I was puzzled by the recent news that PresBO has decided to release 30 million barrels of oil from the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve and several days later, my confusion remains despite reading a number of articles addressing this surprising move. It occurs to me that it is just indicative of the current administration’s leadership strategy, which is frankly equal parts reactionary and political, but always misguided.
So here are my thoughts on this current attempt to ease the high prices Americans are facing at the gas pump…
First, this move is too little too late. The fact is oil prices were at their peak around April of 2011 and have been steadily declining over the last few months so that prices were already easing slightly. So why release this oil now? Particularly when we are in the beginning days of hurricane season, and we realize how beneficial it is to have the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), for example, in the days following Hurricane Katrina, when supply was majorly disrupted. So, instead of maintaining the SPR until a real crisis occurs, the President has opted to release 30 million barrels of the Reserve for seeming little more that earning political brownie points with the American people.
This was taken at a BP station in Atlanta, via Rusty Tanton.
Gas prices have no doubt been on the minds of Americans as they travel to and from work and pick up their kids from school. They’re looking for relief, but they’re not getting any answers from the Obama Administration.
As we’ve mentioned before, the White House pays lip-service to the issue, but there has been no real action. In fact, the only real action that we’ve seen is the rejection of Keystone XL, which Obama personally lobbied to kill. Obama and his apologists claim that oil production from inside the United States has increased during his administration. However, that argument is dubious.
Their goal has been to drive the price of oil by dragging their feet on drilling inside the United States. Energy Secretary Steven Chu made it clear in 2008, before he assumed office, that the goal was to drive gas “to the levels in Europe,” where the price per gallon can exceed $6. Of course, Chu now renounces that view, at least while the economy is moving as such a sluggish pace.
On Friday, I noted that polls indicated that Americans are growed incresingly concerned with high gas prices, which may influence their votes, at the same time President Barack Obama lobbied Congress to kill the Keystone XL pipeline. This fact is highlighted by a new survey from Gallup that shows that his do-nothing approach to gas prices may be a factor in the fall:
Concern over the price of fuel has taken on an increasingly important role in the campaign cycle, and a new poll shows 65 percent of Americans hold President Obama and Congress responsible for rising gas prices.
A majority of both Republicans and Democrats said they believe Obama and Congress can “do things to keep price of gas from rising,” according to a new poll by Gallup.
Thirty-one percent surveyed said they believe the rising price of gas is “largely beyond their control.” But 85 percent of those surveyed pushed for Obama and Congress to take some immediate action to control the rising price of gas, indicating a high level of concern.
President Obama has paid lip-service on the rising cost of gas, but he’ll no doubt target oil companies as the villian, much like many of his fellow Democrats want to do with their so-called “Reasonable Profits Board.” He’ll likely target their tax breaks once again, though those tax breaks aren’t at all significant, and want to give more money for alternative energy sources that already receive substantial breaks.
With the announcement of his re-election bid today, President Barack Obama’s first ad has already dropped. Well, it’s not his. It was released by the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) and it pokes fun at Obama for not living up to promises to cut the deficit and urging Brazil to drill for oil while his administration restricts use of oil reserves in the United States.
The end is particularly hilarious. The ad shows Obama riding on a unicorn with a rainbow following his path.
I know better than to write when I am angry, but I really just can’t help myself. This afternoon I had a conversation that was an epiphany of how absurd we have become as a nation. I guess it was not so much an epiphany as it was the impact of saying them all together in one long thought process. The conversation began on the topic of the economy and the financial struggles facing American families and businesses. That led to comments about how these problems could be fixed, and why they haven’t been. That is when my initial frustration began simmering, evolving into a full-fledged anger. When I look at all of the suffering we are enduring which is self-imposed, the lunacy of the situation is simply too hard to ignore. I’ll explain what I mean …
We’ve been told recently by this administration and their economic experts that inflation is actually quite low. By their standards I suppose that is true, but then again that inflation calculation does not factor in gasoline and food prices. Since the price of gas has doubled since Obama took office, which is worth making note of.
Why has the price of gas doubled? A number of reasons, and right near the top is an administration that desires high gas prices. Candidate Obama said his policies would make energy prices “necessarily skyrocket.” He wants our gas prices to align with Europe, which is often triple ours. To achieve that, his administration has done everything in their power to block domestic energy production. They’ve revoked oil and gas leases, delayed research on locating new energy sources, and used the Gulf oil spill as a pretext to ban offshore drilling, despite the exact opposite recommendation of the commission he appointed to study the issue.
While President Barack Obama sits on its hands as gas prices continue to rise, a new poll from Gallup shows that 60% of Americans favor off-shore drilling and 49% support drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR):
Six in 10 Americans favor increasing offshore drilling for oil and gas in U.S. coastal areas, up from 50% in May 2010.
Last year’s finding was recorded about a month after the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig off the U.S. Gulf Coast that resulted in a massive oil spill. News of that incident has faded, possibly lessening Americans’ resistance to coastal area drilling. At the same time, recent turbulence in the Middle East has caused oil prices to rise and has sparked discussion about the stability of the United States’ foreign oil supply.
Independents are represented fairly strongly in the polls with their numbers being identical to the rest of the nation on both off-shore drilling and ANWR. However, Republicans haven’t driven this issue as hard as they have in the past; though the rhetoric has become more noticable in recent days.
As gas prices continue to climb due to unrest in the Middle East, even Bill Clinton is wondering why it is taking so long to approve permits for oil drilling, especially as the economy sputters along:
Former President Bill Clinton said Friday that delays in offshore oil and gas drilling permits are “ridiculous” at a time when the economy is still rebuilding, according to attendees at the IHS CERAWeek conference.
Clinton spoke on a panel with former President George W. Bush that was closed to the media. Video of their moderated talk with IHS CERA Chairman Daniel Yergin was also prohibited.
But according to multiple people in the room, Clinton, surprisingly, agreed with Bush on many oil and gas issues, including criticism of delays in permitting offshore since last year’s Gulf of Mexico spill.
Clinton said there are “ridiculous delays in permitting when our economy doesn’t need it,” according to Noe and others.
“That was the most surprising thing they said,” Noe said.
The two former presidents both generally agreed on the need to get offshore drilling workers back on the job.
Clinton and Bush also agreed on the need for more domestic shale gas production, with Clinton noting that it has been done safely for years in his home state of Arkansas.
No doubt you’ve heard about the political unrest in Libya. Muammar Gaddafi’s regime is committing terrible acts against its own citizens, including reports of soldiers gunning down protesters. Vistors to the country are trying to get out as quickly and safely as possible. The Obama Administration has been caught in a difficult situtation in trying to make sure Americans are able to leave the country without incident.
Light, sweet crude for April delivery briefly hit $100 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange before falling back, ending the day at $98.10, up $2.68 or 2.8%. The last time the contract hit that level was Oct. 2, 2008, when crude prices tumbled from record highs and the U.S. economic recession began to set in.
Brent crude on the ICE futures exchange, which passed the $100-a-barrel threshold in January, was up $5.83, or 5.5%, at $111.61 a barrel in late trade. The differential between the two benchmarks widened again Wednesday to more than $13 a barrel.
Below is a collection of several links that we didn’t get around to writing about, but still wanted to post for readers to examine. The stories typically range from news about prominent figures in the liberty movement, national politics, the nanny state, foreign policy and free markets.