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NYTimes: Obama Shifts to Speed Oil and Gas Drilling in U.S.


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http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/15/us/politics/15address.html?_r=2&hp

WASHINGTON — President Obama, facing voter anger over high gasoline prices and complaints from Republicans and business leaders that his policies are restricting the development of domestic energy resources, announced Saturday that he was taking several steps to speed oil and gas drilling on public lands and waters.

It was at least a partial concession to his critics at a time when consumers are paying near-record prices at the gas pump. The Republican-led House passed three bills in the last 10 days that would significantly expand and accelerate oil development in the United States, saying the administration was driving up gas prices and preventing job creation with antidrilling policies.

Administration officials said the president’s announcement, which included plans for expanded drilling in Alaska and the prospect of new exploration off the Atlantic coast, was intended in part to answer those arguments, signal flexibility and demonstrate his commitment to reducing oil imports by increasing domestic production.

But in fact the policies announced Saturday would not have an immediate effect on supply or prices, nor would they quickly open any new areas to drilling.

“These spikes in gas prices are often temporary,” Mr. Obama said, “and while there are no quick fixes to the problem, there are a few steps we should take that make good sense.”

The president’s turn to a domestic pocketbook issue comes after two weeks of intense focus on the killing of Osama bin Laden, terrorism more broadly and the multiple crises in the Middle East.

In his weekly radio and Internet address, Mr. Obama said the administration would begin to hold annual auctions for oil and gas leases in the Alaska National Petroleum Reserve, a 23-million-acre tract on the North Slope of Alaska. The move comes after years of demands for the auctions by industry executives and Alaska’s two senators, Lisa Murkowski, a Republican, and Mark Begich, a Democrat.

The administration will also accelerate a review of the potential environmental impact of drilling off the southern and central Atlantic coast and will consider making some areas available for exploration. The move is a change from current policy, which puts the entire Atlantic Seaboard off limits to drilling until at least 2018.

This seems like perfect triangulation: There are 1/2 a dozen things he could ride into the next election.

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Pragmatic is a good description,but not waiting till facts and circumstances pound you into submission would be better.

Hard to get too excited over even less than he proposed last yr....consider me skeptical of it being more than a attempt to short circuit bills in the works

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Hard to get too excited over even less than he proposed last yr....consider me skeptical of it being more than a attempt to short circuit bills in the works

After the Gulf Spill, I think Obama had to wait until the next big Oil Price Spike to renew his previous plans to open up more offshore drilling. Practically speaking this was the first chance he had.

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Interesting article about why this really is not why gas prices are high.

http://www.newsobserver.com/2011/05/15/1198728/analysis-speculators-fuel-climbing.html

Couple of things from it:

"ExxonMobil Chairman Rex Tillerson noted Thursday in testimony before the Senate Finance Committee that this year's oil prices don't make any economic sense, though that's not quite how he put it. He said that current fundamentals and production costs would dictate oil in the range of $60 to $70 a barrel. That's at least $43 cheaper than this year's highs of $113 a barrel reached on April 29 and May 2."

"Could it be that refineries aren't able to produce enough gasoline? No. Refiners are running their plants at below cruising speed, and they've got lots of room to produce more if consumers need it.

The latest data from the EIA on the rate at which refineries are utilized showed a rate of 79.8 percent in February. That's 20 percentage points below full-blown production. The last time the rate was lower: 1986. If demand for gasoline was soaring, these plants would be cranking at a higher rate."

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Deja vu....2010 lite

Time to drag out immigration reform as well.

Already did. In Texas last week.

It is definitely starting to feel like, "Hey, I'm gonna need you guys again soon. Here's your bone."

I fell for that one once. It won't happen again.

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There have been far too many intrusions in shallows and on land as far as restricting development for me to accept that.....slow walking that will hurt

If it wasn't for the pressure exerted by both the crappy economy and coming elections critical expansion would still be stalled by policy.......you don't leave critical needs to chance or hope.

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I have no problem with drilling domestically but you can't tell me that these gas prices aren't artificially over inflated. Problem is we're getting it twice, from OPEC and to a larger extent the oil companies... OPEC we can't do anything about.. I would like to see more energy put into putting these companies in their place. Gasoline isn't a normal product or commodity, unfortunately it's a neccessary product we can't do without and companies are taking advantage of that.

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Is it the oil companies or the speculators as asserted in the above link?

Put them in their place? :ols:

I thought that they were both one and the same. :whoknows:

At least that would be the smart thing to do if you wanted to drive up the price. ;)

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More change.

I only watched the first two minutes, and only two words came to mind:

Utterly. Damning.

But I'm sure this will be just like being opposed to raising the debt ceiling before he was for it. Surely he's just more enlightened now, and his position has matured. :rolleyes:

Happy campaign season everyone! It's officially open!

449_jpg_9393.jpeg

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More change.

:ols:

That clip is funny but this isn't new for Obama. He had already flip flopped on offshore drilling early last year. Compare the Times article in the original post with this Times article from over a year ago:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/31/science/earth/31energy.html

edit: I love this paragraph from the OP's article:

Response from environmental advocates was muted. Eric Myers, Alaska policy director for the National Audubon Society, said conservationists were willing to see an increase in drilling in the Alaskan petroleum reserve as long as it did not threaten wildlife, waters or sensitive lands.

Environmentalists aren't against offshore drilling any more. That's good to know!

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hehe, nice find.

Well, I think you are looking it the wrong way. Just saying you will "SPEED" things up can affect the market, literally just saying WORDS can affect markets (ridiculous, but true). Even if we produce more tomorrow, it doesn't mean oil will fall in price, oil is openly traded and speculation is ramped (all it takes is someone to fart in the middle east and prices will rise). Right now we don't have a shortage, yet prices are setting record highs? I'm not saying we should not produce more oil domestically (eventually we will have to, because of the rise of China and India), but speculators are a large part of the problem. I'm sure Obama's economic advisors told him to say that, just to shut the market up...BTW this reminds me of the south park episode on the economy, where they depicted the "Economy" as a large beast or "elusive entity," where no one knew what to do to quell it, except Randy (depicted as jesus lol)...

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Let's be clear. Oil has been dropping. Oil was over $110 in early May. Fell below $100, managed to get back up above $100, but then fell back down below $100 in the mid-last week. More than one expert was stating we have now seen the peak for the summer, and that it would continue to fall unless something happened in the middle east.

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Wanna bet something is always happening in the ME?

Still got the usual kink of changing formulas to summer blend/spring maintenance issues and of course hurricane season....I wouldn't count on it

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