POLITICS

Obama touts energy production his administration has hindered

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Michal Conger

President Obama praised the growth of the U.S. energy sector during a visit to Argonne National Laboratory in Lemont, Il., on Friday, crediting his administration’s “all of the above” energy policy for increased oil and gas production.

“We produce more oil than we have in 15 years.  We import less oil than we have in 20 years,” he said. “We’re producing more natural gas than we ever have before — with hundreds of thousands of good jobs to show for it.”

Those numbers are true. Between fiscal years 2010 and 2012, total U.S. oil production rose by about 1.1 million barrels per day over fiscal year 2007, and natural gas production rose 20 percent from 2007 to 2012.

What the president failed to mention is that the growth he is so proud of has taken place in spite of his administration’s energy policy, not because of it.

A recent study by the Congressional Research Service found that all of the increased production from fiscal years 2007 to 2012 took place on non-federal lands.

At the same time, the average daily production of natural gas on federal lands decreased by 19 percent between fiscal years 2011 and 2012, and by 33 percent between fiscal years 2008 and 2012.

Obama has made no secret of his goal of getting America off oil completely. In his State of the Union address, he introduced his Energy Security Trust, which will use fees from oil and gas companies to fund $2 billion over 10 years for renewable energy research, with the end goal of getting cars and trucks off oil.

The White House promoted this plan again on Friday, the same day as Obama’s visit to Argonne, with a shareable graphic showing where money from the Trust will go.

“If you think the Energy Security Trust is a good idea, will you share this graphic?” asked an email with the subject line, “How we shift America off oil.”

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