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National Journal: Obama Taking Credit For Bush’s Boost In Oil Production

March 18th, 2011 by mopns · No Comments

In his news conference last Friday, President Obama said something that struck many observers as interesting. He told reporters, “Last year, American oil production reached its highest level since 2003. Let me repeat that. Our oil production reached its highest level in seven years. Oil production from federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico reached an all-time high.” Yesterday, National Journal examined Obama’s claim in an article titled, “Obama’s Fuzzy Oil Production Math.”

National Journal writes, “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. In a blog post last week, Obama’s top climate and energy aide, Heather Zichal, points to Energy Information Administration data that shows oil production from the Outer Continental Shelf (which basically means the Gulf of Mexico) has increased by more than a third between 2008 and 2010.

“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.”

 But the Obama administration has taken action since then, as Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell pointed out on Wednesday. “Over the past two years, the Obama administration has delayed, revoked, suspended, or canceled an enormous range of development opportunities. One month after the President took office, his administration cancelled 77 oil and gas leases in Utah — once the review was complete the administration refused to reinstate a single one. . . . Last January, it announced new restrictions for onshore oil and gas exploration in the Mountain West. Last February, it denied a permit to build a bridge needed to access an oil producing field in Alaska, after the Environmental Protection Agency designated a nearby river an aquatic resource of national importance. Last April, the Administration suspended 61 oil and gas leases in Montana that were issued in 2008 — then announced that all oil and gas leases in Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota would be delayed indefinitely. Last May, the President announced a 6-month moratorium on deepwater drilling — a moratorium that’s been repeatedly struck down in the courts.”

As Leader McConnell told Fox News’ Chris Wallace on Sunday, “…oil production is up slightly principally because of actions taken by the previous administration. But this administration in the last two years has been shutting down wells. . . . There has been a conscious effort to make it difficult to drill in this country. Both on shore and offshore by the bureaucrats who have been appointed by this administration and president. Noting that there has been a slight uptick in production doesn’t get to the heart of the problem. Sixty percent of our oil is coming from overseas. That’s unacceptable. We have vast reserves in this country, particularly in Alaska. My goodness, when are we going to use our own reserves and quit depending so much on areas of the world that don’t like us?”

Related:

Rasmussen Reports:

40% Still Support New Nuclear Plants In U.S., 38% Oppose

22% Say U.S. Heading in Right Direction, Lowest of Obama’s Presidency

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