Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
April 20, 2014

We’re Burning More Oil Than Ever

Rolling Stone: “If you want to understand how people will remember the Obama climate legacy, a few facts tell the tale: By the time Obama leaves office, the U.S. will pass Saudi Arabia as the planet’s biggest oil producer and Russia as the world’s biggest producer of oil and gas combined. In the same years, even as we’ve begun to burn less coal at home, our coal exports have climbed to record highs. We are, despite slight declines in our domestic emissions, a global-warming machine: At the moment when physics tell us we should be jamming on the carbon brakes, America is revving the engine.”

“You could argue that private industry, not the White House, has driven that boom, and in part you’d be right. But that’s not what Obama himself would say. But that’s not what Obama himself would say. Here’s Obama speaking in Cushing, Oklahoma, last year, in a speech that historians will quote many generations hence. It is to energy what Mitt Romney’s secretly taped talk about the 47 percent was to inequality. Except that Obama was out in public, boasting for all the world to hear:

“Over the last three years, I’ve directed my administration to open up millions of acres for gas and oil exploration across 23 different states. We’re opening up more than 75 percent of our potential oil resources offshore. We’ve quad­rupled the number of operating rigs to a record high. We’ve added enough new oil and gas pipeline to encircle the Earth, and then some. . . . In fact, the problem . . . is that we’re actually producing so much oil and gas . . . that we don’t have enough pipeline capacity to transport all of it where it needs to go.”

  • EricFromTheHill

    I’m not prone to trust Rolling Stone with projecting history. We’re also generating more renewable energy than ever. Natural gas is by no means a panacea and poses its own risks, but is hardly the evil destroyer of worlds the hard left makes it out to be. Then there’s the very ambitious climate change executive actions that are barely a year old.
    But kudos on the call for action. We certainly need more of it. Laying it at Obama’s feet, however, is just hard left smoke-blowing. If you want to see real change, work to get progressives in state governments and Congress.

  • cettel

    Obama has always been a Republican in “Democratic” clothing.

    • mrbeenie

      Pointless comment.

  • moderatesunite

    a bit of a misleading headline, production in the Us has increased in the past few years(from a historic low) but our (as in the United states) consumption has decreased. Global demand overall continues to increase, and combined with the greater expense in producing the harder to reach oil sources continues to cause price increases.
    The transition to renewables has just begun. It’s unreasonable to expect global oil use to decline this early in the process, but we do need to get started on even bolder fuel transitions as soon as possible

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