On Energy: Obama takes credit where criticism is due

President Obama has led the biggest war on reliable energy – meaning primarily fossil fuels – of any President in history.  And yet he repeatedly takes credit for these industries’ successes.

Obama has repeatedly had the gall to take credit for the growth of jobs, revenues and energy production in the oil and gas industry, while at the same time repeatedly proposing laws or working through the various executive agencies under his command to make it has hard as possible for this industry to do the best it can to maximize economic growth.  For instance, the President stated: “So here’s what I’ve done since I’ve been president. We have increased oil production to the highest levels in 16 years. Natural gas production is the highest it’s been in decades.”

Reality Check: While President Obama is correct that oil and gas production are up during his presidency, little to none of the credit is due to his policies. Almost all the increase in oil and gas production has occurred on private or state lands, especially in North Dakota, Montana and even Texas. High prices for oil have driven additional development of previously uneconomic reserves. Natural gas production from federal areas has declined while natural gas production overall has increased considerably due to technological breakthroughs in the production (i.e. in fracking) of gas from vast shale deposits.

Though new leases and acreage leased has declined, oil production from existing leases has increased 13 percent over the past four years (despite last year’s significant decline). Oil production on existing leases increased due to continued high oil prices, which has made previously uneconomic reserves of oil, finally possible to develop profitably. The oil and gas industry warns, however, that this increase may come to a halt, if new oil and gas leasing and production regulations from the Obama administration under development, already proposed, or previously approved and soon to take effect, actually take effect.

More evidence is found in these publications.

But it is not just the oil and gas industry that the Obama administration has taken credit for helping while doing his level best to shut them down, rather the best example of this comes from the coal industry.  From mine mouth, to shipping, to electricity production, to export markets the all the President’s men (and women) have thrown up hurdle after hurdle to the success and expansion of the coal industry which has done, and continues to do, so much to help Americans live better lives.

The American Legislative Exchange Council and Energy-facts.org have gone into great depth detailing the tremendous burdens the Obama administration has saddled the industry with in order to keep Obama’s promise to bankrupt the coal industry.

Yet with the various regulations and the President’s own statements in evidence, now the administration wants to claim credit for the coal industries success.

That’s what I call Chutzpah!

Comments (10)

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  1. Andrew says:

    Not surprised a politician is trying to take credit for something he did not have any influence over. In this case, it’s worse since it’s about something this Administration has been trying to work against and has made no secret about it. It’d be better to stay consistent on this front and not try to garner any praise if the political goal is to make it hard on the oil and gas industry assumingly to increase renewable energy investment and production. But consistency and transparency is hardly ever seen anymore in Washington.

  2. Roger Depaz says:

    Goes to show how far politicians in Washington go to grain recognition and praise. For many, political gain comes before public service, which is quite sad.

  3. H. James Prince says:

    I guess it’s no surprise that West Virginia went Red in both the 2008 and 2012 elections.

  4. Raj Khan says:

    Lets get real, he is a politician, I am not surprised by this.

    • Roger Depaz says:

      So does this make it acceptable for the common civic engager to accept any politician to act on self-interest rather than on public service principles? Nothing changes if the status quo is deemed unchangeable by the general public.

  5. Sandeep says:

    I think you might find this to be an interesting read: http://thediplomat.com/2013/01/23/america-the-worlds-new-petrostate/

  6. Z says:

    Obama seems to take credit for a lot of things he doesn’t need to be taking credit for.

  7. Evan Carr says:

    Advances in hydraulic fracturing and slant drilling are responsible for the tremendous growth in the oil and gas industry, not the President’s policies.

  8. Irving Toller says:

    Don’t forget the ever-increasing proven reserves as well as the ability to extract them.

  9. Gabriel Odom says:

    I know it is popular to hate politicians, but implying that such behavior should be expected simply because he was elected into office is preposterous. If we regard Obama as a swine now, he did not undergo a magical transformation simply by popular election.

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