Obama Flips on Domestic Drilling

As noted by Mark Halperin, Barack Obama confirmed his flip on domestic drilling in prepared remarks today. He also slams McCain for apparently doing nothing about reducing our dependency on foreign oil — evidently ignoring that McCain has been pushing for expanded domestic drilling.

George Bush’s own Energy Department has said that if we opened up new areas to drilling today, we wouldn’t see a single drop of oil for seven years.

Liberals like to quote the Energy Department and its Energy Information Administration. The EIA consistently says that we would see little impact on our prices and it would take years to take effect if we began drilling today. Unfortunately, the agency doesn’t have a steller track record in making predictions. Back in 2005, the EIA predicted that oil would remain in the $20-30/barrel range until the year 2025. As I write this, oil futures are trading at $123.87/barrel.

President Reagan’s chief economic advisor and Harvard economics professor Martin Feldstein, however, explains in an article:

Similarly, increasing the expected future supply of oil would also reduce today’s price. That fall in the current price would induce an immediate rise in oil consumption that would be matched by an increase in supply from the OPEC producers and others with some current excess capacity or available inventories.

Any steps that can be taken now to increase the future supply of oil, or reduce the future demand for oil in the U.S. or elsewhere, can therefore lead both to lower prices and increased consumption today.

Anyway, Obama continues:

Even Texas oilman Boone Pickens, who’s calling for major new investments in alternative energy, has said, “this is one emergency we can’t drill our way out of.”

Again, this is something liberals often repeat in order to justify their opposition to drilling. Fact is, Pickens does say we can’t drill our way out of this. But at the same time he also says we need to “drill it all”. His point isn’t that we shouldn’t drill because it won’t solve the entire crisis. His point is that we need to drill it all, but also incorporate alternative energy.

We should sell 70 million barrels of oil from our Strategic Petroleum Reserve for less expensive crude, which in the past has lowered gas prices within two weeks.

Which is where we find the flip-flop. Here was Senator Obama less than a month ago, talking about his opposition to opening up the SPR:

Team Obama’s excuse for his flip-flop on a top issue? According to Mark Halperin:

He recognizes that Americans are suffering.

Allow me to correct that for the spokesman:

He recognizes that Americans his poll numbers are suffering.


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