Straight from UPI's transcript of Barack Obama's Earth Day remarks in Newton, Iowa yesterday -- in the midst of flights that reportedly expended 9,000 gallons of jet fuel -- here is the President's take on this country's oil dependency (bold is mine):
Twenty percent of what we spend on imports is the price of our oil imports. ..... It's the cost we've known ever since the gas shortages of the 1970s.
And yet for more than 30 years, too little has been done about it. There's a lot of talk of action when oil prices skyrocket like they did last summer, and everybody says we've got to do something about energy independence. But then it slips from the radar when oil prices start falling like they have recently. So we shift from shock to indifference, time and again, year after year.
We can't afford that approach anymore, not when the costs for our economy, for our country and for our planet is so high.
So on this Earth Day, it is time for us to lay a new foundation for economic growth by beginning a new era of energy exploration in America.
Gosh, that sounds positively capitalist. You would think the guy is finally going to let the oil companies do what they do best.
Not a chance. Here, from later in the speech, is (I think, because he never used any variation of "explore" anywhere else in the speech) how President 'Prompter defines "exploration" (bolds are mine):
As I've often said, in the short term, as we transition to renewable energy, we can and should increase our domestic production of oil and natural gas. We're not going to transform our economy overnight. We still need more oil; we still need more gas. If we've got some here in the United States that we can use, we should find it, and do so in a environmentally sustainable way.
"If" we've got some? There's literally trillions of dollars worth of oil and natural gas within US borders and off US shores -- and hundreds of billion of dollars in royalties the cash-starved government could be collecting.
"If" we can use it? Words fail.
The idea that Obama "has often said" that we should increase exploration and production is a flat-out falsehood.
A Google News Archive search between April 1, 2007 and November 6, 2008 on "Obama opposes drilling" (in quotes) came back with 13 hits supported by over 900 related items. The dates of the results ranged from June 17, 2008 to November 4, 2008. The relevant phrases include these:
- "Obama opposes drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska"
- "Obama opposes drilling in US coastal waters"
- "Barack Obama opposes drilling on and offshore to reduce gas and oil prices"
- "Mr. Obama opposes drilling. Opposes nuclear. Opposes coal. He and Harry Reid believe wind, solar and ethanol are the answers"
- "Like McCain, Democratic presumptive nominee Barack Obama opposes drilling in the ANWR, but he also reportedly supports maintaining the offshore moratorium"
- "Obama opposes drilling in US coastal waters, and says allowing exploration now wouldn't affect gasoline prices for at least five years"
- "Barack Obama opposes drilling for oil, mining for coal, building nuclear power plants. If he's elected president, gas prices will rise to $5 a gallon ...."
- "Third, Obama opposes drilling for oil in and around America itself."
- "Obama opposes drilling off the US coasts, saying it won't do anything to change the price or availability of oil for more than 10 years, and maybe more ...."
What was that about "As I've often said"?
The best that might be said is that Obama might have meekly flip-flopped last summer to appear open to the idea of increased exploration. But it was meaningless political posturing that, despite his speech Wednesday, has no apparent carryforward value. The meaningless of the summer flip-flop, to the extent that it occurred, is obvious, because at the same time Obama was championing a ridiculous windfall-profits tax on energy companies that, if ever enacted, would likely bring any thoughts of further domestic exploration and production to a screeching halt.
As usual, the establishment media is not challenging Obama's ridiculous claim. In fact, right on cue, the Associated Press even risibly used the word "exploration" its story headline:
One thing is for sure: When anyone explores for reliable truth in AP dispatches, they all too often find a dry hole.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.