Saturday, May 14, 2011
Facing voter rage over record high gas prices and complaints from Republicans and business leaders that his administration is preventing new development of domestic energy resources, President Obama conceded the GOP’s argument and announced Saturday that he is opening huge public lands and waters to gas drilling.
Call the president T. Boone Obama.
With gas prices above $4 a gallon in many states and inflation on the rise, Obama said his administration would begin to hold annual auctions for oil and gas leases in the Alaska National Petroleum Reserve, a pristine 23-million-acre tract on the North Slope of Alaska. The move is sure to thrill Alaska’s two senators, Lisa Murkowski, a Republican, and Mark Begich, a Democrat, as well as oil executives.
Mr. Obama also said he would extend leases already granted for oil drilling in the Arctic Ocean off Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico — these leases were frozen since last year’s BP/Deepwater Horizon disaster. The extension will allow companies time to meet new safety standards designed to prevent a repeat of the worst environmental catastrophe in our nation’s history.
In the Saturday announcement, Mr. Obama still managed to squeak out a mention of the outrageous $4 billion in taxpayer subsidies the oil companies receive saying,
“In the last few months, the biggest oil companies made about $4 billion in profits each week and yet, they get $4 billion in taxpayer subsidies each year. Four billion dollars at a time when Americans can barely fill up their tanks. Four billion dollars at a time when we’re trying to reduce our deficit.”
However, President Obama made no mention of making participation in the new oil and gas leases in the Alaska National Petroleum Reserve contingent upon the oil companies agreeing to forgo their taxpayer-funded subsidies. Of course, this would require courage and leadership — both in short supply in the Obama administration.
Such environmentally destructive drilling in Alaska will cost billions of dollars and even if oil is found, by the time the crude is transported to a refinery, it won’t reach the retail consumer level for 20 years.
Obama must know this. Why is he playing footsies with the Palin crowd. They hate him and this isn’t going to win them over.
At least Sarah Palin is smiling today. The environmentalists? Not so much.
If Obama wants to give American drivers immediate relief, he could start by ending the Federal tax levied on each gallon of gas sold and push states to follow until prices come down.
Every state varies from the next but here are a few examples:
California: 68.9 cents
Washington: 55.9 cents
Illinois: 69.0 cents
New York: 69.1 cents
Michigan: 62.0 cents
Florida: 52.1 cents
These amounts may not sound like much but when you pay $4.19 a gallon and that amount can be reduced by 68.9 cents, you would pay $3.50 a gallon. Anything under $4 dollars would make consumers smile and they would be less hostile to Obama.
As long as Obama Inc doesn’t give permits to construct oil platforms off the coast of California, I’m happy. I think he’s too smart to try anything so foolish. Unless he wants to spend his remainder in office in court.
Peace Nick – I love the idea of eliminating these taxes on each gallon but, in reality, states rely on these dollars for things like road construction and I see no other way to pay for it.
I’m old enough to remember the Trans Alaska Pipeline. People were sold a bill of shit with that project. Sure, the pipeline carried oil but the idiots who designed the project failed to take into account what to do with the crude once they got it out of the earth. Oil tankers were needed to transport the crude from Alaska south to oil refineries in Richmond, CA and Martinez, CA quadrupling the cost of production and then what did our genius leaders do with it? We sold it to Japan! Do you know the American taxpayers are still paying off the loans to construct the Trans Alaska Pipeline. Obama may mean well but it is clear to me the guy is so in over his head and he doesn’t have a clue what he’s doing other than trying to win another term as president.
O——–Bummer, you lying sack of shit!!!! You should have a pipeline shoved right up your Ass………………
Obama is pandering to the “drill baby, drill” crowd. What an asshole.
Mark my words, just like Gleneagle about the Trans Alaskan Pipeline from 35 years ago, even if we build 5,000 oil drilling facilities, somehow what is taken from the shale will end up being sold to some emerging market in Asia like China, is a sweetheart deal designed to reduce or even eliminate out $1 trillion dollar debt to the Central Bank of China.
The reason gas prices are soaring is geopolitical in nature. The day after the Nitwit in the White House attacked Libya — our unofficial, third war in a decade, gas prices started their climb.
Prices have absolutely nothing to do with supply.
So, let’s use this moment to revisit what then-candidate Obama said about new off shore drilling back in 2008:
“The politics may have changed, but the facts haven’t. Offshore drilling would not lower gas prices today. It would not lower gas prices tomorrow. It would not lower gas prices this year. It would not lower gas prices five years from now.”
Obama is selling the American consumer a sack of rotten cheese.
Prices have nothing to do with supply. This is correct. And what is more, we could have an oil well in every back yard, and…. that oil all sells on the same market. “DRILL HERE” does absolutely NOTHING about the price of oil.
Only higher conservation and better mass transit is going to work. Anyone who believes anything else apparently lived under a rock from 1974 on.
Okay, I’ll be pretty annoyed if there is deepwater Gulf fdrilling or California drilling ofshore. But in alaska because of directional drilling technology, it is entrirely possible (though diffcult) to build platforms in Point Hope or Kotzebue and tunnel the drilling wells into the oil deposits without affecying the refughe.