Energy & Environment

Barack ‘all of the above’ Obama

President Obama fought back against rising oil and retail gas prices in a speech in Florida on Thursday. But it was a curious speech. He started out by mocking Republicans, stating that GOP candidates are licking their chops as gasoline prices rocket up. He said, “They are already dusting off their three-point plans for $2 gas. I’ll save you the suspense: Step one is drill, step two is drill, and step three is keep drilling.”
   
Very clever. It’s kind of what Newt Gingrich said in this week’s Arizona debate.
   
But here’s the curious part. Obama said, “If we’re going to take control of our energy future, if we’re going to avoid these gas-price spikes down the line, then we need a sustained all-of-the-above strategy that develops every available source of American energy — oil, gas, wind, solar, nuclear, biofuels and more.”
   
That’s a Republican policy. All of the above. George W. Bush used to say it. John McCain ran on it in 2008. And you hear Republicans talk in similar terms all the time. “All of the above.”
   
Obama next took credit for record oil and gas production. He took a bow for more rigs and the approval of pipelines (including from Canada!). He then argued that his administration has opened millions of acres for oil and gas exploration.
   
Well, I don’t know about the pipeline part. He sure hasn’t opened Keystone XL. And most people in the oil business say the administration has been slow-walking offshore permits, restricting access on federal lands, and excluding Alaska and the Arctic. They also note the general nuisance of the EPA, including its recent attack on hydraulic fracking.
   
But people in the business will tell you that production is high, and that things began turning around years before the administration took office. Of course, the great energy revolution has come with all the new shale fields in the Dakotas, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas and elsewhere, which has led to a gusher of new oil and natural gas.
   
The fact that Obama sounds like a Republican doesn’t mean that he’s opened the barn door to all manner of new leases and permits. But the reality is that his administration has loosened things up a bit. Whether drill, drill, drill would produce $2 gasoline is an interesting debate. But surely the U.S. is on the road to energy independence if the government is more hands-off.
   
The fact remains, however, that right now there’s rising public angst over higher gasoline prices. That could become an economic problem, but it’s more rapidly becoming a political problem for the White House.
   
A lot of consumers and motorists are trying to figure out why all this new energy production hasn’t stopped prices from rising. The best answer I can come up with is Iran. As the Iranians rattle their sabers over the Strait of Hormuz, oil traders are taking long positions in the market. According to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, traders with net-long positions of oil contracts worth $100,000 have increased from 181,000 in early October to 281,000 lately. (Hat tip to economist Conrad DeQuadros).
   
During this period, oil prices have jumped about $35, or 37 percent. Today the WTI contract for light sweet crude closed above $108. And it’s worth noting that non-oil commodity indexes during this period have increased by less than 2 percent. That means the oil spike is a supply shock, not economic-demand driven. And since mid-December, AAA retail gas prices have increased about 11 percent from $3.22 to $3.60.
   
Undoubtedly, gasoline prices are following oil prices higher. And the oil-price jump is a function of trader worries that Iran might choke off the Hormuz Strait, leading to a substantial, if temporary, oil-supply shortage.
   
Obama cites the Iranian situation in his speech, and he’s got an important point. We can debate the merits of Obama’s Iranian policy. But the reality is that energy prices are rising on speculative trading demands over a potential worst-case scenario.
   
If that worst case scenario doesn’t come to pass, energy prices could well retreat. In any case, even the oil and gas spike thus far is not likely to have a significant economic impact. All that oil and gas shale production from private, not federal, lands is a big reason why. The new natural-gas supplies have caused the price of natural gas to fall substantially. That means much lower home-heating bills for consumers. And the relatively mild winter so far is another factor contributing to lower utility bills.
   
The moral of this story is that America should continue to drill, drill, drill, and put up the Keystone XL pipeline, and work with Canada to build an energy-independent North America. But as long as the Iranian threat is unsolved, the future risk of higher energy prices is going to be a fact of life.

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  • http://twitter.com/sundesy Sun Desy

    What else Mr Super Smart, community organizer who never earned a pay check with true commercial exchange of labor? More and more and more bankrupting Solyndra!

    By the way Hugo Chavez is looking for a replacement Mr O you fit the profile perfectly

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_DGIFTB73YDE3SPLHRVMQZHLXZY Reno Rivera

    The future risk of higher energy prices is going to be a fact of life and the end of America.

  • jagscl

    I haven’t seen a thing that Obama or his administration has done to increase domestic supply, including things like reduce requirements on refineries, lift the new requirements imposed on coal and coal fired electrical plants, open federal lands, really open them not just say you have or will.  It is Obama who loves the higher gasonline prices hoping to drive people to public transportation, smaller cars and less driving generally.  Obama doesn’t give a hoot about the damage these high prices will do to the average family’s way of life.

  • http://twitter.com/DoctorDeadpool Christopher Shafer

    Like I’ve always said- things get done despite Obama, not because of him.

  • Rocco11

    Obama hates this country, and is out to bring us to our knees.  It was the “Dream from his father.”  Also, it’s mandated by his Black Liberation Theology, which is actually just a front for Marxism, and communism..  Wake up Larry.

  • Altosackbuteer

    Not if America elects Newt and embarks on a crash program of ENERGY INDEPENDENCE NOW.

  • Altosackbuteer

    Again, the words of Ret. SAC US Air Force General Jimmy Cash: “I personally would vote for any
    presidential candidate who did what JFK did with the space program—declare a goal to bring this country to total energy independence in a decade.”

    Of all the presidents and candidates since Jimmy Carter, ONLY NEWT has met Gen. Cash’s challenge for a president who will make America energy self-sufficient as quickly as possible.

    It is why it’s imperative to elect Newt as the next president.
     

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Kridner/1042485693 Mike Kridner

    Besides drilling and exploration, we need to quit shipping our gasoline/fuel
    to China.
    While we are cutting back on the use of coal, Guess who we are shipping our
    coal to?
    And we wonder why our Gasoline prices are spiking up. The oil companies are
    part of it. But so are the government policies. People need to open their eyes
    and complain to their senator/representative. The mainstream media won’t. In
    the last 30 days the amount of negative stories about the $3.65/+ cost of
    gasoline were down by about 70% from 2008 (under Bush’s watch) when gasoline hit
    that same price. 
    Where does Obama really stand? He told us in 2008. He said he would like gas
    prices to hit the $89 mark . . . his only problem with it was he wished it
    would be slower (not spike). Let’s see, gas was around $2/gal when he came in
    and we are getting close to the $4 mark in just under 4 years. 
    Obama says he is for more drilling/exploration (he says they gave Shell the
    go-ahead in Alaska). What they don’t say is the permits issued by the EPA are
    flawed so the environmentalist groups can get a judge to suspend the operation.
    I guess it is done this way to give Obama cover to be on both sides of the
    issue.

  • wearyconservative1946

    Even as I read your post, I’m listening to a podcast of  Newt on the Mark Levine show.  Wow!  I knew we had a lot of oil and natural gas, but  I’m afraid my ignorance rivaled that of a clueless lib in just how much I didn’t know about the FULL  EXTENT of  our  vast treasure trove of  easily retrievable energy. 

       

  • AgTrotter

    “If we’re going to take control of our energy future, if we’re going to avoid these gas-price spikes down the line, then we need a sustained all-of-the-above strategy that develops every available source of American energy — oil, gas, wind, solar, nuclear, biofuels and more.”
    Finally, the Man-Child has seen the light. Of course, we all know that he’s not actually going to do anything. The cynicism displayed by this idiot is stunning.

  • Keith1941

    I remember, in the 70′s, the CEO of Exxon spoke to a Congressional committee about increasing our oil production.  The Dems said, “Why, we can get all of the oil we need from the Middle East.”

    I also remember about ten years ago, the discussion about opening Anwar..the Dems said it would destroy that pristine environment..also, it would take 5 years to get  it on production.

    So much for LEADERSHIP…LOOKING INTO THE FUTURE ….from our elected elitist Leftists.  Oh, I know there were some Repubs that voted with the Stupids on the Left, so you Libtards can hold your comments.

  • MsMaryC

    Sad to say, Larry Kudlow isn’t digging into the data—the increase in production is due to policies started in the previous administration.  This time, instead of blaming GWB, he’s taking his credit!  Another factor in the increase is from PRIVATE oil production, not federal.  If we were to tap into our own reserves, open Keystone, drill, frack, and re-open the Gulf refineries, we could tell the Saudi’s, Iran, and the rest of foreign oil to kiss off.

  • http://twitter.com/sundesy Sun Desy

    The risk becomes a certainty if BHO is elected.

  • Letusponder

    Remember the good ‘ole days when the media spent all of its time blaming the President for the high gas prices?

  • boats48

    You forgot to mention Algae! We’re going to replace our oil imports through the processing into bio-fuel of algae. The sad thing is that I heat my home with oil which is currently selling about $.50 a gallon more than the current price of gasoline. When the cost hits $5/gal that will translate into $750 – $1,000 per tank full. In a bad year that’s a recurring bill every 6 weeks, 8 weeks in a warm year. I just purchased a new furnace last year and it cut usage dramatically but it’s still going to be expensive. But never fear, BHO is here! And we’re going to have algae!(Scum)