Drill, Drill, Drill in Brazil
It seems that President Obama had something more to accomplish on his trip to Brazil this week, other than to enjoy the sights of Rio and the adulation of Brazil’s leading politicians. One of his major goals was to emphasize to his Brazilian hosts that he strongly supported their country’s government owned oil company Petrobras and its offshore oil drilling activities.
After abruptly joining in with the United Nations approved military actions in Libya and authorizing American forces to engage in a third major war, Obama abruptly left for a combined business and vacation in Brazil. Ostensibly the trip is about developing additional trade with Latin America, but this trip evidently included a reminder of his promise to support Brazil’s oil industry, a promise that he made back in August of 2009.
Incredibly Obama promised that the USA would underwrite a $2 Billion loan to Brazil’s government owned Petrobras for a massive underwater drilling project. Sometime after that, using the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico as an excuse, Obama imposed a 7 year offshore drilling ban of the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, as well as much of the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska. Forget about drilling in the Alaska National Wildlife Reserve (ANWR), that’s out of the question.
On this trip, while in Brazil giving a speech to a group of Brazilian businessmen at a CEO Summit, he said “We want to help you with the technology and support to develop these oil reserves safely. And when you’re ready to start selling, we want to be one of your best customers.” These words represent an incredible level of hypocrisy from someone who obviously is strongly opposed to drilling for oil. At least, he is totally opposed to drilling in the United States, evidently preferring to have the USA purchase its oil abroad.
Obama still refuses to lift the ban on offshore drilling here in the United States, and continues to demonize the oil and gas industries, as energy prices continue to rise. He is blatantly supporting the economic growth of another country while purposely hindering the economic growth of the American economy.
Why Doesn’t Obama Want America to Drill for Oil?
This president has the audacity to tell Americans that they cannot drill for their own oil while at the same time supplying money to Brazil to support and encourage that nation to drill on its offshore portion of the Atlantic Ocean. Why would he do that? Here are some possible reasons:
- He is and always has been an opponent of the US Domestic oil industry.
- His political base is formed largely from labor unions and the environmental lobby
- The environmental lobby in the USA wants to stop all drilling for oil and natural gas, replacing these fuel sources with clean and renewable energy sources, such as windmills and solar panels.
- Obama sincerely believes that preventing the growth of the oil and gas industry in the USA will lead to the adoption of renewable energy sources sooner rather than later.
Why Is Obama Encouraging Brazil to Drill for Oil?
There are a number of reasons and effects from this Obama initiative, including:
- Having Brazil drill for oil in its backyard limits the need for America to drill.
- This helps insure that the USA will have a more secure supply of oil without having to pay the environmental price of oil spills, etc.
- Not supporting drilling in the USA pleases Obama’s environmental base, helping his re-election in 2012.
- This gives Obama somewhat more leeway in implementing his renewable energy strategy of a fossil free America.
- Obama wants to help the Brazilian economy create jobs for Brazilian workers as part of his overall plan to redistribute wealth from richer to poorer countries.
- As an added benefit, this aid to Brazil helps his billionaire friend and supporter, George Soros, who is a large investor in Petrobras.
Should Americans Support Obama’s Energy Policies?
My answer is absolutely not! Obama’s policies are a disaster for the United States. These policies will result in higher energy costs and more dependence on foreign oil, as well as increasing the US trade deficit over time. They have also resulted in the loss of tens of thousands of jobs in the oil drilling industry, especially within the Gulf states.
Americans need an Energy Policy from their government that will ensure that we have adequate, secure and reasonably inexpensive sources of energy now and well into the future. This policy should at least contain the following basic principles:
- We need to have a secure source of fossil fuels until comparably priced alternative energy sources are developed and practical to supply the needs of all Americans.
- These fossil fuels need to be a combination of oil, natural gas and coal to supply America’s needs for industry, transportation, electrical generation and individual uses.
- To the extent that nuclear power generation can be delivered reliably and safely, and nuclear waste can safely removed, this form of energy should still be a priority.
- All other forms of renewable energy should be pursued, including wind power, solar power, geothermal and hydro without the need for excessive government subsidies. Their sale and use should be determined by cost and market forces and not by government edicts.
In order to support these principles, the US government should be encouraging (and not discouraging) the drilling for oil and natural gas in those areas of the United States where there are plentiful supplies. In the case of oil, these areas include the Pacific coastal areas, the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic coast, and Alaska including the ANWR. As the price of oil rises, oil exploration will become profitable in the major shale areas in the United States, such as the Marcellus Shale areas in the Appalachian Basin and the Bakken Shale areas in Montana and North Dakota.
There is no reason for the United States to be totally dependent on foreign energy sources. There is even less reason for the President of the United States to be working directly against the interest of the United States by pursuing policies that limit the United States production of oil and gas and reward other countries for their production.
Hopefully, the new Republican majority in the House will take up the task of changing the disastrous Obama energy policy and start working to change it for the better.