• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Obama's Words Don't Match with Action on Oil and Gas

    At this State of the Union address, President Obama proudly stated that “American oil production is the highest it’s been in eight years” and declared that his Administration would “open more than 75 percent of our potential offshore oil and gas resources.” While President Obama spoke favorably of the role that oil and gas development play in America, the President’s and his Administration’s actions don’t match with his words.

    There are several areas where the President and his Administration are unreasonably hindering access to more oil and gas for Americans and threatening the industry with punitive measures:

    • Keystone permit rejection. The Keystone XL pipeline would deliver oil from our Canadian ally, relieve some of the pain of high prices at the gas pump, and create jobs in America. Nevertheless, and despite a State Department environmental review concluding that the project poses no significant environmental risk, the President chose to reject TransCanada’s permit application to build the pipeline.
    • Targeted tax hikes. The President continues to threaten the oil industry with targeted tax hikes. Under the rhetoric of eliminating subsidies for the industry, the President’s proposal would eliminate certain tax treatments for oil that are available to many industries, effectively singling out the oil industry for a tax hike.
    • Slowdown of production on federal lands. While American oil production has been increasing, the vast majority of that production is taking place on private lands. Production on federal lands is actually 40 percent lower than it was 10 years ago. The House Natural Resources Committee also reports that under the Obama Administration, 2010 had the lowest number of onshore leases issued since 1984.
    • Fracking regulation. Hydraulic fracturing (or “fracking”) is a proven oil and gas extraction process that should not be subject to overly burdensome regulations. The Environmental Protection Agency is currently considering federal regulation of the fracking process under the Safe Drinking Water Act. The problem is that the agency is following a procedure that even the Department of Energy criticized for its “selective focus” on “negative outcomes.”

    Words alone will not make energy more abundant and affordable, nor will they create the energy-related jobs that would make the American economy stronger. If the President is truly concerned about increasing America’s energy access, he certainly has a funny way of showing it.

    For policies in that direction, Heritage policy analyst Nick Loris explains in two papers how to make gas and electricity prices more affordable and how to create jobs and raise government revenue through energy exploration.

    Update: While the U.S. Energy Information Administration is currently updating data used for its study of oil and gas production on federal lands, policies pursued by the Obama administration are poised to slowdown production on federal lands, such as a recent draft lease plan by the administration, which would close the majority of the Outer Continental Shelf to new energy production through 2017.

    Posted in Featured [slideshow_deploy]

    10 Responses to Obama's Words Don't Match with Action on Oil and Gas

    1. jason luna says:

      yeah right the reason keystone xl was rejected is that the port where the pipeline would end is considered a foreign trade zone thus profits earned from any transactions there are not subject to taxation in this country and most of the oil is targeted to be sold in central america, asia, and europe. it will do nothing to end our dependence on foreign oil because the united state's top export in 2011 was fuel products so gas prices will not come down at all.

      • Stumann says:

        Woukd you please site your sources for this. I have read it more than once without anything to back it up. And, not surprisingly, it has been in the comments section of articles.

    2. Jeff, Illinois says:

      What is this relentless obsession with Canadian tar-sand being refined in Texas and earmarked for foreign export not the US market. We're being duped. Do some research!!

    3. R C says:

      With ya ALL the way xcept FRACKING! The want to drill & FRACK where I get my fresh mountain drinking water.

      • Lloyd Scallan says:

        Fools like you and Jeff make statement on subjects that you know nothing about. How long have you or Jeff worked in the oil fields? How much time have you actually been involved in "FRACKING". How much "frech mountain drinking water" has been spoiled by fracking? How deep is facking actually done? How deep is the "fresh mountain water? You and Jeff don't have a clue. You two read or listern to the radical leftist lies then believe them without having the brains or the ambition to want to learn the truth.

      • Stumann says:

        Fracking takes place well below water tables and aquifers. All your doing is repeating talking points from the radical enviromentalists.

    4. Jeff, Illinois says:


    5. G.W. says:

      Regardless of who ends up with the oil, which is traded on a world market just as is gasoline, isn't building and maintaining the Keystone XL pipeline good for the American economy since most of the pipe, valves, fittings, gauges, etc are manufactured in the US (according to TransCanada)? And isn't refining the oil in Texas in refineries staffed with Americans good for the American economy? I would think so. BHO's rejection of the pipeline is nothing more than political posturing to appease the environmentalists whose vote he needsin November, he already knows he won't get the conservative vote which is probably the majority of the O&G industry workers political affiliation, so why cater to them? The pipeline will be approved AFTER the election.

    6. Lloyd Scallan says:

      You still don't get it. Obama is not capable of telling the truth. In short, he is an acomplished liar that uses lies and deception to achive his agenda to destroy our economical system by collapsing our energy indursty. Just read the report filed yesterday in New Orleans concerning the devistating effects Obama has had on the oil industry in Louisiana. Roughly 50% of all oil related companies (that's thousands of jobs lost in Louisiana alone) are either out of business or hanging on by their finger nails by using there own savings to stay open.

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.