The Spectrum Reacts to Obama’s Oil Policy

by | Mar 31, 2010 | Headline News | 11 comments

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    President Obama’s recent move to the center of the traditional political spectrum is either a calculated political move or a deeper understanding of the peak oil crisis facing the world, or both.

    Here’s how elected representatives, special interests and voters are reacting.

    House Minority Leader John Boehner:

    “Opening up areas off the Virginia coast to offshore production is a positive step, but keeping the Pacific Coast and Alaska, as well as the most promising resources off the Gulf of Mexico, under lock and key makes no sense.”

    Mac Reacts: While you talk a great game Mr. Boehner, wasn’t it a Republican congress and President who failed to have the foresight and understanding of developing oil problems to drill in these locations before President Obama took over? It was more politically expedient at the time to gloss over any substantial energy policy because there was not yet a crisis and you didn’t want to ruffle any feathers. Spare us your empty diatribe.

    Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club:

    “What we need is bold, decisive steps towards clean energy … not more dirty, expensive offshore drilling. The oil industry already has access to drilling on millions of acres of America’s public lands and water. We don’t need to hand over our last protected pristine coastal areas just so oil companies can break more profit records.”

    Mac Reacts: Mr. Brune is on target with the idea that we need a “bold, decisive” energy policy. Bold, however, does not mean forcing energy mandates down the throats of the American people via economic atom bombs like cap and trade. It means relaxing taxation on small and large businesses alike, allowing them to invest more money into technologies that will make us independent of depleting resources. Also, before you spout your disinformation we have to correct you on something: oil profits hover at around 9.7%, not exactly jaw dropping. And, a little fact that we realize you may not understand or do not care to research, is that when companies increase their profits it creates JOBS. Not only that, but investors (like those people with 401k’s and IRA’s) grow their accounts via increased stock prices and dividends.

    Jonathan Hiskes, Grist:

    “This is … stunning. Baffling. With the new policy Obama appears to be taking a major step toward siding with carbon-polluting industries in the battle to defend the energy status quo.”

    Mac Reacts: Good point, and there may be some truth to it, but we think this is a move by the Obama administration to pave the way to passing the Cap and Trade. Of course, the energy producers will probably find a way to pass that on to consumers too, so in the end, the consumers are the ones that will get slammed. Also, we realize that polution results from oil production and we support alternative energy exploration, development and invention, but the fact is that we need oil and we need it now. If we don’t drill our own, then we are at the mercy of our suppliers. Strategically, this is a solid move while we move towards alternative energy over the course of the next several decades.

    Chuck Todd, NBC, in a tweet:

    “Amazing the politics of offshore oil drilling has shifted so dramatically that a Dem POTUS could do this w/little fear of enviro retribution.”

    Mac Reacts: The enviro nutz will certainly flip out – see Sierra Club above and Greenpeace below.

    Marc Ambinder, The Atlanti:

    “By announcing this BEFORE the Senate moves forward with its climate change legislation, which may or may not include cap-and-trade (probably not), the White House is betting that they’ll force Republicans into a corner before the public debate begins, they’ll give some cover to moderate Democratic members of Congress (who love it when Obama picks a fight with his own base), and they’ll get some public cred with Americans who want to see the president moving quickly to find opportunities to create jobs. This isn’t about votes in Congress per se, it’s about perception, cover and framing the debate. It’s also a move that tries to get ahead of rising gas prices.”

    Mac Reacts: This sounds about right.

    Taylor Marsh, political blogger:

    “This is a calculated and pragmatic political decision, mixing all the possible variables facing the President. It’s not progressive, but then Pres. Obama isn’t a progressive. If you thought he was you simply didn’t pay attention. Today’s decision is simply the energy version of what happened on health care.

    Mac Reacts: What? forget all that stuff about energy policy. What is this lady smoking? President Obama must be a Blue Dog Democrat then? Progressive=Liberal Socialist.  Socialism/Progressivism is a badge of honor for half of voting Americans today, and their spokesperson is President Barack Obama. There is no need for further discussion on this one especially considering Newsweek ran a story last year with the headline “We’re All Socialists Now.”

    Sarah Palin tweeted:

    “Drill, baby, drill.”

    Mac Reacts: Yeah, we get it. Drill. Whatever you do though, please don’t run for President.

    Phil Radford, executive director Of Greenpeace:

    “Is this President Obama’s clean energy plan or Palin’s drill baby drill campaign? While China and Germany are winning the clean energy race, this act furthers America’s addiction to oil. Expanding offshore drilling in areas that have been protected for decades threatens our oceans and the coastal communities that depend on them with devastating oil spills, more pollution and climate change.”

    Mac Reacts: We realize you have an agenda Mr. Radford, and China may be going crazy with solar panels, but if you didn’t notice, they are drilling all over the world and heavily investing in oil resources. The Russians are in the Arctic. We’ve been sitting here twiddling our thumbs for the last two decades. You must understand, all liberal bias aside, the we have to drill for oil right now, especially within our own borders and along our coasts, otherwise our economy literally dies.

    Mark Thoma, Economist’s View:

    “Increasing the risks to the environment in an attempt to save the environment seems like a less than optimal strategy.”

    Mac Reacts: Drilling for oil is not an environmental strategy. What the hell are you talking about?

    Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), in a statement:

    “I thought the president’s speech correctly emphasized the national security aspects of this problem … As to the Obama administration’s proposal for environmentally sound offshore exploration for American oil and natural gas, this is a good first step. But there is more that must be done to make this proposal meaningful and the game-changer we all want it to become.”

    Mac Reacts: Yeah, there is much more to be done. Step One to change the game: Kick you and the rest of your clown friends out of the circus we refer to as Congress. See reaction to Boehner above for why this is a good idea.

    Jonathan Ruiz of Florida International University, who campaigned for Obama for fourteen months:

    “It’s like a kick in the face.”

    Mac Reacts: Welcome to the face kicking party. Many of us have had our skulls bashed in and groins severely bruised as a result of the President’s policies. You get no sympathy from us, Jonathan.


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      1. Because of Obama’s financial pandering to Wall Street over the last 12 months the U.S. dollar will be heavily devalued soon by as much as 50% and so the United States ability to buy oil from foreign producers with a impaired currency will be significantly inhibited.    The only short term answer is to drill in the United States.    Washington D.C. is getting more desperate by the day.   May the Obama regime fall from power soon.

      2. I’m not buying this one at all.  Regardless of whether or not we really “should” be drilling…

        It’s purely a political move to corral a few votes from some moderates and/or conservatives.  He did something similar during the State of the Union address.

        Additionally, although I generally don’t consider myself to be a “conspiracy theorist,” I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the reactions from the left is just more political gamesmanship to serve the same purpose.

        “Oh, look – now some liberals are mad at Obama…so, that means I should like him more!”

        I’ll put the odds of Obama actually taking steps that will legitimately lead to an increase in domestic drilling for fossil fuels at roughly the same as me winning the upcoming Masters.

      3. From what I heard on TV (worth pennies on the dollar maybe?) Obama said he would “consider” expanded drilling, and the Fox News pundits said none of this would even start til 2012. Most of my family works in the oil industry, and if the Prez was really interested in boosting our domestic production, wells could be making hole within 6 months or so. Looks and sounds more like grandstanding – and when he ‘decides’ it’s not really a good idea somewhere down the line, he’ll make all the Greenpeace/other enviromentalists very happy again. He’s really just looking for something to detract from the continuing healthcare fallout, IMHO.

      4. And Rick – don’t know if you golf or not, but either way I’d put money on you over expanded domestic oil drilling!!! 😉

      5. Dear Mr. President,

        Shut the heck up! How many times have you said something? …not coming after our guns? What were you, two weeks into office when you told congress that your pen was ready to sign the renewal of the Assault Weapons Ban (Which was actually the semi-auto rifle ban…)?

        What was it you said about a more accountable, more open government?

        More representative?

        …wouldn’t raise taxes on the middle class?

        …would shut down GITMO?

        …get us out of the wars?

        Excuse me if I’m a little bitter. I will try and keep this as professional as my conscience can stand, but WE DON’T [expletive deleted]ING BELIEVE YOU! Everything that proceedeth out of your mouth is a lie. Come November, your team is toast. Come 2012, you are toast.

        We will repeal the health care yoke you’ve fitted to our necks. Quite honestly, you’ll probably have to leave the country. I doubt that after the damage you have done to this county, the people will ever forgive you.

        You are the most dishonest, manure shoveling, blame shifting, whiney, half cocked president we have ever had.

        I kept my mouth shut and gave you a chance. I didn’t vote for you but after the election I thought, “Shew! Thats over. He can’t be that bad. He’ll do some good things.”

        I cannot believe how wrong I was. Not only have to done nothing good, you have done EVERYTHING bad. In fact, I don’t know how you could have done anything *ANY* worse!!! In November we will elect a congress that will put you in chains. In 2012, we’ll be sending you back to your Chicaghole to stay.

      6. NR – good stuff. You have every right to be a little bitter.

        granny – It’s wierd that considering the President is pushing expanding oil drilling, that he has not YET considered, well, expanded drilling. Is it just me, or is this odd?

        I think Rick is right, this is all for show.

      7. Mac – I’ll believe he actually meant it when I hear the drilling has commenced! We’re talking the original ringmaster of the three ring circus!!! (No offense to Ringling, et al) I’d call it a great show, but I’m not impressed or entertained. Just generally pissed off and fed up!

      8. Has Obama done anything but lie?
        Really, who believes him anymore.

        There’s a strong argument to the FACT that Obama is a spineless, lying  puppet of monied interests ( i.e. … the consummate politician).

      9. Not to mention the FACT that going out to drill for oil is not like popping popcorn! you just don’t flip a switch and bingo! oil. it is a long and involved process , and we have yet to hear from our “Friends” the enviromental groups who are going to be outraged at the president .  Thay will be there with lawyers hand in hand to throw a monkey wrench into the plans ! End result is:  This aint gonna happen guys !

      10. Comments…..He decides to open areas for drilling yet something is just not right. I remember, he asked the EPA to initiate much of the Cap and Tax bill into effest. So we can go drill but just not drill!

      11. Even without legal challenges from the evironmentals, it will take time for interested drillers to evaluate the new areas available; time for Minerals and Managent to schedule lease sales; time for seismic studies by Big Oil prior to drilling; and time to build new ocean drilling rigs to meet new drilling demand. Bottom line, we are looking at about four years before you see oil coming from offshore Virginia.

        OBTW, expect THAT O&G to go to DC and lower gasoline and energy costs for the DC/New York corridor. It won’t do jack for US.

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