Commentary: President Obama Continues to Misrepresent Oil Drilling Policy
Press conference rife with misleading half-truths which conceal his agenda
During a March 11 press conference, President Obama reiterated his indifference towards American energy production by posing a series of half-truths which shirked his ongoing complicity in America’s slumping oil production.
As President Obama duly acknowledged, Americans are growing frustrated with the rising costs of gasoline. What he once again overlooked, however, is his own role in these increasing costs.
Attempting to insulate himself from criticism, the President maintained that “Last year, American oil production reached its highest level since 2003” and “Oil production from federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico reached an all time high.”
On the surface, these statements are true. What President Obama chooses to ignore, however, is that they refer to production levels from before the moratorium and subsequent permitorium. Since the advent of these disastrous policies, production has entered a spiraling decline which industry experts believe will only worsen over the next two years.
The non-partisan fact-checking organization Politifact dissects the President’s claims and finds them to be misleading. Citing the Energy Information Administration, Politifact contends that while Gulf production in barrels per day was higher in 2010 than any previously recorded year, these levels peaked prior to the BP disaster and have steadily declined ever since the imposition of the moratorium on drilling.
According to the EIA’s own statistics, oil production in the Gulf of Mexico will continue to decrease for the next two years, by about 240,000 barrels a day in 2011 and by an additional 200,000 barrels per day in 2012. Likewise, the EIA estimates that domestic oil production as a whole will decline by 110,000 barrels a day in 2011 and by an additional 130,000 barrels per day in 2012.
Kyle Isakower of the American Petroleum Institute contends that the peak levels were attributable to permits granted years in advance and not owing to any energy policies of the Obama Administration. To the contrary, Isakower indicts the President’s anti-drilling agenda as damaging our economic recovery.
“This matters because markets don’t look backward, they look forward,” says Isakower. As long as the markets see uncertainty in the future of oil production, gasoline and energy prices will rise unchecked.
Since the BP tragedy of last April, President Obama has tirelessly worked to punish the entire oil industry. He has taken record levels of production and reversed them into decline, which has resulted in skyrocketing gasoline prices and put thousands out of work. The fact that the President not only continues to avoid responsibility, but distort the facts in his favor, is all the more distressing.