Obama wages war on fossil fuel while taking credit for lower gasoline prices

A version of this editorial appears this week in the Battle Born Media newspapers — The Ely Times, the Mesquite Local News, the Mineral County Independent-News, the Eureka Sentinel and the Lincoln County Record:

The price of gasoline in parts of the country has dropped below $2 a gallon after hovering near $4 for so long.

In fact, in the most basic terms, the price of gasoline is the lowest it has ever been. According to the American Enterprise Institute, the average American only has to work for 24 minutes to afford enough fuel to drive 100 miles. Back in 1980 it took nearly an hour, but wages are higher, mileage is better and prices are lower.

The fundamental reason for lower prices is increased supply as technology — horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing — has allowed domestic production of crude oil to soar.

In his State of the Union speech President Obama this week stated, “We believed we could reduce our dependence on foreign oil and protect our planet. And today, America is number one in oil and gas. …  And thanks to lower gas prices and higher fuel standards, the typical family this year should save about $750 at the pump.”

He has being saying this for some time. In one of his weekend radio speeches Obama told us with a straight face, “Under my administration, we’re producing more oil here at home than at any time in the last eight years, that’s a fact.”

Oil pump jacks dot the oil field in Railroad Valley, southwest of Ely. (BLM photo)

According to a Congressional Research Service report that came out shortly after Obama’s comments, that is indeed a fact. The research service reported that U.S. crude oil production increased 38 percent from 2009 to 2013. Breaking that down further, the report said this was due to production on private land increasing by 61 percent, while production on federal public land actually fell — yes, fell — by 6 percent.

Under Obama’s administration the backlog of drilling permits at the Bureau of Land Management alone has topped 3,500 and the time it takes to obtain a permit has doubled. BLM recently has cut the acreage available in some oil and gas lease auctions by half to reduce the impact on sage grouse habitat.

The BLM’s own stats show in fiscal year 2014 the number of new drilling permits issued was one third of the number in 2006, both nationally and in Nevada. Also the number of acres of new oil and gas leases in 2014 was a quarter of the acreage leased in 2006, also both nationally and in Nevada.

In that radio address Obama called for attacking high gasoline prices by demanding Congress vote to repeal what he called $4 billion in subsidies — really the same tax breaks every other industry gets — for big oil companies.

“In the next few weeks, I expect Congress to vote on ending these subsidies,” Obama said. “And when they do, we’re going to put every single member of Congress on record: They can either stand up for oil companies, or they can stand up for the American people. They can either place their bets on a fossil fuel from the last century, or they can place their bets on America’s future. So make your voice heard. Send your representative an email. Give them a call. Tell them to stand with you.”

Congress ignored him, but that $4 billion would have been added on at the pump and come out of our wallets, not the pockets of fat cat oil barons.

Just this past week Obama continued his war on fossil fuels by announcing by fiat new standards for the release of methane during oil and gas production, demanding that methane emissions be cut by 45 percent in the coming decade.

The cost of doing that is unknown. It is not known whether the technology to do so even exists. And some scientists argue that methane’s impact on climate change — of which there has been none for 18 years — is negligible, if any.

Landfills and agriculture emit more methane than the oil and gas industry, according to the EPA, but Obama has not targeted those at all.

In the war on high fuel prices, Obama is not a conscientious objector, he is the enemy.

Enjoy the price at the pump while you can, your president is doing everything he can to make it short-lived.


19 comments on “Obama wages war on fossil fuel while taking credit for lower gasoline prices

  1. Steve says:

    Imagine how much lower the price at the pump would be if our government wasn’t working “for” us so damn well!

    And I have begun to see increasing prices at the stations just today.

  2. nyp says:

    those higher prices today are all President Obama’s fault. But the lower prices yesterday are not to his credit, not will be the lower prices tomorrow.

  3. nyp says:

    BTW, it is somehow comforting to see that Thomas Mitchell is still denying climate change.

  4. Athos says:

    Still got your CCX stock, eh, petey? You’ll be rich when they finally bamboozle enough people to open that exchange!

    Will you buy us all a pony?

  5. Steve says:

    Mitch doesn’t deny the climate is changing…along with many of us, he simply questions how much is really due to human activity and if ANY of the doom and gloom predictions will come to pass. AND the demands that all human activities be stopped instantly to “save the planet”. Bunk! the planet will be just fine with or without humans on it!

  6. Nyp says:

    Nope – he flatly denies that the Earth is getting appreciably warmer. He doesn’t believe it.

    However, I agree with your statement that planet Earth will continue to exist whether or not it can support human society in its current form.

  7. Steve says:

    Nope, he says climate change as described by self proclaimed “climate scientists” has not occurred for the last 18 years.
    On this he is correct. They keep claiming their computer models are correct when in fact, they are OFF by 3 whole degrees! And only getting more wrong with each passing year.

  8. Nyp says:

    Right — both he and you deny that the Earth is getting warmer.

  9. Steve says:

    No, I do not accept the whole cloth of the claimed cause.

  10. Rincon says:

    Rather than doubting the claimed cause, Conservatives assert that the claimed cause is impossible. A ridiculous position.

  11. Steve says:

    Are you generalizing for a whole group of people based on a preconceived notion, Rincon?

  12. Athos says:

    So petey and rinny believe that the earth is getting “appreciatively warmer”?

  13. Athos says:

    Oops! Appreciably not appreciatively! (although the error could be considered appropriate?)

  14. Rincon says:

    I did not say all Conservatives Steve. but the number that believe man is a significant cause of warming is quite small. Conservatives share many common characteristics. That’s why they have a title.

  15. Steve says:

    Nooo….Conservative views are widely of the opinion that the effects humans have on the climate are in no way as large as is claimed by the insiders at the IPCC.
    Humans are an integral part of the climate there cannot be some effects from human activities. It’s just not as large as is desired by those who covet power over others.

  16. nyp says:

    No, Thomas Mitchell simply denies that the Earth is becoming appreciably warmer.

    There is no need for him to fall back upon your pitiful defense that the massive amount of greenhouse gases that we are emitting into the atmosphere through the use of carbon-based fuels does not make a significant contribution to the greenhouse effect. Since Mr. Mitchell does not belive the planet is getting warmer, there is no need for him to go there.

  17. Steve says:

    significant contribution……described by some as devastating and by others ans barely impactful.

  18. Rincon says:

    Both extremes are wrong. To claim that we can predict the effect of the increase in greenhouse gases is the height of arrogance.

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