Today’s Morning Bell from The Heritage Foundation covers President Obama’s decision to release more oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserves.
When it comes to making bad energy policy decisions, President Obama is a pro. Yesterday was no exception when the Obama Administration announced it would release 30 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR). This is part of an agreement with the International Energy Agency (IEA) to put a total of 60 million barrels on the market in the next 30 days. Another 27 nations will make up the other half of the oil needed.
President Obama and the IEA first explained this irresponsible action by noting a supply disruption as a result of the war in Libya. However, this disruption does not justify the depletion of the SPR, and the Administration doesn’t have the legal rationale, either. The White House slightly changed its tune late yesterday when Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters it was meant as protection against increasing gas prices over the summer driving season.
Unfortunately, the President has a long history of poor decisions when it comes to energy policy. From his support for Cap and Trade to his stand on domestic drilling, he has put in place policies that cause energy prices to rise for all Americans.
Little known fact: We have a significant amount of oil here in the United States. Why then, are we totally dependent on foreign oil? Political and regulatory roadblocks prevent oil producers from drilling domestically. After the tragic Deepwater Horizon explosion in the Gulf of Mexico, President Obama imposed a moratorium on offshore drilling. While that moratorium was technically lifted last week, the President’s hostility toward domestic producers is manifesting itself in other ways. Policies in place at the State Department and the Department of the Interior make up a permitorium, or de facto ban on drilling brought on by federal regulations and licensing requirements.
Our dependence on foreign oil is a threat to our national security. It is no coincidence that the countries with the largest oil reserves that generate the most income from oil revenue are also some of the largest funders of radical islamic organizations.
So how do we become less dependent on foreign oil? Emerging energy technologies are showing promise, but none of them have the ability to meet our energy needs in the short term. But we do have domestic oil resources that have not been tapped. In the wake of recent tragedies like Deepwater, we must make sure that proper safety regulations exist, but should not be afraid to tap into our own natural resources. Increasing domestic production will reduce or dependence on foreign sources and have the added benefit of creating jobs and stimulating the American economy.