The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

President Reverses Course on Energy Policy Rhetoric as Election Day Nears

Carlton Carroll

Carlton Carroll
Posted October 2, 2012

President Obama issued a proclamation yesterday to recognize October as National Energy Action Month.  His encouraging words of support for developing more of our own resources are refreshing and represent a stark departure from what he and his administration have said in the past.

From the president’s 2012 proclamation:

“As we lay the foundation for a clean energy economy, we must also take advantage of the abundant energy resources we have here at home. . .

“Thanks to pioneering new technologies developed right here at home, America is also now the world's leading producer of natural gas. As production has increased, it has boosted our manufacturing, dramatically reduced prices, and created more jobs for the American people. Along with advances in renewable energy and increased efficiency, our investments in natural gas can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change.”

It’s good to see that the president’s statements now match the views of the American people when it comes to utilizing our oil and natural gas resources, in addition to focusing on an all-of-the-above energy strategy.  This is a clear shift from the president calling oil and natural gas “yesterday’s energy” in his State of the Union Address last year. 

The president’s 2011 proclamation on National Energy Action Month didn’t even mention oil and natural gas.

The 2010 proclamation said the U.S. has an “overdependence on fossil fuels.”

So, in the face of an election year, the president has reversed course and now embraces an all-of-the-above energy plan that relies heavily on natural gas development – thanks to technologies of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling.  The president’s election team now seems to understand what recent polling by API reveals—that 72 percent of likely voters support more oil and natural gas development and 90 percent of likely voters think more development will create jobs.  

While this appears to be a positive step toward a national energy policy that will provide more jobs, more government revenue and more energy security, a proclamation without decisive action is nothing more than good literature.

Let’s hope the president follows through on his promises by expanding access to our vast oil and natural gas resources, by approving the Keystone XL pipeline, by streamlining burdensome and costly regulations, by resisting the urge to regulate the very technologies that have made our current energy boom possible and by speeding up permitting on federal lands.