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Opine Needles

The Blog

Our Perspicacious President?

Opine Needles recently listened with incredulity as the President rolled out his plan for “America’s Energy Security”. In addition to the normal nauseating rhetoric on the renewable front, the President actually had the unmitigated gall to blame the oil industry for not drilling its existing leased acreage more expeditiously.

With respect to the Gulf of Mexico (GOM), he said “Now, today, we’re working to expedite new drilling permits for companies that meet these higher standards. Since they were put in, we’ve approved 39 new shallow-water permits; we’ve approved seven deepwater permits in recent weeks. When it comes to drilling offshore, my administration approved more than two permits last year for every new well that the industry started to drill. So any claim that my administration is responsible for gas prices because we’ve “shut down” oil production, any claim like that is simply untrue. It might make for a useful sound bite, but it doesn’t track with reality.”

Opine Needles wants to make it clear that anyone who remotely understands the vagaries of the oil trading markets knows that the situation in the US GOM is only tangentially related to the current price of gasoline. Our energy based issue with the President lies in how wholly disingenuous he is when he talks about reducing our dependence on foreign oil, while simultaneously crushing our domestic production capability!

The sad truth is that the vast majority of Americans don’t know better, (and thus give the President a free hall pass on the topic) and those in the drive-by media who do understand are most reluctant to call into question anything stated as fact by the chosen one. Just to put this telegenic nattering nitwit’s comments in perspective, we were averaging between 30 and 40 drilling permits a MONTH before the Macondo incident. And only ONE of the deepwater projects mentioned above is for a NEW well. This administration has cost the people in the Gulf of Mexico region tens of thousands of jobs. The ripple effect has run straight up the middle of the country to states like Indiana and Ohio; where specialty steel forging work for the US oil industry still occurs.

The service companies have mostly moved on to greener pastures. The bureaucracy and regulatory burden on the exploration and production companies is overwhelming. An anticipated outcome will be one where many companies will simply never return to explore and develop the Gulf. (It is instructive to remember that 65% of the oil and gas production on the continental shelf in the US GOM is owned and operated by independent oil companies; not the “majors”.) The Obama administration has achieved its own “Mission Accomplished” moment. It has just about killed off the US Gulf of Mexico as a vibrant and promising source of domestic hydrocarbons. Well, ok, it’s not dead. It’s just in a coma. And only a new President and Republican senate will be able to get it off life support and back on its own two feet.

Let’s not forget the ongoing moratorium in the eastern region of the GOM, along both of our Ocean coasts, and in Alaska. The Oil business is not the problem!

It’s a cloudy day outside the White House. President Obama meets with his top advisors. Names are withheld to prevent further embarrassment.

Comments to the President from West Wing Staff—

“Sir, we think you should just admit it. You do not like the oil business. It represents everything you seem to resent about our country. It was built by risk-takers and entrepreneurs. And God forbid, no matter how much we try thwarting that kind of behavior, there are still plenty of them left.

Oilfield workers are named Bubba, wear Wranglers and cowboy boots, drink in honky-tonks, drive pick-ups, own guns, go to church, and probably vote Republican a lot more than democrat. Oh, one more thing, and you won’t like this either. Workers in the oil industry don’t cotton much to unions. They pretty much take care of their own, and their own would just as soon spend their earnings as they see fit. You see, in that neck of the woods,

The President—

“Did you say redneck? Are you talking about that guy in Florida who burned the Qu’ran?

Response to the President from West Wing Staff—

“Ummmm, no sir, we were simply referencing the states along the gulf coast. Anyway, in that part of the country, they are pretty sure they can solve their own problems. They really don’t want the federal government and unions making their decisions for them.”

The President—

“Why, that’s insane! What on earth is it with these wacky private sector people? Is it the guns?…the wacky religious right?…I mean, I don’t get it…maybe it’s because they are not organized by unions. Maybe they just need some structure and control in their lives. ”

Response to the President from West Wing Staff–

“Frankly Sir, we don’t think many people from that part of world much like you. So you might as well focus on appealing to your base. Just stick with progressive, post colonial climate change oriented ideas such as carbon tax credits, and developing sustainable and renewable energy. Use words with lots of syllables. The effete elite love it when you use big words.”

The President–

“What exactly are you saying?”

Response to the President from West Wing Staff–

“Sir, your energy speech this week was pretty much the last nail in the coffin. The oil industry in the Gulf of Mexico is moribund. So let’s focus on solidifying your base of support.”

The President—

Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about! Moribund. I love that word. I hope I can use that someday on a Yalie in Scrabble. Good job, team. Heh, find me another industry that is inextricably intertwined with America’s history and greatness. C’mon, there must be another one. We’ll crush it too!”

Lights fade, as the battery in the solar-powered generator in West Wing dies.