem with all the “bailouts” but he can’t bail out the country by tapping our oil reserves, and
    allowing more domestic oil to be drilled. Yes other sources of energy
    are the future, but is he going to wait until gas hits $5 a gallon
    before he taps the reserves?
    I am sorry to admit I voted for him & unless he starts showing some real leadership, I will be voting for some one else next time.

  • Steve says:

    Regardless of what we do at home, we will pay whatever the world price is. At the moment there is no supply shortage. Saudi Arabia has stated that they will
    make up lost Libyan production, yet the price keeps going up anyway. Has there been conservation, Yes but it hasn’t mattered. The Toyota Prius has saved over a billion gallons of gasoline in the past 5 years. Yet the price of a gallon of gas has doubled since 2008 during a time when the price of crude was relatively stable.

  • rick says:

    What is the holdup with developing the Bracken oil deposit, supposedly the worlds largest, seems to me the developers should be going full speed on this. we know it is in shale and difficult but resources and methods of extraction will be developed.

  • Dendroica says:

    Since this year’s American oil production was the highest in seven years, we must assume that Congressman Upton’s remarks are either incorrect, or intentional distortions.

    So what is it sir? Are you simply incorrect, or a liar?

  • tsnell says:

    We have to look to the long term, not the short. More drilling only feeds our ever growing hunger for more and more and more oil. Big climate change issues, creating problems we can’t even imagine now, are just over the horizon, and more oil will only make that worse. There are solutions – we just have to be willing to make the initial investments.

  • DJ says:

    “The fact is, domestic oil production is projected to decrease in future years in large measure because of the actions this administration has taken to lock away our vast energy resources.”

    Well, there was the small matter of a massive oil spill. Obama did what no Republican president dared: he lifted then ban on offshore drilling. Then BP blew it, and the ban is back in place. Pretty hard to blame Obama for that, much as I’d love to.

  • Dan Calvey says:

    As a small business owner, I support increased development of our
    Domestic energy resources. I encourage the president to release
    the drilling permits now.

  • The oil companies and Wall Street speculators are good at using a media event to drive prices higher.
    Diversify our energy needs because there is no depth to the greed factor of these people.

  • Tom says:

    The President really missed an opportunity here. By tying our energy policy into the world’s energy policy, he has basically said we no longer can function alone. And in doing so, has told the world we no longer are stromng enough to tackle big issues alone.

  • Chelsea taylor says:

    I think americans have become spoiled and complacent over oil. Wnat happened to our Ingenuity and candidness that lead us to alternative solutions? We can make and create when pushed with the right boundaries and the known neccesity of the product, but people are not getting together to pull resources for a magnetic mass transit system for hometowns as much as they should. I even feel that pres. Obama on the healthcare bill wants us to get involved because when the people who are.generally complacent get stirred with something they feel is not fair and no one else will act on their behalf then they themselves have no choice but to do something.

  • Re:Domestic Energy 03/12/2011
    What is keeping this “President” from making a strategic decision, clearly a decision in our national interest. Talk is not indicative of leadership.

  • R.Ward says:

    Obama is a proven fool. He is the very worst kind of politician, a stupid one. He is living proof that Jimmy Carter is alive and well.

  • Doug says:

    We’re struggling not because of high oil prices, but because we are a poorly-educated, blue-collar society based on Henry Ford’s generations-old thought that manufacturing, and raping the planet to support that manufacturing was the answer to every question.

    It’s about time we wean ourselves from this self-supporting stupidity!

    We are no more than guests on this planet, and it deserves our respect. It is not ours to discard, like an old dress or a deck of cards, when it no longer satisfied our short-lived fantasies.

    Grow up, folks, and develop a little responsibility for your actions.

  • Ray Riley says:

    I voted for this guy ,but he had better get his act together.We don’t need another spill,so make sure that protections are in place. Then Drill.Make regulators do their JOB.

  • kathleenpost says:

    There is not enough regulation on inland oil safety.The president is correct if he is regulating and slowing it down for caution sake.Gas hydro fracking is spoiling the streams and underground water supply’s.It caused over 700 earthquakes in Oklahoma last year.In Colorado (northern) where I live,they want to do it on public land(your forest) ,we feel earthquakes from Yellowstone here,will this new gas hydro fracking experiment cause the Super volcano to erupt?In that case,I wont be commenting next day,I will be dead…I don’t want radioactive,salty ,dirty water or EARTHQUAKES.Wake Up oil industry,didn’t you learn in the Gulf?I did,I Know I better speak up and stop their activity’s or we are going extinct.Oil peak is over,we have no choice but to go to the alternatives.End of story.STOP THE HYDRO FRACKING.Oil promoters,stop you Bull……….You live on this planet too!

  • Ken Houston says:

    When Americans stop voting for people that have never held a job running a business and start voting for people that have actually built things, instead of being guided by emotions about who looks better, speaks better or guilt, we will get an energy policy. The 1973 oil embargo, and the especially 1979 oil embargo reminder, should have made it clear to all Americans, that our standard of living was dependent on abundant cheaper energy here at home. Yet, knowing the Middle East was unstable, every administration for 30 years double downed on it for energy supply putting our standard of living at risk. Now, when we have budgets out of control, unfunded social security problems, looming Medicare bankruptcy and two on-going Asian wars, we have a President who wants to tilt at windmills like Don Quixote to solve rising energy prices and add to the gas glut from the Bakken, Marcellus, and Barnett shale right there in Washington with the gas from his mouth about wanting more domestic energy and actions to drive the cost of energy up by limiting drilling, nukes and coal. We clearly need to get rid of him and the rest of the politicians from both parties who have put us at risk, not only to our lifestyles, but also to our security.

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