You have to admit, after listening to Barack Obama blame the poor state of the economy on George W. Bush for eight years, it is amusing watching him try to take credit for the Trump economy. In response to many of Trump’s promises, while he was on the campaign trail, Obama famously asked: “what magic wand do you have?” Only a few years later Obama would like us to believe that it was he who possessed that magic wand, apparently.
You’ve seen him take credit for the stock market and unemployment rate, and now the man who never stopped playing Chicken Little over global warming is trying to claim credit for surging oil production in America. During an event at Rice University’s Baker Institute, Obama said “suddenly America’s like the biggest oil producer and the biggest gas — that was me, people.”
Obama: “Suddenly America is the largest oil producer, that was me people … say thank you.” pic.twitter.com/VfQfX1SR0x
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) November 28, 2018
Was it really? According to the former president of Shell Oil (who knows a thing or two about drilling oil), oil production increased under Obama despite his presidency, not because of it.
“The facts are the facts. And, yes, the production did increase throughout his term,” Hofmeister said on “Fox & Friends.”
“But, frankly, he had nothing to do with it.”
“This was production in states like Texas, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Colorado — North Dakota in particular. And these were all state decisions made with industry applications for permits. The federal government had no role.”
Hofmeister said Obama opposed the energy industry at every turn with his actions against offshore drilling and his handling of the Keystone Pipeline. “Obama changed the regulations from an average of 60 to 80 pages per permit to 600 to 800 pages per permit. He also never approved the Keystone XL pipe line after dangling all the potential customers for 8 years. And it was in the 8th year when he said no Keystone Pipeline.”
As economist Matt Palumbo noted, Obama could only directly control oil production on federal land, while he could influence private production through regulation. Not surprisingly, oil production on the land Obama controlled barely budged.
While private oil production increased 108% from 2009-2017, it increased less than 20% on federal lands. And while Obama was speaking about oil instead of natural gas, that energy source suffered a massive decline in production on federal land. Oil and gas production on federal land is still far below their historical averages. Due to regulations passed under the Obama administration, the amount of time it takes the BLM to process a permit increased nearly 20% under Obama from 205 days to 242 days.
And the final nail in the coffin: the Energy Information Administration says Obama had nothing to do with it. “U.S. crude oil production has increased significantly over the past 10 years, driven mainly by production from tight rock formations using horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing.” Obama was publicly opposed to hydraulic fracturing and passed regulations to reduce its use on federal land (that Trump later removed).
Obama is taking credit for an oil boom, and it’s one he did everything to prevent.