Obama Takes Credit for Shale Gas Drilling in Election Year

In a Wall Street Journal op-ed earlier this week (We Don’t Need More Foreign Oil and Gas), Obama supporters and long-time Democrat flacks John Podesta and Tom Steyer tried to make the argument that we don’t need Canada’s oil (and natural gas) because we now have enough of our own, thank you very much. Apparently Obama is getting heat for his disastrous decision to pander to environmental extremists and reject the Keystone XL pipeline that would not only have brought cheap Canadian oil to the U.S. (at a time of record-highs for oil), but also would have brought more U.S. oil to the U.S. from North Dakota’s Bakken field.

Messrs. Podesta and Steyer’s opening sentence said:

In the hubbub around the president’s decision not to approve the proposed Keystone XL pipeline between Canada and the United States, Americans missed the big picture.

Translation: You’re too dumb to understand The One’s decision on this important matter. We’ll explain it to you.

We then get this choice paragraph:

Under President Obama’s leadership, we appear to be at the beginning of a domestic gas and oil boom. After a four-decade decline in oil production, the U.S. is now producing more than half of our oil domestically. This can free us from our addiction to foreign-sourced barrels, particularly if we utilize our dramatically larger and cheaper natural gas reserves. Natural gas now costs the equivalent of less than $15 per barrel, versus the $100-plus barrels we import from the Middle East.

Breathtaking chutzpah. Obama had nothing to do with the present “boom.” One could argue that Dick Cheney has had more to do with the current boom than anyone else—Cheney used to be CEO of Halliburton, which is the number one provider of hydraulic fracturing services in the U.S. In fact, the Obama administration has repeatedly interfered with natural gas and oil drilling. His rogue EPA is trying to either regulate, or shut down, hydraulic fracturing in this country! He disallowed any new offshore drilling after the BP disaster, driving drilling platforms away from our shores. Funny how election year conversions work. Look around and find an issue that will be popular with the voting public, and latch onto it as your own, even if a) you don’t believe in it, and b) you didn’t have a thing to do with it.

Pro-drillers welcome Obama’s lip service to shale gas drilling and we should take every advantage of it, but make no mistake, Obama and his ideological supporters like Podesta and Steyer still hate fossil fuels, including natural gas. Just read the rest of the op-ed where they get down to the topic they really love—“clean energy”—and how America is a leader in clean energy and everything will be butterflies and pink unicorns when we finally all convert to solar and wind. Oh! And it will benefit you “middle class” people by giving you nice, middle class manufacturing jobs (since you were too stupid to stay in college) to make all those solar panels and wind mills. Doesn’t the brilliance of The One just dazzle you?

The really interesting part of Messrs. Podesta and Steyer’s op-ed are the responses to it. Be sure to read them here: A Badly Distorted Discourse on U.S. Energy Policy.