Talk about dishonesty! President Barack Hussein Obama, while in the White House Rose Garden, said, “Congress up until this point has thought it was a good idea to send billions more of your tax dollars to the oil industry.” Not one cent has ever, during the Obama administration, been sent to the oil industry. So, again, we have Obama demonstrably lying. He was trying to get the Senate to end oil company tax incentives, something available to ANY company. But the Democrat controlled Senate did not go along with Obama. The Senate bill needed 60 votes to clear a Senate procedural rule, different from a filibuster, but as widely predicted, it failed on a vote of 51-47, mainly along party lines. The proposal, sponsored by Robert Menendez (D-MD), would have cut billions of dollars in tax breaks for the “big five” oil companies: ExxonMobil, BP, ConocoPhillips, Chevron, and Royal Dutch Shell. Obama, who has proposed eliminating even more subsidies than Menendez has, hailed the bill, with his administration releasing a statement in support of it. And there’s that word “subsidies” again. Will the Obama mendacity ever cease?
Obama said, “With only 2 percent of the world’s oil reserves, we can’t just drill our way to lower gas prices. Not when we consume 20 percent of the world’s oil.” But the 2 percent figure Obama uses refers to proved oil reserves and greatly undercounts how much oil the US actually has. In fact, far from being oil poor, the country has vast quantities of oil; enough to meet all the country’s oil needs for hundreds of years. The US has 22.3 billion barrels of proved reserves, a little less than 2 percent of the entire world’s proved reserves, but proved reserves are a small subset of recoverable resources because they only count oil that companies are currently drilling for in existing fields. When you look at the whole picture, it turns out that there are vast supplies of oil in the US according to various government reports. The US has 60 times more oil than Obama claims.
Exxon Mobil is no longer the world’s biggest publicly traded producer of oil. For the first time, that distinction belongs to Chinese company PetroChina, the Beijing collosus created by the Chinese government 13 years ago to secure more oil for that nation’s booming economy. PetroChina announced that it pumped 2.4 million barrels a day last year, surpassing Exxon by 100,000 barrels a day. The company has grown rapidly over the last decade by extracting more from China’s aging oil fields, and by outspending Western companies to acquire more petroleum reserves in places like Canada, Iraq and Qatar.
So with Obama’s proclivity for not being honest (not even close to honesty), and China’s big oil interests in the Middle East, let’s look at how oil self-sufficiency (some would say energy independence) could impact US foreign policy.
The US currently devotes about $50 billion of its military budget to patrolling the Persian Gulf and stationing thousands of troops in the region. The US hypocritically calls for Middle East democracy while supporting medieval sheikdoms and monarchies in the oil-exporting gulf. Petrodollars from the US seem to find their way into the hands of terrorists bent on killing Americans and their allies. An energy self-sufficient US may not need to protect Middle East oil fields and shipping lanes. US foreign policy, for once, really could be predicated on the principle of supporting those nations that embrace constitutional government and human rights, without worry that offended dictators, theocrats and kings would turn off the spigots. Without high oil prices, Hugo Chavez and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would just be neighborhood loudmouths, rather than regional threats.
An energy self-sufficient US could also relieve pressure on nations in Africa, Asia and Latin America, that would save billions of dollars on their imported energy bills.
Farmers, manufacturers and heavy industries could gain an edge over foreign competitors, as everything from fertilizer and plastics to shipping and electrical power would become less expensive.
The world was transformed in the 1970s, when world oil prices quadrupled. We should do our part in ensuring that at last the tables are turned in our favor. And we can if only Obama and his silly “green energy” policy will just get out of the way.
But that’s just my opinion.