For six years Republicans have accused President Obama of waging a war on the oil industry by restricting drilling and exploration on federal lands and national parks they claim hampers efforts to make America energy independent. However, under this President, America is now the world’s leading exporter of oil and gas surpassing Saudi Arabia as of last November. In fact, Republicans are still lying that immediate construction of the foreign KeystoneXL pipeline will reduce the nation’s dependence on foreign oil and create tens-of-thousands of American jobs which is another lie. In fact, as the nation continues its record run of monthly jobs created, the oil industry that complains bitterly the President restricts their ability to explore and drill is laying off tens-of-thousands of oil workers every month; not because of Obama’s regulations, but due to the oil glut from America’s prolific oil production success since the President has been in office.
Since December, various oil industry titans have announced major oil industry job layoffs due to record low oil prices as a result of increased exploration, drilling, and production President Obama is responsible for. In fact, the industry is not just laying off workers, they are abandoning and shutting down entire drilling operations in an effort to get control of the market and spark a rise in fuel costs. If nothing else, the Republicans’ claim that there can never be enough exploration and drilling, as well as their assertion that President Obama is hostile to the oil industry, is exposed as another blatant lie. A lie that Americans enjoying low gas prices must certainly aware of by now.
According to a careful assessment by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, they estimate that at least 250,000 oil industry jobs across eight U.S. states will be lost in 2015; there have already been tens-of-thousands of jobs lost in 2014. There will be hundreds-of-thousands of support and downstream jobs lost as well. In what is bad news for good old Texas, well over half of those quarter-of-a-million job losses will occur in the Lone Star state that leads the nation in oil production. One wonders how Republicans will portray the massive job losses that will affect the eight states’ economies because President Obama has presided over an epic oil production bonanza, or if they will back off of their claim that America desperately needs the KeystoneXL pipeline to “ensure America’s energy independence, or if they put a halt to calling for exploration and drilling in America’s national parks.
One thing is perfectly clear; America’s increased oil and gas production has turned out to be a detriment to the industry and will adversely affect several state economies on many fronts. According to a Bloomberg report, U.S. drillers pulled 94 oil rigs completely out of the fields in a single week that amounted to the largest weekly decline since Houston-based oil-field services company, Baker Hughes, began collecting the data in 1987. The nation’s biggest oil field, the Permian Basin of Texas and New Mexico, was the hardest hit losing 25 oil rigs thus far and many more to come this year. In California’s largest oil producing region, Kern County, leaders declared a fiscal emergency because the reduction in oil prices will impact the government’s property-tax collections by 15 percent, and the job losses, both direct and indirect, will further exacerbate the region’s financial crisis. Still Republicans assail President Obama for hampering the oil industry’s ability to enjoy unrestricted exploration and drilling they claim is crucial to creating an “energy independent nation;” a claim they continue making to expedite the construction of KeystoneXL.
Even with the massive job layoffs, drilling operation closures, and taking oil rigs completely out of production, American oil production continues to soar and contribute to falling oil prices at home and around the world. According to data from the Energy Information Administration, U.S. oil production reached 9.21 million barrels per day just last week; the most since well before 1983. One of the three entities that will profit most from construction of the KeystoneXL pipeline, ConocoPhillips, is so concerned that the oil glut will continue and prices will “stay too low for 2015” that they are “taking decisive actions.” No, they are not backing off the push to build the Keystone pipeline of which they hold major contracts to export the oil to foreign markets; they are cutting their oil rig count in the prolific Bakken shale formation in North Dakota and laying off thousands of workers to drive up oil prices for American consumers and increase profits for their shareholders. So much for the blatant lies their only regard is creating energy independence for America.
Republicans, such as Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, continue assailing President Obama as “being so hostile to the oil and gas industry, we’ve actually seen oil production on federal lands go down over 6 percent from 2009. Do we harness the energy resources that are here in our country to grow our economy, to create good-paying jobs, to lower the cost of energy for our people? Or do continue in our current path, where we make energy more expensive, more scarce? Where we continue to export good-paying energy jobs that actually hurt our economy.”
Obviously, Jindal is a typical Republican liar whose big energy plan is “immediately approving the KeystoneXL pipeline” he still claims “will actually provide more jobs, more investment, and energy independence for Americans.” For the record, Louisiana is one of the states where the oil industry is laying off thousands of workers and pulling oil rigs out of production due to the oil glut under this President that has proven to be anything but hostile to the oil industry. And, Louisiana’s economy is going to take a major hit from the loss of jobs and tax revenue from the industry closures.
If Republicans were concerned about America, its energy independence, or jobs and the economy, they would be assailing the oil industry for killing over a quarter-of-a-million oil industry jobs and restricting oil and gas production to raise fuel costs for American consumers and businesses. It is important to note that the oil glut in America is a worldwide phenomenon due in large part to the world-leading production and export under this President. A President that Republicans persist in claiming is “so hostile to the gas and oil industry that we’ve seen oil production do down.” It is yet another Republican lie about President Obama that is being debunked in grand fashion and for once every American paying substantially less at the gas pump is aware Republicans are liars.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.