Obama’s ongoing “I didn’t do it,” apologetic concerning energy prices would be laughable if the current price crisis weren’t so sad for the American public and dangerous for an economy still struggling to pull itself out of a recession. Obama touts the fact that America imports less oil than previously, ignoring the fact that the recession and high prices are the reason for this. When people are out of work or it cost more to drive, people do less of it, accounting for the lower imports. By contrast, high prices are encouraging domestic production on private lands of reserves that were previously uneconomic to exploit – unfortunately, much larger reserves on public lands are being placed off limits by the Obama administration. Indeed, in the oil rich Western states of Colorado, Utah and Wyoming, the Obama Interior Department reduced the available lands for oil production by 75 percent – and on the existing small number of parcels already leased on the remaining lands, oil companies will not be allowed to drill unless they can meet new environmental requirements. Production on public lands in the U.S. is down by more than 14 percent in the last year alone.
Canada’s Prime Minister, Stephen Harper wants to leave no doubt concerning who will be to blame for rising prices in the U.S. for years to come. According to Harper, even if President Barack Obama approved the controversial Keystone XL pipeline tomorrow, Canada will still move forward with plans to ship increasing amounts of its oil to Asian markets. The US, under President Obama has just become too unreliable an energy partner.
Currently we are Canada’s largest export market for oil and Canada, not a Middle Eastern country, is America’s largest single source of imported oil. Because President Obama “delayed’ (more like waylaid) the Keystone XL pipeline decision despite three years of study and a thumbs up by the State and Interior departments (before Obama directed them to change their minds), Canada is going to ship more oil to China and other fast growing Asian countries whose leaders don’t genuflect to the misanthropic environmental lobby.
“Look, the very fact that a ‘no’ could even be said underscores to our country that we must diversify our energy export markets,” Harper told Jane Harman of the Wilson Centre think tank in front of a live audience of businesspeople, scholars, diplomats, and journalists.
Harper also pointed out that until now the U.S. had been receiving oil at a discounted price from Canada, but that that would end. In the future the U.S. will have to pay full price – no more breaks.
Funnily enough, by which I mean not funny at all, Obama tried to take credit for the decision to move forward with the Southern part of the pipeline from Texas to Oklahoma. The President said he would direct his cabinet to expedite the approvals. Just one thing though, the Southern portion doesn’t need the President’s approval as the federal government has no jurisdiction over that portion of the pipeline – it doesn’t cross an international boundary and it is not being built on public lands.