Washington, D.C. — “Today, the President will visit Cushing, Oklahoma – home of the largest oil storage facility in the world – to tout his administration’s energy policy. While I am always happy to welcome any president to Oklahoma, taxpayers should understand that the Obama administration has been hostile to the very sector of the economy he wants to take credit for supporting.
“In Oklahoma, we have a phrase to describe the president’s position: ‘All hat, no cattle.’ The president offers big talk on domestic energy production but has offered little action to back up his claims.
“In word and deed, this administration has consistently expressed an illogical and ideological hostility to oil and gas. President Obama has even called oil the ‘fuel of the past’ even though government experts recognize our nation will rely on fossil fuels for nearly 70 percent of our energy needs through 2035. For better or worse, oil and gas are the fuel of the present. Oklahomans, in particular, understand that the Cushing facility is part of our future, not our past.
“Oklahomans also understand that the United States may be the only nation in the world today that could be energy independent but isn’t because of its own government. The president will, of course, claim that oil production is increasing. This is true but misleading. Production has increased on privately owned lands while declining on lands managed by the federal government. In other words, production has increased in spite of this administration’s policies and because of decisions made by previous administrations – both Republican and Democrat.
“Even as gas prices are skyrocketing, the administration has opposed efforts to use our own domestic fossil fuel resources to boost supply. The administration’s onshore mineral leasing policies, offshore leasing plans and permitting delays are all moving us in the wrong direction. For example, the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) off our shores contains 1.76 billion acres of water, of which only 38 million acres – or two percent of the available acres – are leased to energy companies. In the Gulf of Mexico, production decreased 17 percent in 2011.