The President’s acceptance speech at the Democrat Convention last Thursday was a pants-on-fire moment when it came to his energy program. (There were other topics besides the energy program in that speech that also rated high on the pants-on-fire meter—but this is an energy blog.)
The President claims responsibility for the decline in the use of imported crude oil. “In the last year alone, we cut oil imports by 1 million barrels a day, more than any administration in recent history”. There are two primary reasons for this decline. First is because the manufacturing sector is still suffering from this less than robust economy—here his claim rings true as he is responsible for this economy. The second is that the States and Private property owners have managed to overcome his and his administration’s efforts to stymie the development of oil and natural gas fields. Yes, oil and gas production are up but not on Federal lands where the President has the “say so”. Oil production declined 11% and natural gas declined 6% on Federal lands from fiscal year (FY) 2010 to FY 2011. At the same time on State and Private Lands’ oil production increased by 14% and natural gas by 12% over that same period.
He said: “…. where we develop a hundred-year supply of natural gas that’s right beneath our feet. If you choose this path, we can cut our oil imports in half by 2020 and support more than 600,000 new jobs in natural gas alone”. While he is claiming credit for the natural gas, it really is No Thanks to Obama who has sent the EPA out to find reasons to rein in (i.e., reasons to stop fracking of shale) this State and Private land activity.
Oil and natural gas production from State and Private Lands will continue to increase and will be the driver of the US economic recovery. Not the “green” jobs that he has been promoting. “We have doubled our use of renewable energy, and thousands of Americans have jobs today building wind turbines and long-lasting batteries”. While Obama wants you think that wind and solar are soon to replace fossil fuels (oil, natural gas and coal) that is not happening. Fossil fuels supplied 78% and nukes another 11% of the US energy needs in 2010. Wind supplied about 2% and solar was barely above 0 %. That they are that much is a testimonial to the crony capitalism being practiced by the Federal government by subsidizing the capital cost of renewables installation. This practice leaves the rate payers holding the bag for the high cost of the electricity that renewables create. It looks like the US will be joining most of the rest of the world that have become disillusioned with wind and solar when Congress doesn’t renew the subsidies next year. Adding to their dismal performance is the fact that for every new Kw of wind and solar power, a corresponding amount of fossil fuel supplied energy must be built because wind and solar are too unreliable (the wind blows sometimes and not at others and we know the sun is not always shining) for the nation’s power grid to rely upon. So not only are these unreliable renewables not competitively priced, the global warmers don’t get a reduction in CO2 emissions.
He says that man-made global warming is “not a hoax“. He is wrong. His EPA is writing regulations that will imposed a “cap and trade” program on the use of fossil fuels. Cap and Trade failed attempts at passage in Congress. Here he is usurping the legislative role of Congress.
The President’s energy program is a threat to all of us, and especially our children who are going to have to pay higher energy cost while having to cope with the massive debt this Administration has racked up.