Economics, Energy and the Environment

Five energy errors from the State of the Union address

The Institute for Energy Research (IER) has a great post up today detailing the … let’s call them errors … regarding energy in President Obama’s State of the Union address last night.

Here’s a summary, cribbed shamelessly from the IER post:

1) The president implicitly claimed credit for the fact that oil imports are down 1.1 million barrels per day since he took office. IER points out that yes, prolonging a recession and jacking up gasoline prices will reduce oil imports, and that the growth in domestic oil production has happened on state and private land, not on federal lands, where oil production has actually declined during Obama’s term in office.

2) The president also implicitly claimed credit for the fact that domestic crude oil production in 2010 equalled its peak in 2003. IER points out (again) that virtually all of this increase has been due to increased production on state and private lands, while oil production on federal lands has been declining.

3) The president made similar claims for natural gas, pointing out that the U.S. natural gas production is at a 30-year high. Again, he failed to point out that this growth has been on state and private lands, not land subject to federal control, and production on federal lands has been declining. He also neglected to mention that his Environmental Protection Agency is on a crusade to kill hydraulic fracturing, the technology that is producing all this gas.

4) The president claimed that, on his watch, the U.S. has become a net energy exporter. IER points out that this claim is a whopper: according to the Energy Information Administration, in 2010 “the U.S. had net imports of 21 quadrillion Btus of energy of the 98 quadrillion btus used.”

5) The president claims that his 5-year drilling plan will make 75 percent of America’s offshore oil and gas reserves available for exploration and production. What he fails to point out is that when he took office, 100% of offshore lands were open to exploration and production. He also ignores the fact that many liberally-governed states have blocked such activities regardless of federal permission.

Abundant, affordable, reliable energy is too important to the U.S. economy to be treated with such a cavalier disregard for the truth.

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