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Obama announces steps to speed up U.S. oil production

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Drill baby, drill!

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G.W. Obama at it again. Further proof that the term "political party" in America is meaningless.

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I was just in the U.S. and a litre of regular petrol was $1.18US, in Canada it was $1.47US and in Spain is was $1.94US so maybe Americans should shut the hell up, get rid of the SUVs, drop about 30-50% of their super sized arse and drive a normal sized vehicle only when the need it and not just to run down to Mc D's to get a snack that would feed a family of four outside of north america. The days of excess consumption are over and it's time that the greed that got us to where we are now is dealt with swiffly. Oh who am I kidding...

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Pandering to the irrational public. This will do little to solve the problem and he knows it, even if the public doesn't, but he also knows he has to look like he's doing something.

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"Pandering to the irrational public"

Hey, the public elected Obama, how irrational could they be?

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Oil is priced in dollars. The U.S. dollar is at a 3 year low due to Obama's "Weimar-style" monetary policy and wild spending. If he wants the price of oil to go down, the value of the dollar has to go up. That could happen in less than 6 months if this economic retard of a President would reverse course and commit to a mirror image of his current economic policy. Not a single well would need to be drilled.

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Wow, 2 years delaying due to Obama's lack of brain power, and he ends up doing what the GOP says. He could have saved the time and done it from day 1. :-)

The GOP is going to have a VERY good year in 2012.

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The market forces have spoken, and with an energy inequity of having 5% but using 20% then there is no way that that inequity can change unless Americans stop their insane driving and cross continent trucking and build real walkable communities with local food which is much cheaper.

In the meantime, you need higher prices for gas for alternatives to become viable. That's how a market works. Otherwise it's just subsidizing oil so those companies can rake in billions more profits. I'm sure that will go over well.

Also USA doesn't control the Chinese economy, the current driver of oil prices. They can afford the oil price while America really can't. It's hasn't been the anaemic US economy since their crash in 2008 or more.

America isn't driving the market to begin with, so how can anything they say change it if they are ignoring change and the market forces that should be pushing it?

Burst that bubble and rebuild America. The old ways only drag you further down.

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Revel in higher oil and gas prices. Only in their increase do the market forces kick in to drive alternatives into the marketplace. That's how markets work. Otherwise crying to the gov't to bail out multi billion dollar profiteering companies per year is ridiculous on top of irony.

Let the market work and invest in the changes needed, not padding the cliff diving of industries that must surely be allowed to fail.

From failure renews opportunities to change. This is not something to fear. America has reshaped itself many times. Sure there are ups and downs but in the end this used to be a strength. The GOP has long sold itself off to Big Oil and everyday that influences government decisions is another day the market is not being allowed to offer alternatives to the problem. Too bad to watch this all crumble.

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Revel in higher oil and gas prices. Only in their increase do the market forces kick in to drive alternatives into the marketplace. That's how markets work. Otherwise crying to the gov't to bail out multi billion dollar profiteering companies per year is ridiculous on top of irony.

In point of fact, thats precisely what Obama has been doing. No, I shouldn't input motives onto him. I don't know that has been his motivation, however it is what he has achieved. By forcing US companies to cut drilling, by not allowing new leases, and by imposing a blanket moratorium on drilling, for months, it has had that effect. It has killed thousands of jobs. That he is now reversing course, shows that either he realizes just how bad this looks for his re-election chances, or he is in fact a waffling idiot. There is a substantial amount of evidence supporting both, however neither one makes for a good President.

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Let the market work and invest in the changes needed, not padding the cliff diving of industries that must surely be allowed to fail.

I agree, lets end subsidies for things like Ethanol, and windfarms, and solar.

The GOP has long sold itself off to Big Oil and everyday that influences government decisions is another day the market is not being allowed to offer alternatives to the problem.

Sorry, I believe you meant to say, that the GOP has long recognized the impact of oil on the US economy, and on jobs, and has tried to work with oil companies to keep costs, and thereby prices down.

You are correct though, that with these ultra high prices, alternative energy sources become more viable. Too bad ethanol, solar, and wind still can't compete without the enormous subsidies they are getting from the government. Sure you want to push for a free market solution?

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Heh, a sudden policy reversal because of poll numbers.

RR

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Remember that President Obama has now ended the governing phase of his term and is entering the re-election phase. Over the next 18 months he will be doing what he did during his election campaign - and that is acting like he isn't what he is. All of the initiatives that Obama is supposedly proposing to help relieve gas prices are long term and would be forgotten should he be re-elected. His arch-Liberal base will not get upset about his pro-fossil fuel turn because they understand it is a charade to fool moderates into voting for him.

He doesn't believe in producing large quantities of energy in the US. He prefers to have other countries produce it and then pay to import. He is even willing to give loans to foreign countries to develop their resources while simultaneously seeking to impede energy development and job creation in his own country.

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Over the next 18 months (Obama) will be doing what he did during his election campaign - and that is acting like he isn't what he is.

Great point, Wolfpack.

However, what Obama is doing here is too little, way too late. Voters know he's done everything in his power to shut down domestic oil production for 2 years.

RR

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Heh, a sudden policy reversal because of poll numbers.

Clearly this is a statement born out of irrationality. President Obama has enjoyed a nice bump to 51% approval according Real Clear Politics. How is that bad poll numbers?

Taka

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RomeoRamenII - Heh, a sudden policy reversal because of poll numbers.

Sounds about right.

Amid growing public unhappiness over gas prices, President Barack Obama is directing his administration to ramp up U.S. oil production by extending existing leases in the Gulf of Mexico and off Alaska’s coast and holding more frequent lease sales in a federal petroleum reserve in Alaska.

Of course, Obama is only "talking" about changing his progressive energy policy. He hasn't actually "done" anything about it.

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I agree, lets end subsidies for things like Ethanol, and windfarms, and solar.

you forgot the oil/gas industry. It has to be a level playing field for everyone, or it means nothing.

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Too bad ethanol, solar, and wind still can't compete without the enormous subsidies they are getting from the government. Sure you want to push for a free market solution?

Yes, of course. But a real market, not the American oligarchs. The subsidies for solar, wind etc are no where close to the ongoing never ending subsidies for the oil industry amassed over the last 80 years that no one bats an eye at. If everyone had the same then they'd be doing great. Or no subsidies for everyone and suddenly the real costs would be apparent. (pollution costs, transit costs, construction etc). Not all alternatives would survive but some would. Too many oil lobbyists would cry bloody murder and job losses though. Can't have that.

Oddly Germany has a subsidy program that shrinks over time. In the next nine years 30% of their energy will be wind powered. This is in a country that compared to America hasn't equivalent wind resources, so that's easily an avenue that America can try, and even surpass. They also use biogas and a bunch of others together to offset weakness in one for strength in another. (Winning!) They are at least trying to get off coal and nuclear. Likely that will always be a base load, but mixed in with more successful and flexible alternatives, green jobs are thus looking quite positive, and locally based.

Since going cold turkey for America is unlikely as your fear of a market system foreshadows, subsidies can work if they are used with the proviso that they are not permanent and track downwards over time. The end result are jobs and a new industry that grows into the position which can stand on it's own feet as the eventual goal.

Oil doesn't qualify because the extra costs passed to consumers would be riotously unacceptable, and the costs would never go down, thus subsidies are permanent.

Oil as well was developed over 80 years and to compare it other industries in their infancy isn't possible. Given the same conditions, other sources would be equally viable, with the market sorting out winners and losers and not governments. They have come this far and it's not even 80 years. This remains a concept not understood in America which is missing the boat on jobs and opportunities. For all its free market PR bluster, it's quite a controlled energy society monopoly/oligarchy.

Sadly America will continue to suffer for it as dictatorships of oil are replaced with democracies who no longer want to sell, or will reduce exports due to increases for their own use.

My own country is also delusional about the tarsands scaling up to meet American demand. I don't see it happening. Not enough water and natural gas or new refineries no one wants to talk about. Not the end mind you, just that it can't scale to the demand.

Time well past to get off the sauce. We both have tons of energy NOT oil/gas/natural gas/shale related and can make quite a lot of electricity which is more efficient. We know we can do it. But we're held back by a risk adverse shareholder driven economy.

High speed trains? go to Europe or Asia. Wind? Europe or Asia. Thinner people? Lower mortality rates? Quality of life?

We got a lot of work to do, and one area where there should be no issue is in alternative energy.

Cheers

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you forgot the oil/gas industry. It has to be a level playing field for everyone, or it means nothing.

I didn't forget the oil/gas industry. The tax breaks they get are the same as just about every single other industry gets. They don't really get any special incentives. Wait, I take that back, they do get a small one. If they produce more, they make more money. Contrast this with the ethanol, solar, and windfarm industries which garner billions of dollars a year in direct and indirect subsidies from all levels of government. You want a level playing field? Taking away what the oil industry has, would mean penalizing it directly, not leveling the playing field. In addition, penalizing the oil industry would mean additional costs passed directly onto the consumer, again raising prices. This would amount to an indirect tax, and while that might make some in the government happy, it would hammer an already damaged economy even further.

Yes, of course. But a real market, not the American oligarchs. The subsidies for solar, wind etc are no where close to the ongoing never ending subsidies for the oil industry amassed over the last 80 years that no one bats an eye at.

Wow, you really don't have a clue do you. Guess you just heard the Dems blathering about ending subsidies for the oil industry, without actually doing any research about it. I don't know how it is in your country, but in the US, there really aren't any significant subsidies or tax breaks for the oil industry.

Since going cold turkey for America is unlikely as your fear of a market system foreshadows, subsidies can work if they are used with the proviso that they are not permanent and track downwards over time. The end result are jobs and a new industry that grows into the position which can stand on it's own feet as the eventual goal.

Tell that to Spain, its still trying to recover from its own idiotic foray into green energy.

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McSame !

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Obama's opposed domestic drilling for how many years and in how many ways? He was held in contempt of court by a federal judge for ignoring a direct order to end his illegal moratorium in the Gulf.

And now suddenly, when the polls show Americans know his policies are to blame for $5-a-gallon gas, he abandons them.

He trading his longstanding "principles" for votes. Period. The only question that remains is whether American voters are smart enough to realize that he will start up his anti-drilling crusade by executive order the day after the general election next year whether he wins or not.

RR

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sf2k: Oddly Germany has a subsidy program that shrinks over time. In the next nine years 30% of their energy will be wind powered. This is in a country that compared to America hasn't equivalent wind resources, so that's easily an avenue that America can try, and even surpass.

It's silly to compare Country A and Country B like all things are equal. Some countries have a much smaller land mass so density has naturally occurred over time. They also have cities that were established long before the automobile came along. You can't just dig up the entire city of Los Angeles and make it mass transit friendly overnight. You also can't get from one end of the country to the other without the use of an airplane like you can in smaller countries. Last I checked wind power isn't going to fuel a 747, and for now there's no other reasonable way to make it from Los Angeles to New York.

I'm obviously not against reducing dependence on oil, but these silly comparisons between countries as if it's just a simple choice makes the debate disingenuous.

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Yes indeed, you are absolutely right there are not the same. America has massive wind potential many times that of Germany. But it's Germany that is doing something and getting a strong return on that investment. Also not the same. Doing nothing ensures nothing is done. Doing something makes something. Amazing isn't it? America is sitting on a lottery ticket and won't cash it in. Why run away from it?

Whoa, easy on the dying airline industry. People aren't ready for that conversation yet. Nothing is going to replace the fuel of a 747. It's old technology. Also the airlines are crippling themselves on worsening service year after year and many will go belly up soon enough.

Technically, you can power a Cessna with microwaves (Canadian experiment 1980's) and I suppose it could be ramped up to airliner scale but that gets problematic with tracking and either burns up land or atmosphere if there's a miss!

Obviously then, the better choice for scale and price and as a known quantity has to be high speed rail between major cities on land. The good news is that most of the railway is still there rusting in the rain for local transit for slower local stops. These are two systems. You need both to make the high speed system work at scale. (Sadly Shinkansen was stopped in Florida. I was really hoping for that one! )

Rail would at least be locally electrically powered, so priced locally, and local jobs that cannot be exported. Not dependent on the kindness of Saudi Arabia. Or choose continued dependence on the kindness and stability of Nigeria, Angola, Saudi Arabia et al. I don't get it. Why continue the facade when America could be a green powerhouse?

I don't understand why this is even an argument. America is bleeding money but outright refuses to save energy, because everyone must drive a car. J H Kunstler refers to this as the Psychology of Previous Investment. Our parents drove a car and thus we will too, even if it no longer makes economic sense. There is no price too high and no option available. It's just not possible to crack that viewpoint and instead offer better design.

So much engineering from America gets transplanted around the world. It's just weird that it's never used in America at similar scales.

It's okay, do what you feel you need to do. I'm sure a lot of you will be perfectly fine. I'll just say thank you America for your education. The rest of the world is certainly putting it to good use.

Texas has a lot of windmills and is doing quite well with it as are many other states. Using wind doesn't mean giving up on all other systems. It builds resilience. Respect all energy systems, but see them for what they are, and work within their capabilities.

How can anyone be upset about reducing oil when most of it isn't even from America? Can it be explained why there is such an entitlement towards foreign oil imports?

sorry for the length of post. lots of questions

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He trading his longstanding "principles" for votes. Period. The only question that remains is whether American voters are smart enough to realize that he will start up his anti-drilling crusade by executive order the day after the general election next year whether he wins or not.

To be fair about this, Obama didn't really have any 'principles' about the environment. He was moving to expand oil drilling before the disaster in the gulf, then in a massive over-reaction, essentially banned all drilling, and refused to allow any new permits to be issues, ignoring court orders to the contrary. Now, several years later, his policies leading him to disaster, he once again reverses course. Proving himself a slick politician, and at the same time a poor leader, lacking in principles.

I don't understand why this is even an argument. America is bleeding money but outright refuses to save energy, because everyone must drive a car.

And you think the way to stem the damage, is to ramp up prices, and force everyone into alternate transportation schemes? That failed in Spain horribly. In point of fact, alternative energy costs more, hence the reason why oil is still so crucial to the economy. Let me tell you, in highly urban areas, rail lines make sense. In a country as big as the US, they simply don't.

How can anyone be upset about reducing oil when most of it isn't even from America? Can it be explained why there is such an entitlement towards foreign oil imports?

I don't think anyone is upset at the idea or thought of reducing US dependence on oil. However things are not that simple. Wind is not an economically viable choice without massive subsidies to prop it up. In addition, it requires a standard energy source on standby to carry the load. If it was cheaper, if it was economical, if you could produce the same amount of energy per kilowatt hour for the same price, I'd choose something else myself. This isn't the case however, even in Germany. Green energy is merely a feel-good approach to delude you into thinking you are somehow helping the environment by using less oil. There are tradeoffs for that approach, and thus far, the green energy approach cannot sustain itself without massive government intervention in the free market, to force the playing field to be level.

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By forcing US companies to cut drilling, by not allowing new leases, and by imposing a blanket moratorium on drilling, for months, it has had that effect. It has killed thousands of jobs.

Molenir, this is an imperceptible drop in the bucket, both in terms of domestic production and jobs. The whole domestic drilling "dispute" is irrelevant to overall energy issues. The bottom line: oil is expensive. End of story.

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With the raid that got OBL, using intel the CIA got from Khalid S Mohammed, Obama vindicated Bush. Now he vindicates Palin.

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