President Obama fought back against rising oil and retail gas prices in a speech in Florida on Thursday. But it was a curious speech. He started out by mocking Republicans, stating that GOP candidates are licking their chops as gasoline prices rocket up. He said, “They are already dusting off their three-point plans for $2 gas. I’ll save you the suspense: Step one is drill, step two is drill, and step three is keep drilling.”
Very clever. It’s kind of what Newt Gingrich said in this week’s Arizona debate.
But here’s the curious part. Obama said, “If we’re going to take control of our energy future; if we’re going to avoid these gas-price spikes down the line, then we need a sustained all-of-the-above strategy that develops every available source of American energy — oil, gas, wind, solar, nuclear, biofuels, and more.”
That’s a Republican
policy. All of the above. George W. Bush used to say it. John McCain ran on it in 2008. And you hear Republicans talk in similar terms all the time. “All of the above.”
Obama next took credit for record oil and gas production. He took a bow for more rigs and the approval of pipelines (including from Canada!). He then argued that his administration has opened millions of acres for oil and gas exploration.
Well, I don’t know about the pipeline part. He sure hasn’t opened Keystone. And most people in the oil business say the administration has been slow-walking off-shore permits, restricting access on federal lands, and excluding Alaska and the Arctic. They also note the general nuisance of the EPA, including its recent attack on hydraulic fracking.
But people in the business will tell you that production is high, and that things began turning around years before the administration took office. Of course, the great energy revolution has come with all the new shale fields in the Dakotas, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas, and elsewhere, which has led to a gusher of new oil and natural gas.