There is a chart of U.S. Imports of Crude Oil and Petroleum Products from 1981 to March of this year posted by the U. S. Energy Information Administration. The chart shows that oil imports are lower now than when President Obama took office in 2008. What it doesn’t show us is that one of the major reasons for the lower oil imports is the slowdown in economic activity in America during that time period. If the true statistics were being reported, they would show that about 11% of Americans are unemployed. That means 11% of us are not driving to work every day. The percentage of Americans actually in the workforce is the lowest it has been since 1981. Many Americans have postponed vacations due to economic concerns. Lower oil imports generally do not occur when the economy is thriving.
The article at CNS News relates some inconvenient facts about domestic oil production under President Obama:
Kathleen Sgamma, vice-president for public and government affairs at the Western Energy Alliance, said oil and gas regulations prevent companies from using leases they have bought to drill on federal lands.
“Western Energy Alliance estimates conservatively that BLM’s [Bureau of Land Management] planned regulations will add about 100 days to permitting times,” she told the panel. “With federal permitting times of 298 days, while states can process their corresponding permits in about thirty days, it’s difficult to understand why the federal government is trying to usurp control from the states which have proved themselves more effective and efficient.”
Sgamma noted that the increase in federal production had occurred on private and state-owned lands, not in areas controlled by the federal government, belying claims that production is up because of Obama’s policies.
The article at CNS News also reminds us that the President’s energy plan has been to pick winners and losers, which has interfered with the free market. Because of this, innovation has been stifled, and products that were not economically feasible have been subsidized, only to go bankrupt and increase unemployment.
The article at CNS News further reports:
“Despite all the obstacles put in place by this administration, oil and gas companies, responding to market forces and the demands of a nation for energy, jobs, and economic growth, have dramatically increased production and reduced foreign imports.”
Sgamma added that “5.5 times more oil is produced on private and state lands than on federal lands.”
Frankly, the only impact the Obama Administration has directly had on American energy production is to slow it down and drown it in red tape. Unfortunately most of the major media has not bothered to report that or to fact check the President’s claims about his energy policy.