President Obama is now trying to appear aggressive about freeing America from foreign oil dependency … by lying. In New Mexico today, Obama said, “If you hear anybody on TV saying that somehow we are against drilling for oil, then you will know that they either don’t know what they are talking about or they are not telling you the truth.” He continued, “You have my word that we will keep drilling everywhere we can … That’s a commitment that I make.”
Everywhere? A Congressional Research Service report shows 96 percent of increased oil production past 5 years occurred on non-federal lands the president doesn’t control, and that in 2011, production on federal land including offshore more than 3 miles out declined while production increases on non-federal land outpaced that decline. This means that under the newly-self-proclaimed hero for oil independence, oil production on the lands he controls has declined.
What can a President do? Well, he could drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, for starters. The ANWR consists of 19 million acres in Alaska. Of that land, which is owned by the government, only 2000 acres, (.0001%) of that land has been requested for drilling. The Energy Information Administration estimates that there are possibly 16 billion barrels of oil there, enough to free us from oil dependency on Saudi Arabia for up to three decades.
To be sure, President Obama is now making noises about supporting the Keystone XL pipeline. Now if he’d only focus on drilling for oil rather than merely moving it, we’d be in business.