energy production

The hypocrisy of Obama’s energy boasts

“The measure of a man is what he does with power”-Plato

President Obama has several times claimed, “that under my Administration oil production is higher than it has been in a decade or more.” That is a true, but misleading, statement because during the period FY2007 through FY2012, all of the increased oil and gas production came from private and state land, over which Obama had no control, meanwhile production from federal lands, over which he does have control, decreased.  Obama was hypocritically taking credit for positive events that happened in spite of his policies.

That assertion comes from a Congressional Research Service (CRS) report, “U.S. Crude Oil and Natural Gas Production in Federal and Non-Federal Areas.” Here are the data graphically:



This result reflects the use of fracking on State and private land and the de facto moratorium on leasing Federal land.

According to the CRS report, “On non-federal lands, there were modest fluctuations in oil production from fiscal years (FY) 2008-2010, then a significant increase from FY2010 to FY2012 increasing total U.S. oil production by about 1.1 million barrels per day over FY2007 production levels. All of the increase from FY2007 to FY2012 took place on non-federal lands, and the federal share of total U.S. crude oil production fell by about seven percentage points.”

“The shale gas boom has resulted in rising supplies of natural gas. Overall, U.S. natural gas production rose by four trillion cubic feet or 20% since 2007, while production on federal lands (onshore and offshore) fell by about 33% and production on non-federal lands grew by 40%.”

CRS also says that the bureaucratic burden of drilling on Federal land is much more burdensome than on state or private land, and concludes that production from Federal land will remain lower because “the regulatory framework for developing resources on federal lands will likely remain more involved and time-consuming than that on private land.” CRS notes that time to process drilling permits rose from 218 days in 2006 to 307 days in 2011.

There is great potential for discovery and production of oil and gas on Federal land, including off-shore drilling. However, as noted by Investor’s Business Daily, President Obama chose instead “to withdraw tracts of federal land that had already been cleared for oil and gas development” and he ignored a judge’s order to lift a ban on off-shore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. In effect, Obama administration policies close about 85% of potential off-shore areas to drilling.

The Wall Street Journal reports: “Mr. Obama has blocked exploration and production on significant areas of the Outer Continental Shelf, and the few leases he has put up for auction contain land that is of little value to drillers….The U.S. oil and gas boom has been a rare bright spot in the otherwise gloomy Obama economy. Imagine how much more energy the U.S. could produce, and how many more high-paid jobs it could create, if the Obama Administration stopped being an obstacle.”

See also:

Open federal land to energy exploration and development to boost economy

President Obama’s “all of the above” energy policy isn’t

Obama’s April Fools Joke Shows off-shore areas still blocked by Obama policy