The Democrat Energy Plan: Boost Saudi Arabia

- February 29, 2012

While Americans Struggle At The Pump, Democrats Support Increased Production Overseas But Work To Prevent It Domestically


Sen. Charles Schumer Urged Secretary Of State Clinton To Press Saudi Officials To Expand Oil Production To Ease Prices. “Senate Republicans are bashing Sen. Charles Schumer’s (D-N.Y.) call for increased Saudi Arabian oil production to help ease prices, alleging it shows that Democrats are weak when it comes to boosting North American energy supplies and jobs. Schumer on Sunday urged Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to press Saudi officials to expand production, noting that the kingdom is producing well below its capacity of 12.5 million barrels per day.” (Ben German, “Senate GOP Slams Schumer’s Push Fpr Saudis to Ramp Up Oil Production,” The Hill’s E2 Wire, 2/27/12)

  • Schumer Called On The State Department To “Work With The Government Of Saudi Arabia To Increase Its Oil Production.” “Schumer’s letter to Clinton called on the State Department to ‘work with the government of Saudi Arabia to increase its oil production, as they are currently producing well under their capacity.’ His letter notes that ‘These skyrocketing fuel prices are directly linked to the global energy market, particularly Iran’s recent efforts to manipulate oil prices and the worry of impacts on supply from an escalation of regional hostilities.’” (Ben German, “Senate GOP Slams Schumer’s Push Fpr Saudis to Ramp Up Oil Production,” The Hill’sE2 Wire, 2/27/12)


Obama Denied The Keystone Pipeline, “An Important Link Between A U.S. Market That's Thirsty For Energy And A Rich Source Of Petroleum In Nice, Stable, Neighborly Canada.” “The Obama administration announced Wednesday that it will deny a permit to build the Keystone XL pipeline, an important link between a U.S. market that's thirsty for energy and a rich source of petroleum in nice, stable, neighborly Canada.” (Editorial, “Pipeline Politics: Misguided Obama Blocks Keystone Pipeline,” Chicago Tribune, 1/19/12)

“The Oil From Canada Could Ultimately Supplant Much Of The Oil The United States Imports From The Middle East And Other Unstable Regions. It Could Give The Country A Measure Of Energy Security.” (Editorial, “Pipeline Delay An Insult To Jobless,” The Detroit News, 11/14/11)

According To A State Department Report, Pipeline Is “Needed” To Maintain Supplies As Imports Decline.  “The pipeline is needed to maintain supplies of heavy crude oil to Gulf Coast refineries as imports decline, according to today’s State Department report.” (David Lerman & Jim Efstathiou Jr., “TransCanada Pipeline’s Environment Risk Limited, U.S. Finds,” Bloomberg, 8/26/11)

The New York Times’ Joe Nocera: “Oil From The Canadian Tar Sands Ought To Be Viewed As A Great Gift That Has Been Handed To North America.” “Along with the natural gas that can now be extracted thanks to hydraulic fracturing — which, of course, all right-thinking environmentalists also oppose — the oil from the Canadian tar sands ought to be viewed as a great gift that has been handed to North America.” (Joe Nocera, Op-Ed, “Poisoned Politics Of Keystone XL,” The New York Times, 2/6/12)

  • “These Two Relatively New Sources Of Fossil Fuels Offer America Its First Real Chance In Decades To Become, If Not Energy Self-Sufficient, At Least Energy Secure, No Longer Beholden To OPEC.” (Joe Nocera, Op-Ed, “Poisoned Politics Of Keystone XL,” The New York Times, 2/6/12)


Under Obama, Approval Of Permits For Domestic Energy Production Has Declined

 “The Reality Is That Most Of The Increase In U.S. Oil And Gas Production Has Come Despite The Obama Administration.” (Editorial, “‘Stupid’ And Oil Prices,” The Wall Street Journal, 2/27/12)

Federal Issued Drilling Permits Under The Obama Administration Are Lower Than The Historical Average. “In early 2010, he proposed to open some new areas to drilling but shut that down after the Gulf oil spill. According to the Greater New Orleans Gulf Permits Index for January 31, over the previous three months the feds issued an average of three deep-water drilling permits a month compared to the historical average of seven. Over the same three months, the feds approved an average of 4.7 shallow-water permits a month, compared to the historical average of 14.7.” (Editorial, “‘Stupid’ And Oil Prices,” The Wall Street Journal, 2/27/12)

  • “Approval Of An Offshore Drilling Plan Now Takes 92 Days, 31 More Than The Historical Average” (Editorial, “‘Stupid’ And Oil Prices,” The Wall Street Journal, 2/27/12)
  • “And So Far In 2012, An Average Of 23% Of All Drilling Plans Have Been Approved, Compared To The Average Of 73.4%.” (Editorial, “‘Stupid’ And Oil Prices,” The Wall Street Journal, 2/27/12)

A Congressional Research Service Analysis Found That Obama’s Proposed Tax Increases On The Oil And Gas Industry Would Decrease “Exploration, Development, And Production” And Increase Prices And Foreign Oil Dependency. “[T]he tax changes proposed in Table 1 would increase tax collections from the oil and natural gas industries and may have the effect of decreasing exploration, development, and production, while increasing prices and increasing the nation’s foreign oil dependence.” (Robert Pirog, “Oil And Natural Gas Industry Tax Issues In The FY2012 Budget Proposal,” Congressional Research Service, 3/3/11)

 “[T]he Backlog On Deepwater Exploration And Development Plans Has Increased And The Administration Has Been Slower To Approve Permits Since The [BP Oil Spill].” (Huma Khan, “Energy Debate Heats Up Amid 2012 Elections,” ABC News’ The Note , 10/31/11)

Increased Domestic Production Has Nothing To Do With Obama

A “Variety Of Factors” Have Lead To A Decrease In Dependence On Foreign Oil, “Most Of Them Outside Obama’s Control.” “The ad also states, “For the first time in 13 years, our dependence on foreign oil is below 50 percent.” But again, it’s questionable how much credit Obama gets for that. The same Energy Information Administration report cited in the ad concluded that the downward trend began in 2005 and was based on a “variety of factors,” most of them outside Obama’s control.” (“AdWatch: Obama’s 1st Campaign TV Ad Defends His Energy Record Without Feel-Good Images,” The Associated Press, 1/20/12)

A Decrease In Dependence On Foreign Oil Is “Not Tethered To Anything Obama Has Done” And Is Due To Factors “Before Obama Took Office.” “The Obama ad that quickly slips in claims that slickly appear to be the result of Obama’s policies, though the ad does not directly make that claim—a reference to 2.7 million clean-energy jobs, a note that for the first time in 13 years foreign oil imports are below 50 percent. Those figures are correct, but they are also not tethered to anything Obama has done. The report that mentioned the 2.7 million jobs simply said that is how many potentially exist. Meanwhile, the Energy Department cited a host of reasons why foreign oil imports have declined, noting the main reason was ‘a significant contraction in consumption’ because of the poor economy and changes in efficiency that began ‘two years before the 2008 crisis’—ie, before Obama took office.” (Glenn Kessler, “Obama Ad Cherry-Picks Fact Checking Organization,”Washington Post’s The Fact Checker, 1/19/12)

Obama Oversells The Government’s Influence On The Energy Industry And Many Wells Coming Into Production Were Planned Before He Was President. “Obama is not only hoping that simple, rock-solid statistic will silence his GOP critics, he's angling to get some credit for the trend as he navigates a tricky re-election campaign. But he oversells the government's influence on the industry and ignores the fact that many wells coming into production were planned years ago, before he was president.” (Dina Cappielo, “FACT CHECK: Obama, GOP Spin Recent Energy Stats,” The Associated Press, 2/6/12)

“He Doesn’t Want To Admit It, But President Obama Is Taking Credit For Something George W. Bush Did. The White House Is Touting Federal Data That Shows Domestic Oil Production Is At Its Highest Level Since 2003.” (Amy Harder, “Obama’s Fuzzy Oil Production Math,” National Journal, 3/17/11)

  • For 2009 And 2010, Oil Production Numbers Are Due To Actions Taken Before Obama Became President, Especially Since He Didn’t Take Any Major Action To Expand Offshore Drilling In His First Year. “While Bush was in office from 2001 to 2009, the oil and gas industry saw many new leases and other expanded drilling opportunities. In March 2010, Obama announced plans to expand offshore drilling, but he retreated in the aftermath of the BP oil spill. According to EIA’s short-term 2011 outlook, released last week, oil production was significantly higher in 2009 than in the years prior. Obama may have been in office for most of that year, but the oil production numbers are due to action taken before he became president. In 2010, most if not all of the production increase recorded is likely due to action that predates Obama, since Obama didn’t take any major action expanding offshore drilling his first year in office.” (Amy Harder, “Obama’s Fuzzy Oil Production Math,” National Journal, 3/17/11)

Rep. Dan Boren (D-OK) Said The Increase In Oil Production In The U.S. “Doesn’t Have Anything To Do With The Government.” FOX NEWS’ WILLIAM LA JEUNESSE: “Critics say the president is taking credit he doesn't deserve since new oil well takes five to 15 years to come online and most U.S. production gains have come off private not federal land.” REP. DAN BOREN (D-OK): “That's really why you're seeing an increase in production that doesn't have anything to do with government.” (Fox News’ "Special Report," 2/20/12)

  • Rep. Dan Boren (D-OK) Said That Obama’s Claim Of Opening Up New Areas For Offshore Drilling Has Been “Merely Talk.” OBAMA: “I'm directing my administration to open more than 75 percent of our potential offshore oil and gas resources.” FOX NEWS’ WILLIAM LA JEUNESSE: But compare, Bush opened the Atlantic, Pacific, and most of Alaska to drilling. Obama closed all those areas. REP. DAN BOREN (D-OK): “There was a lot of talk about opening up new areas, but it's been just that. It's merely talk.” (Fox News’ "Special Report," 2/20/12)

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