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The Obama Administration’s Lies On Offshore Drilling Are Too Much Even For Mary Landrieu

The Obama Administration’s Lies On Offshore Drilling Are Too Much Even For Mary Landrieu
February 29
10:55 2012

Yesterday at a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on the Interior Department budget, the topic of offshore oil permits by Interior set Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) off against her party.

Landrieu did the best she could not to go over onto the other side, parroting the Democrat line that “we can’t drill our way out of this problem” of high gasoline prices…

“I would say to my Republican colleagues that we cannot drill our way out of this problem. We cannot drill our way back to $2 or $3 gasoline. I don’t want to engage in bumper sticker politics, but I do want to engage in good policy for this country.”

But that would only take the Senator so far before she had to hack away at Interior Secretary Ken Salazar. The latter showed up at the hearing loaded with rhetoric about how aggressively Interior is permitting offshore drilling and how oil production under his charge is exploding, and that was just too much for Landrieu to take.

What specifically set Landrieu off were a number of statements in Salazar’s testimony in the hearing. Here was one…

Since 2008, oil production from the Federal OCS has increased by 30 percent, from 450 million barrels to more than 589 million barrels in 2010. Balancing the need for safety and environmental enforcement, Interior currently manages over 35 million acres of the OCS under active lease.  A recently proposed five-year oil and gas leasing program would make more than 75 percent of undiscovered technically recoverable oil and gas estimated on the OCS available for development.

Naturally, anybody who understands the issue of offshore oil production and the effect of the Obama administration’s drilling moratorium following the BP oil spill recognizes how disingenuous it is for Salazar to take credit for 2010 production numbers. First of all, that increase is solely due to leases and permits issued to oil exploration firms during the previous administration, and second, stopping at 2010 when 2011 figures are available doesn’t tell the story of what’s actually happening offshore.

But the fact is that oil production on federal lands, the majority of which is represented on the outer continental shelf Salazar brags about, fell off by 11 percent from 2010 to 2011. Strangely, a breakdown of that total into OCS production doesn’t exist through government sources; do a search for it at the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management site and you’ll get an error message instead of what you’re looking for. Safe to say, though, that if for most of 2010 Salazar’s agency refused to issue drilling permits it’s a sure thing that production in 2011 would fall off – if you’re not drilling you’re not finding oil and you’re not producing it, and producing wells do see their production drop off as oil comes out of the wells.

Landrieu was aware of Salazar’s disingenuous statements and couldn’t hold back, particularly after her moron colleague Al Franken spouted off about how ExxonMobil is making a record profit.

Salazar then tried to tout the lease sale Interior held in December, which was basically a disaster since shell-shocked oil companies refused to bid on all but 2 million acres of offshore seabed out of 38 million put up for lease. And that didn’t fly.

Salazar’s response to all this was hilarious in its transparent dishonesty: “We feel very comfortable that production is coming up.”

Landrieu is put in an impossible position by her party’s hostility toward Louisiana’s most lucrative industry; the state should be experiencing a massive economic boom considering the high price of crude and the widespread availability of it off our shores, but instead it’s more of a minor uptick for those lucky firms able to take advantage of what activity the federal government does allow. Offshore permits in the year since the Obama administration “lifted” its moratorium on drilling are down 10 percent from the year prior to the imposition of the moratorium, despite the fact that oil prices are up considerably and resource estimates in the Gulf indicate a colossal supply there.

That’s hardly “production is coming up.”

The Greater New Orleans, Inc. study Landrieu referenced was covered by WVUE-TV in New Orleans a month ago. Salazar and Franken should take note, as it might disabuse them of their fantasyland notion that federal policy isn’t doing harm to a vital national industry…

(Link in case the embed won’t load)

Again, there is no reason why, when crude prices top $100 per barrel, these companies shouldn’t be exploding at present. They’re not. Federal regulation and federal delays in permitting for exploration have caused a slowdown at a time when the downstream effects – better known as the price at the pump – are harming the economy as a whole.

Landrieu, despite her party affiliation, sees this. And while she obviously would like to be a good soldier for the Democrats, she knows there is no defense for what Salazar and his bosses in the White House are doing.

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  1. John Signs
    John Signs February 29, 12:25

    She is just trying to “ride the fence” on this.  NOT BUYING IT!!

  2. Bruce Ray
    Bruce Ray February 29, 12:42

    Interesting that the White House says drilling won’t yield any results for 20 years. So, how then are they claiming credit for the supposed “all time high” oil production. (The real number is 3 – 10 years.) So, at best the production today should be credited to GW Bush, Bill Clinton or GHW Bush – NOT Mr. Obama. That’s just fact – no statistics needed.

    The contention of Mr. Obama that nothing he can do will lower gas prices at the pump in the short or long term, is also false – all he has to do is issue an executive order rescinding the requirements that the EPA has put in place for the (God-only-knows how) many different gasoline blends that must be produced. One estimate that I heard is that these requirements add $1 to the pump price. Issue the order, prices fall almost immediately.

  3. Inquisitor Malakai
    Inquisitor Malakai February 29, 13:17

    re: drilling out of a problem. To quote her Master, “Yes, we can.”  We have enough on land and offshore to suit our needs comfortably.  They don’t want to do that.  They’d rather have us back to the Stone age.

  4. sickofdemocrats
    sickofdemocrats February 29, 14:18

    Mr. Obama, when he was running for the nomination and campaigning for the presidency 4 years ago said something to the effect that he (his administration) was going to shut down (or kill) the oil business.  He was adamant that alternative energy sources would florish under his administration.  Just a couple of months ago, he gave a speech that said we (the country) need to explore all forms of energy, but his record on nuclear and crude development and permitting of refineries is dismal, to say the least.  This guy and his socialist demo friends are trying to kill the industry that economically drives this state.  If you believe that solar energy and electric cars are going to solve the energy problems of this country, you are delusional.

  5. Anonymous
    Anonymous February 29, 14:30

    The stupididity of the “no effect for years crap” is astonishing. Oil is a traded commodity. All factors effect pricing TODAY. Future estimated reserves, known reserves, production and refining capacity, transportation costs, political instability, demand, expectations, regulations, speculation, drilling and exploration capacity, access to proven and un-proven reserves, the availability of labor and so much more. I could write a g**damned book on the subject!

    Some of these things are almost impossible to control directly.
    1. political instability
    2. speculation 
    4. demand (don’t get me started on Obama’s “higher price” ideas about that. That idiot does not have to pay for gas to drive to work and the Volt ain’t gonna get me there because it’s range is to short; that is if it does’nt catch fire ).

    Some are directly effective at lowering prices TODAY.
    1. Open more Federal territory both on and off-shore to expand known reserves, and future estimated reserves.
    2. Expedite the permiting process for drilling and ALLOW THE INDUSTRY TO PLAN AND BUILD NEW REFINERIES.
    3. BUILD THE F%&^*&* KEYSTONE PIPELINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Anonymous
    Anonymous February 29, 15:12

    So, the brilliant Senator Landrieu has finally decided that the Obama regime is BAD for Louisiana Business. Is she for real or just putting on an act to fool the Louisiana voting public?  Do our state a favor, get out of politics and stop pretending that you care about the hard working people of the Great state of Louisiana. You are well aware of the current drilling moratorium Salazar and Obama have imposed on the gulf coast and how it is effecting gas prices and jobs across our nation. If you really cared about this issue you would be on the news every night calling a spade a spade!  Landrieu IS part of the problem!

  7. Anonymous
    Anonymous February 29, 16:36

    To Bruce Ray – Good points
    In my experience the time to results (market) for trucked oil from onshore non-conventional shales is closer to a year from spud depending on the availability of pipelines to handle the associated gas. This is only true for private lands as in the Bakken of North Dakota or Eagle Ford of south Texas of course. 3-10 fromdrill permit is an offshore time frame.
    I wonder how many offshore permits have been applied for and how many are being held up. Does anyone know?

  8. Fred
    Fred March 08, 14:05

    Any body but Mary 2014. She’s doing what she does best. When she’s in Washington she’s an automatic vote for Harry Reid and when she’s in Louisiana a good’ole gun totin’ freedom loving home town girl always lookin’ out for the folks back home.

  9. Mark Michaels
    Mark Michaels March 15, 19:10

    Is it me or Landrieu a dead ringer for Miss Piggy?

  10. Ed Dalton
    Ed Dalton October 10, 23:56

    This is what I read WJ.

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