The Financial Times reports (free subscription) that the Obama White House is planning to call on oil companies to increase domestic production. In another Obama speech, today, the new plan is expected to focus on Oil, responsible natural gas, and a hot button for the left–when they claim to be in favor of drilling–forcing oil companies to use those idle leases.
The oil industry response on leases (from FT)…
“Companies are investing billions of dollars in these leases to explore for resources, which the department has long understood to be part of the exploration process. By ignoring the reality that extensive geological surveys, inventory assessments and the explorations process itself can take years and cost billions, the department just misses the point,” the National Association of Manufacturers said.
So the leases are more a promise to let them work the mineral rights once they have done all the heavy lifting? I’m OK, if that’s the point, but if the left is genuine in its desire to let oil companies drill, I say open the spigot and start developing any leases that are ready to be tapped. The impact on future production will send a message to speculators, we can have some serious job creation, and much needed revenue. And this isn’t just about oil jobs. Growth in the oil and natural gas industry will impact dozens of other industries in a positive way from manufacturing to retail.
So am I suspicious of Candidate Obama? Of course. Candidate Obama makes speeches, then leaves others to decide what they really mean, and to develop or implement policy based on true intentions. That has yet to work out well. Given the ‘experts’ he surrounds himself with, that policy will make it impossible to operate without oppressive state sanction and oversight, bordering on a state run oil monopoly. This is also known as slower, less efficient, and unproductive. And if history is any guide, any legislation to facilitate this latest "energy utopia" (even one that includes oil) will be 3000 pages of nonsense that cripples the industry while spending hidden billions to create a new bureau to regulate cheese puff manufacturers, Phrenologists, and on-road truckers.
But he’s giving the speech anyway. So just think of it as another Obama-ism–words full of hope and change, signifying nothing.