Obama: ‘We Can’t Drill Our Way to Lower Gas Prices’ – Experts: ‘Yes We Can’

Penny Starr | October 26, 2016 | 10:59am EDT
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President Barack Obama (AP) 

(CNSNews.com) – President Barack Obama has said many times that we cannot “drill our way to lower gas prices.” But according to a Heritage Foundation report on the vast oil and gas resources in the United States, that is simply not true.

“Can we drill our way to lower gas prices? Yes, we can,” Kevin Dayaratna, senior statistician with the Heritage Foundation said on Tuesday of the report he co-authored with David Kreutzer and Nicolas Loris.

“The U.S. did drill its way to lower gas prices over the past several years, for both natural gas and gasoline, and broke the back of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in the process,” the abstract of the report, Time to Unlock America's Vast Oil and Gas Resources, states.

“The doubling of U.S. oil production between 2008 and 2015 is an amazing story of American ingenuity, persistence, and, of course, drilling,” the abstract states. “The story is made more amazing by the fact that federal energy policy actively hindered this energy renaissance as it was taking place.

“In the first few months of the Obama administration, the Department of the Interior cancelled oil and gas lease sales,” the abstract states. “In 2011, the Obama Department of the Interior blocked access to most of America’s offshore oil and gas reserves, placing a de facto moratorium on drilling.

“The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) hostility to the oil and gas industry was exemplified by regional administrator and Obama appointee Al Armendariz, who was captured on tape explaining that his policy was to ‘crucify’ select oil and gas firms in order to terrify the others,” the abstract states.

“In spite of the administration’s policies, the energy sector thrived because of production on private and state-owned lands,” the abstract states. “As companies in the U.S. drilled their way to low petroleum prices, oil production from the federal estate was stagnant or declining.”

Some of the key findings of the report, published in September, are:

• North American oil reserves (U.S., Canadian, and Mexican) total nearly 1.8 trillion barrels of recoverable oil.

• Lifting restrictions on energy production that have little, if any, environmental benefit, will add 700,000 jobs and $3.7 trillion in GDP through 2035. Electricity expenditures for households will decline by up to 10.19 percent per year. For a family of four, this means an additional $40,000 of income by 2035.

Kevin Dayaratna, senior statistician at the Heritage Foundation and co-author of the report, "Time to Unlock America's

Vast Oil and Gas Resources."  (Penny Starr/CNSNews.com) 

• The resulting energy—used all across the economy—becomes less expensive. Cheaper energy lowers the cost of doing business, making American companies more competitive and enabling them to invest and expand.

The report also makes recommendations to Congress and the next administration as to how it can unleash the domestic energy abundance in the United States, including opening access for energy exploration of federal waters and lands. (Dan Simmons, vice president for policy at the Institute for Energy Research, said that under Obama, 97.6 percent of offshore waters are off limits).

Congress and the next administration should also prevent and reverse federal regulations of hydraulic fracturing, allow states to manage energy development, avoid taxes and regulations related to climate change, and expand free trade for energy resources.

“Often taken for granted, energy is an integral component of human life across the world,” the report concludes. “By tapping many of its uncovered resources, America has the potential to be the world’s largest producer of energy.”

“With the right policies in place, tapping this energy can help create a vibrant and prosperous economy for decades to come,” the report concludes.

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