February 24, 2012 7:38am
Morning Examiner: Obama owns these gas prices
byConn Carroll Senior Editorial Writer
With the average price of a gallon of gasoline rising 40 cents just last week, President Obama attacked Republicans yesterday, trying to distract voters from his own failed energy policy. “The American people aren’t stupid,” Obama said “You know there are no quick fixes to this problem.” And Obama is right. There are no quick fixes to this problem.
But Obama has been in office for three years now. There is plenty the federal government can do to lower gas prices in three years. Problem is, everything Obama has done on energy has been designed to increase Americans’ pain at the pump.
Immediately after taking office in 2009, Obama canceled 77 leases for oil and gas drilling in Utah.
In January 2010, Obama issued new regulations making it more difficult to develop energy resources on federal land.
After the BP oil spill, Obama needlessly instituted, not one, but two outright drilling bans in the Gulf of Mexico.
After rescinding his outright offshore drilling ban, Obama then refused to issue any new drilling permits in the Gulf, a policy that the Energy Information Administration estimated would cut domestic offshore oil production by 13% that year.
Under Obama, in 2010 the federal government issued the lowest number of onshore leases since 1984.
Under Obama the federal government has leased less than half of the offshore acres that President Clinton did.
The Obama administration held just one offshore lease sale in all of fiscal year 2011. President Bush’s energy plan called for five.
Obama is also blocking access to 19 billion barrels of oil in the Pacific and Atlantic coasts and the eastern Gulf of Mexico, another 10 billion barrels estimated in the Chukchi Sea off the Alaskan coast, and another 10 billion barrels of oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve.
Yes, oil and gas production is up in the United States. But this is happening in spite of Obama, not because of him. It is being driven entirely by increased production on state and private lands, areas where Obama has little power to shut down production.
The reality is that Obama’s goal has always been higher gas prices. His Energy Secretary Steven Chu famously told The Wall Street Journal in 2008, “Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe.” And when Obama was asked by CNBC’s John Harwood that same year if high gas prices actually “helped” the United States, Obama said, “I think that I would have preferred a gradual adjustment.”
Americans aren’t stupid. They remember Obama’s words. They know that the only real regret Obama has about high gas prices is that he may get blamed for them at the ballot box.