WASHINGTON — Institute for Energy Research President Thomas Pyle issued the following statement on President Obama’s offshore leasing plan:
“The president didn’t reverse course on his offshore plan because he never intended to allow energy production off the Atlantic coast. This administration’s energy agenda centers on blocking access to America’s most viable natural resources, so the fact that he’s pulling these offshore lease sales shouldn’t come as a surprise. In fact, offshore energy production has already fallen under this administration and there’s no reason to believe that would change now. In their own existing five-year plan, the administration has canceled over half the acreage they promised. Cutting off these resources deprives the American people of jobs, higher wages, and a stronger economy. This would have the harshest impact on the poor and middle class, who would benefit most from greater access to affordable, reliable energy.
“The president was wrong when he claimed we couldn’t drill our way to lower gas prices, but that hasn’t stopped him from taking credit for the low gas prices that Americans are currently enjoying. The president takes credit for low prices and increased energy production when it benefits him politically, but any suggestion that he is encouraging energy development is laughable. The truth is, President Obama has been a constant impediment to responsible energy production in this country, and his offshore leasing plan is no different.”
Offshore production has already fallen under President Obama. According to the Congressional Research Service, from 2010-2014 (the latest year for which EIA has broken out the numbers) offshore oil production fell 18 percent while the rest of U.S. production increased by 85 percent. (Congressional Research Service, 4/3/15)
President Obama said we couldn’t drill our way to lower gas prices. He was wrong. “From 2008 through 2014 (the most recent year for which data is available), world oil production increased by 6.686 million barrels per day. 6.491 million barrels per day of that increase came from the U.S. and Canada. In fact, 5.457 million barrels a day, or 82 percent, came from the U.S. alone.” (The American Energy Alliance, 2/25/16)
Opening up federal onshore and offshore resources would be a boon to the economy. According to a study by Dr. Joseph Mason of Louisiana State University, opening up access to federal lands for oil, gas, and coal leasing would lead to more jobs, higher wages, and more overall economic activity. (Institute for Energy Research, 12/8/15)