Before I continue, I must admit a certain amount of shock in having to write this. Then again, perhaps I shouldn't be shocked. Democrat presidents have a long and proud history of taking credit for things they didn't actually do: Clinton gets credit for balancing the budget, something Newt Gingrich achieved and earned himself "resignation in disgrace" at the hands of the House Ethics committee for doing, perhaps why it hasn't been done since. FDR gets credit for New Deal projects that had already begun under Hoover - the most famous of which is the Hoover Dam. LBJ gets credit for desegregation, which was really an achievement of Eisenhower that continued through the time of LBJ. All throughout this century, Democrats have earned credit for doing things they didn't actually do (to be fair, this also includes bailing out "Government Motors" and the big banks.) I really shouldn't have been shocked to see it happen once more, this time with Obama and oil.
But there's a difference: all those other things that Democrats earned credit for, they either only slightly opposed, or even slightly supported. Never has something been so vehemently and destructively harmed directly by a president, not even through Congress with him only behind it, only to end up to his credit when it works against his plans. "Obamacare" was far more the product of Reid and Pelosi then Obama directly, but Obamas conduct with the Bureau of Land Management, and the abusive EPA that Obama himself presides over, comes from him directly. No one but the Chief Executive of the United States Federal Government is responsible for them before the American people, or should be.
Noting that, lets look over the track record of precisely what he's actually done, pertaining to oil production, as Chief Executive:
- Cancelled oil leases in the largest shale deposit of them all, at the excuse of "we don't understand how much water and energy it would use." The result of such policies is that oil and gas production on BLM lands is down 40%. In most western states, BLM lands make up 30-90% of the states land area.
- Purposefully delayed the decision on the Keystone Pipeline for years without any attempt to gather information to make a decision, or any clear rationale for why a decision could not be made in a reasonable time frame.
- Issued a moratorium on offshore drilling without any real effort to fix the underlying problems (namely, the lack of proper response networks on the Gulf.)
- Since the moratorium ended, Obama's Department of the Interior has only permitted one offshore lease sale. In other words, the moratorium never truly ended - Obama just made it look like it is over.
Although North Dakotas unemployment is a boom time 3.3%, Montana remains average for the country, despite containing the western third of the Bakken formation. In Texas, the other non-BLM oil containing state, a much smaller shale deposit has been massively developed, helping to stabilize unemployment there to a reasonable five. Lastly, the largest of all the shale deposits, equivalent to seven Middle Easts, contained in Utah, Colorado, Wyoming and Nevada (all heavily BLM states, with around 40-90% of land area owned by Federal Government as BLM lands) is totally off limits, and even permits issued under Bush are cancelled and replaced with "research leases."
North Dakota, with no BLM lands, would never be directly affected by the Presidents pen, although the pipeline that leads from North Dakota to the Gulf refineries would, and has. In states near North Dakota, especially Wyoming, Iowa, South Dakota and Missouri, manufacturing jobs making the equipment for oil fracking are reasonably abundant, but the amount of equipment coming out of the facilities cannot keep up with demand. Investment to build new fracking equipment factories has been scarce, since with a Federal Government that seems out to get them, and Obama testing the limits of how much a President can do to hurt it, the future of such technology seems uncertain. Just what will Mister President manage to do next? The reality is that the growth of Americas oil industry in spite of Obama proves nothing except that the Presidents powers are, thankfully, limited.
Yet Mr. President has the supreme audacity to claim credit for the doubling in oil in a state he has less authority in, while reducing production by 40% on what he does have authority over and harming the infrastructure. Not directly of course, that would be too obvious, instead he quotes the oil output nationwide, where the progress in North Dakota and Texas outpaces everything else. Than he tells us he wants "all of the above."
A quick note to readers: If you want to know my sources, click on the gray text.