Wednesday, January 21, 2015

An Amazing Thing to Watch

President Obama certainly knows an opportunity when he sees one. For six years under his presidency the economy has been lethargically plodding along with high unemployment and weak business performance. Nothing the administration did to create jobs and get business moving had any success.

Then, largely as a result of the boom in domestic oil production, a boom that Mr. Obama didn't want, refused to assist by opening up public lands and offshore sites for drilling, and sought to strangle with his cap and trade proposals in 2009, gasoline prices have declined dramatically.

The lower cost of fuel has been the equivalent of putting hundreds of dollars in the pockets of consumers and giving businesses a huge tax cut. It has almost by itself resulted in whatever moderately favorable economic trends there have been in the last couple of months, but none of it had anything to do with Mr. Obama. Indeed, if he had his way, none of it would have happened. Mr. Obama doesn't want lower gas prices and said so when he ran for president in 2008.
The president wants gasoline prices high so that people will be forced off of carbon-based fuels and on to cleaner energy. Nevertheless, there he was before the nation last night during his State of the Union message declaring with a straight face that his policies have resulted in a "bustling" economy and that lower gas prices are creating jobs:

We believed we could reduce our dependence on foreign oil and protect our planet. And today, America is number one in oil and gas. And thanks to lower gas prices and higher fuel standards, the typical family this year should save $750 at the pump.

According to TownHall fact checkers,
None of these gains in domestic oil and gas production would have occurred if Obama had been able to pass the carbon cap and trade plan he pushed in 2009, the stated goal of which was to decrease oil and gas consumption by driving up the cost of producing it.

Only because Republicans stayed unified, and rejected Obama's cap and trade carbon tax, was the shale oil and natural gas boom able to produce the astounding results we are all enjoying today.
For Mr. Obama to now act as if he's delighted that gas prices are low and, worse, that he had something to do with it, is almost like watching a Stephen Colbert riff. In 2012 he ridiculed Republicans for suggesting that drilling for oil would lower the price:
And you can bet that since it’s an election year, they’re already dusting off their three-point plans for $2 gas. I’ll save you the suspense: Step one is drill, step two is drill, and step three is keep drilling. We heard the same thing in 2007, when I was running for president. We hear the same thing every year. We’ve heard the same thing for 30 years.

Well the American people aren’t stupid. You know that’s not a plan — especially since we’re already drilling....You know there are no quick fixes to this problem, and you know we can’t just drill our way to lower gas prices.
Yet the reason gas prices are dropping, according to many analysts, is because the Saudis are trying to make American oil production unprofitable by flooding the market with oil to force the price lower so that the expense of American drilling is greater than the profit the oil companies are making. In other words, our production is causing the price to plummet both by adding directly to the supply and by forcing our competitors to also add to the supply.

In 2012 Sarah Palin was roundly mocked by the liberal media for urging us to "Drill, baby, drill." They laughed then, but with fracking and other techniques we've been doing just what she encouraged us to do, and now those who mocked her, including the White House, are taking the credit for the results. It's an amazing thing to watch.