Gas Price Deception

Higher gas prices are the result the Obama Administration has tried to achieve for two years.

As we’re all painfully aware, higher oil prices caused by the termoil in the Middle East have driven up gasoline prices in America.  Since it’s first month in office the Obama Administration has pursued policies that were intended to reduce domestic production in order to gradually drive up the price of oil, natural gas to make the high cost of the President’s beloved “green energy” more competitive with conventional fuels.

Predictably, Americans have become anxious and angry as recent termoile in the Middle East accelerated the price of oil toward Obama’s goal.  In his March 30 speech on energy at Georgetown University President Obama tried to dodge accountability for higher gasoline prices:

Now, last year, American oil production reached its highest level since 2003...

This chart puts the President’s claim in perspective:

While it’s true there was a slight uptick in production in 2009 and 2010, after a 45% decline from 1985 to 2008, the President can’t take credit for the increase.  As anti-drilling voices often remind us, there is a long lead time from the the beginning of exploration to the actual production of oil.  The increase in 2009 and 2010 results from several years of renewed exploration and drilling, permitted by the Bush and Clinton Administrations.

As the chart shows the same agency that reported the recent increases now projects decreases this year and next year due to the restrictions put in place by the Obama Administration.  Those restrictions include:

February 4, 2009: On the 16th day of the Obama Presidency, his Interior Secretary withdrew 77 oil and natural gas leases on federal land that had been put out to bid two months earlier.

February 10, 2009: Interior Secretary Salazar announced a delay in implementing a five-year plan for oil exploration and development on the outer Continental Shelf.  The Interior Dept. had  been working on the plan for several years and had finalized it only a few weeks earlier.

February 25, 2009:  Interior Secretary Salazar ordered a delay in oil shale research, demonstration, and development (RD&D) leases that would help advance American technology and create high-tech jobs in Colorado, Wyoming and Utah.  Private companies were ready to invest their own resources until the government blocked the project.

October, 2009: In a “final report” Secretary Salazar reissued only seven of the 77 oil and gas leases that were withdrawn on February 3.

August, 2009: Congress passed new law to close 1.2 million acres of the Wyoming Mountain Range to oil exploration and drilling.

September, 2009: Secretary Salazar extends for at least three more years a de facto ban on off shore drilling.

October, 2009: Secretary Salazar imposed new restrictions and barriers on extracting oil and natural gas from shale.

January, 2010: Secretary Salazar announced indefinite delay and possible cancellation of previously approved oil and gas leases off the coast of Virginia, over the objection of Virginia’s governor.

February, 2010: The new Obama budget calls for $40 billion in tax and fee increases on domestic oil producers.

March, 2010: Secretary Salazar withdrew 61 previously approved oil and gas leases in Montana.

March, 2010: Secretary Salazar withdrew 4,400 acres in Monongahela National Forest from a previously approved oil and gas leas sale.

December, 2010: Secretary Salazar reinstated a moratorium on offshore drilling, placing the entire Pacific, the entire Atlantic, the Eastern Gulf and parts of Alaska off limits to exploration and drilling for oil or natural gas.

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