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Obama: Drill baby, drill

Is the man ceding to pressure?

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 on 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, who say he has shackled domestic energy development 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 anti-drilling policies.


In his weekly radio and Internet address, the president said the administration would begin to hold annual auctions for oil and gas leases in Alaska's National Petroleum Reserve, a 23-million-acre tract on the North Slope. 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 environmental impact of possible drilling off the southern and central Atlantic coasts and will consider making some areas available for exploration. The move signals a change from current policy, which puts the entire Atlantic seaboard off limits to drilling until at least 2018.

The president also said he would extend leases already granted for drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and the Arctic Ocean off Alaska that had been frozen after last year's BP spill. The extension will allow companies time to meet new safety and environmental standards without having to worry about their leases expiring.

The government will also provide incentives for oil companies to more quickly exploit leases they already hold. Tens of millions of acres onshore and offshore are under lease but have not been developed.


Responding to the shift by the administration, Brendan Buck, a spokesman for the House speaker, John A. Boehner, said, "The president just conceded what his party on Capitol Hill still denies: more American energy production will lower costs and create jobs. This reversal is striking, since his administration has consistently blocked American-made energy."

Hope and change America can believe in.

Here's looking to more Republican bills in Congress that will continue to apply pressure to arguably the most radically anti-jobs administration in history.


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Comments (17)

Too bad that the fear of lo... (Below threshold)

Too bad that the fear of losing his re-election bid is the only thing that motivated him to do it.

"...he was taking several s... (Below threshold)

"...he was taking several steps to speed oil and gas drilling on public lands and waters...."

I'll believe it when I see it, given his penchant for talking out of both sides of his mouth. After all, prices are just where he and Chu think they should be.

Barry will probably form a Commission to "look into the problem". Just another way to vote PRESENT! and kick the can down the road.

"I'll believe it when I ... (Below threshold)

"I'll believe it when I see it"

GarandFan took the words right out of my mouth. Much like the lauded legislation to build a border fence. You know, the fence that everyone began fighting to stop before the ink was dry on the bill. The one that Obama says is "complete".

Obama is saying aything at this point to get re-elected. He has no intention of expanding drilling anywhere except our pockets.

This is another pre-cursor ... (Below threshold)

This is another pre-cursor to his campaign for 1012. He has misleading leaks like this now, so on the trail he can say, "Let me be clear. My administration has increased bids on land leases across the US for all oil exploration. The petroleum industry is dragging their feet. If higher costs for carbon based energy are hitting your wallet, I feel your pain. It is time to invest in green blah blah blah..."

The longer Barack Obama is ... (Below threshold)

The longer Barack Obama is in office, the more he emulates the policies of George W. Bush, effectively repudiating everything that Candidate Obama promised his voters.

With soaring budget deficits caused by the programs and policies of the Candidate Obama, the President is getting the most expensive On-The-Job training in history.

He is becomg the "Six Trillion Dollar Man."

This is a head fake, guys. ... (Below threshold)

This is a head fake, guys. Most of this is just extending existing leases and rearranging a few deck chairs.

This is a feint. ... (Below threshold)

This is a feint.

You know how you can tell when Obama's lying? Whenever his telprompter is scrolling. Or when his lips are moving.

The Yoda eared clown in chi... (Below threshold)

The Yoda eared clown in chief will say anything to keep his puppet show on the air.

2012 the show gets cancelled ..

Big deal - he lets them fin... (Below threshold)

Big deal - he lets them find it, then he doesn't let them drill for it, or nationalizes the site.

I can do without his efforts at providing energy.

I'll believe it when I see ... (Below threshold)

I'll believe it when I see the rigs start drilling and the oil allowed to be pumped out and sent to the refineries in the U.S..

Until then, this is just another way to pretend he is 'concerned' while maintaining his policies of destroying U.S. oil, gas, coal and nuclear energy production.

Remember he and his fellow liberals are also attacking the oil companies and threatening to both take away any existing tax breaks while increasing energy taxes.

I too will believe it when ... (Below threshold)

I too will believe it when I see it.

This is an attempt to ward off one of the GOP's more effective lines of attack, especially from Palin.

Even if this was not just a... (Below threshold)

Even if this was not just a political maneuver to make Obama look like he is doing something rather than nothing, I don't think this would have a big effect on fuel prices in the near future.

When you hear Obama's hoofb... (Below threshold)
dom youngross:

When you hear Obama's hoofbeats on anything, don't think of horses. And don't think zebras. Think Plouffe.

Obama is credited with too much, and Plouffe, the little spider in the big senior advisor corner, feeling every vibration in the political web under each of his eight feet, is overlooked.

Trump is the one who can really light a fire under Plouffe's spinneret, who in turn whispers Obama into action. Trump got Plouffe to make Obama release the best he had in terms of Obama's birth certificate. Think that Obama decided to release his COLB? $5 says Plouffe decided. And Trump was pounding on Obama over the prospect of $5-6/gallon gasoline, and leaving marks. So no coinkydink here that Plouffe advised Obama to make with an Obama version of Drill Baby, Drill before June and the possibility of being pounded over gasoline prices by Trump as a confirmed candidate for the '12 republican nomination.

So now Plouffe has Obama innoculated against Trump on gasoline prices, just in case Trump does run. But being as it's Obama's version of Drill Baby, Drill, yeah right, who believes it. At best it can influence commodity speculators to change their long bets based on Jan. 2009-April 2010 Obama into short selling, based on May 2011 Obama -- faster than they would have otherwise.

Remember the company in Ala... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Remember the company in Alaska (think it was Exxon) who spent billions finding oil only to have the EPA deny them drilling due to the fact that the ships may cause pollution to the eskimo village of 273 that was 70 miles away.

I am quite sure the same thing will happen with any company drilling new wells.

Eventually their wont be any new exploration until somebody smart gets into the WH.

You've got it RM...Obama wi... (Below threshold)

You've got it RM...Obama will 'allow' the leases, but later on his minions in the EPA or some other agency will pull some 'study' out of their rears. He'll then cancel the leases because of the 'concerns' of these 'experts'.

In the not too distant futu... (Below threshold)

In the not too distant future, when the campaign is in full swing, after there is a republican nominee, during debates, President Zero will refer to this as another accomplishment when no accomplishment actually happened.

Wait and see.

Textbook Chicago politics.

Obama can appear to advocat... (Below threshold)

Obama can appear to advocate for drilling on the one hand, knowing full well that Administration red tape and lawsuits will keep those drills silent on the other.

It's a sham.






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