Lately, President Obama has been bragging about the drop in America’s dependence on foreign oil—now less than fifty percent. Earlier this week, he introduced a new chart to show how oil imports have declined under his leadership. The chart does not show the drop in America’s oil consumption, due to the bad economy. Nor does it give any indication of the trend for the future based on his policies—which will likely lead to increased use of foreign oil.
President Obama’s energy policy is largely set by his environmental base that favors “alternatives” and eschews fossil fuels—especially drilling for oil. His policy mirrors that of California where the resistance to tapping the resources under the residents’ feet has resulted in increased imported oil from the Middle East. Once the largest oil producer in the world, California is now importing nearly 50% of its oil—with about 21% coming through the Strait of Hormuz. California’s gas prices are routinely the highest in the country. If Iran closes the Strait, as they’ve been threatening, California will be in dire straits.
While less dependent on Middle Eastern oil than California, the United States is like California, in that we have vast resources that are locked up due to regulation, blocked access, and delayed permitting. President Obama touts the reduction of imported oil, but his bragging rights may be short-lived, if he continues on the same anti-drilling track California has been on.
Gasoline prices are driven largely by the headlines. They are full of talk about Middle East unrest and devoid of American drilling announcements. Hence, fear over future supplies keeps bumping the price up and up.
Add to that the President’s planned punishment of the companies that do produce oil in America.
The high gas prices are pushing the President to deflect blame. The oil companies are his favorite target. He points to their profits and wants to single them out for tax increases—which will only add to gas prices.