Monday, March 26, 2012

Obama's topsy-turvy energy policy

Obama is lying when he claims that his energy strategy includes oil production as a "key part." He wants to claim credit for drilling that the federal government has no control over and hope that people will ignore how his administration has blocked oil production on federal lands or offshore. And then there is this:
The president's concern for environmental safety would be more credible if Obama had not encouraged offshore drilling by Mexican companies with less experience conducting such operations than American companies, in the same Gulf of Mexico that his moratorium was supposed to protect.
If the Republicans can't exploit this fact - that Obama has prohibited a pipeline, which is the safest way to transport oil, but is helping Mexico in riskier offshore drilling by a state-owned Mexican firm to drill in the Gulf of Mexico.
But at the same time the president has supported oil drilling off the shore of Brazil by the partly privatized firm Petrobras and now has decided to aid the efforts of the state-owned firm Pemex for deep offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. This, despite the fact that Pemex has no experience with such projects and, unlike Petrobras, labors under national laws prohibiting or discouraging the use of experienced private sector partners in this enterprise.

Let’s get this straight. We’ve prohibited a pipeline, the safest way to transport oil, from Canada, but we’re aiding Mexico in offshore drilling, which is riskier, and by a firm that lacks the experience of the U.S. firms we have been trying to prevent drilling in the same body of water. Does this make any sense at all. “Obama has managed to find the sour spot on energy,” writes the usually judicious Walter Russell Mead, who concludes his blogpost with tart understatement: “his energy policy could use a bit more thinking through.” Ya think?
Does this make sense to anyone? Why is Mexican oil and riskier off-shore drilling good and Canadian oil and pipeline bad?