- Apr 12, 2008
- Reaction score
- real world
Energy: Industry leaders gathered in Houston say rising fuel output comes in spite of, not because of, the president's policies and the pain at the pump will soon be excruciating.
Energy executives and other industry players gathered for the North American Prospect Expo (NAPE) in Houston shredded administration assertions that it is opening up areas for oil and gas exploration and that its policies are responsible for increased oil and gas production on President Obama's watch.
"These have been the most difficult three years from a policy standpoint that I've ever seen in my career," Bruce Vincent, president of Houston oil and natural gas producer Swift Energy, told the Houston Chronicle.
"They've done nothing but restrict access and delay permitting," he added. "The Obama administration, unfortunately, has threatened this industry at every turn."
Vincent led the voices exposing White House press secretary Jay Carney's phony assertion Wednesday when asked about gas prices soaring above $4 per gallon.
Carney said President Obama had "put in place policies that will dramatically expand the amount of exploration in the Gulf of Mexico, will expand the amount of exploration in Alaska, will expand the amount of natural gas production here in the U.S."
Really? "The administration has done everything BUT support drilling," said NAPE attendee and former Shell executive John Hofmeister. "We are on the verge of slipping into an energy abyss."
Shell has fought the administration to begin drilling in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska.
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The federal government estimates there are 26.6 billion barrels of recoverable oil and 130 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in the Arctic Ocean's Outer Continental Shelf but repeated safety reviews and designation of much of the region as critical polar bear habitat has slowed development to a crawl.
Only 2.2% of federal offshore land is currently being leased for production.
Then there are the 10 billion barrels locked up in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve, which would require drilling in just 2,000 acres out of 19 million.
The Obama administration recently rescinded 77 oil and gas leases in Utah and stalled oil shale research and development in Utah, Colorado and Wyoming, where the federal government owns most of the world's oil shale reserves.
Out West, we may have a "Persia on the Plains." A Rand Corp. study says the Green River Formation, which covers parts of Colorado, Utah and Wyoming, has the largest known oil shale deposits in the world, holding from 1.5 trillion to 1.8 trillion barrels of crude — most of it locked up by federal edict.
Under President Obama, the American Petroleum Institute notes, leases on federal lands in the West are down 44%, while permits and new well drilling are both down 39% compared to 2007 levels.
After the BP oil spill, President Obama shut down most Gulf of Mexico drilling and there's been a 57% drop in monthly deepwater permits since 2008, according to the Greater New Orleans Gulf Permit Index.
Domestic oil output is up largely because individual states such as North Dakota and Pennsylvania allow drilling on nonfederal lands to get oil and gas locked in shale formations such as the Marcellus and Bakken.
The Environmental Protection Agency is currently investigating the safety of the long-used technique of hydraulic fracturing or "fracking." The Eagle Ford Shale in South Texas, the Permian Basin in Texas where the feds seek to protect an endangered lizard, and the Bakken Shale in North Dakota now make up about 40% of the nation's land-based oil output. The Obama administration had nothing to do with it.
As the President takes credit for the fruits of an innovative oil and gas industry, he has cut us off from more oil — including Canadian, by not building the Keystone XL pipeline — than the Iranians and the rest of OPEC could ever do.