The president gave a speech on energy yesterday at Georgetown University, and like any political speech, there are some parts you agree with and some parts you don’t.
Here’s one part of the president’s speech we can agree with: “Producing more oil in America can help lower oil prices, create jobs and enhance our energy security.” Absolutely.
The question now is whether the president will back up his speech with action. Our concern is that in many cases, the words are at direct odds with current government policies that are preventing – not promoting – development of American oil and gas resources.
Here are three concrete actions that would help produce more oil (and gas) in America to help lower oil prices, create jobs and enhance our energy security — to quote the president.
- Approve the Keystone XL pipeline to bring Canadian oil to U.S. refineries. We can’t take advantage of Canada’s vast oil resources if we can’t get them here. Everything is ready to go – except government approval. Instead, the State Department announced another delay just a few weeks ago.
- Drop plans in the federal budget for billions of dollars in new, punitive taxes on U.S. oil and gas companies that will divert money from investments in new energy supplies. New taxes make U.S. companies less competitive internationally, and they discourage investment in energy supplies at home.
- Open up federal lands for oil and gas development. The tired and discredited “use it or lose it” talking point can’t hide the fact that there are millions of acres off limits to development of American energy resources. One recent study found that reversing drilling bans on federal lands could generate $1.7 trillion in government revenue over the life of the resource, create 160,000 jobs and increase U.S. oil output by as much as 2 million barrels a day by 2030.
Those three simple actions would send a message to the country that the president is serious about developing an energy policy that – as he says – will produce more oil in America, create jobs and enhance our energy security.