Reality Bites

By Keith Kloor | May 14, 2011 7:45 am

Here’s news and (a headline) that is sure to rankle many in the climate and environmental communities:

Obama seeks to promote more oil drilling in Alaska, offshore

But it shouldn’t come as a surprise, since this is what he said during his recent “energy security” speech in March:

Meeting this new goal of cutting our oil dependence depends largely on two things: finding and producing more oil at home, and reducing our dependence on oil with cleaner alternative fuels and greater efficiency.

This begins by continuing to increase America’s oil supply.  Last year, American oil production reached its highest level since 2003.  And for the first time in more than a decade, oil we imported accounted for less than half the liquid fuel we consumed.

To keep reducing that reliance on imports, my Administration is encouraging offshore oil exploration and production ““ as long as it’s safe and responsible.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Energy, energy security
MORE ABOUT: Energy, energy security
  • Pascvaks

    …”But it shouldn’t come as a surprise…”

    In Chi-town this tactic is called “Throwing Crumbs”.  Expect nothing to come of anything he says that is good for the country and bad for his friends.  Friends comes firstus.  Always!  The kid may have been born in Hawaii, but he was raised in the streets. (SarcOff)

    Oh well, people deserve what they vote for!

  • Tom Fuller

    I find it surprising that people haven’t figured out that our president pretty much says what he’s going to do and then tries his hardest to do it.

    He is a pragmatic politician, no question, and he’s willing to cut his losses early when he sees defeat in front of him. But Obama has been really a clear communicator of his intentions.

    And this Alaskan oil drilling needs to be looked at from a wider perspective that includes increased demand for liquid fuels worldwide that is just now taking off.

  • NikFromNYC

    Rankle: Cause annoyance or resentment that persists.
    I don’t intend to rankle. I intend to conquer. There is no use in leaving backstabbers standing.
    I present The Thinking Man’s Quick Guide to Global Warming:

  • Dean

    Obama didn’t get where he is without understanding politics. He’s trying to take an issue away from Republicans with high gas prices. In combination with calls to end oil company subsidies, he might do it. Whether or not it eventually leads to significantly increased production will depend on whether the politics that led to the announcement continue. If gas prices fall and the Democrats win back the House, probably not. If the Republicans keep the House and especially if they take the Senate in 2012, maybe so – even if Obama wins reelection.

    Some Republicans like to label him a raving socialist. I suppose it depends on your definition of that word, but for the most part he is very pragmatic. Remember that FDR won his first reelection despite 12% unemployment with Republicans calling him a raving socialist. He almost lost his second reelection with a more sensible Republican opponent. This is just another example of Obama triangulating. If the Republicans weren’t so scary to Democrats, he would probably be facing a serious primary challenger.

  • kdk33

    Makes perfect sense to set aside lands in Alaska, where few people live and most of us will never visit; but, hey, go ahead and blight the landscapes where the people actually are with windmills. 

  • kdk33

    Regarding oil company subsidies, as a general principle, I oppose subsidies for any business.  But, can someone explain to me what these subsidies are.

    Also, as an aside, aren’t oil company subsidies (whatever they may be), in effect, a progressive tax.  Isn’t eliminating them, in effect, a regressive tax. 


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About Keith Kloor

Keith Kloor is a NYC-based journalist, and an adjunct professor of journalism at New York University. His work has appeared in Slate, Science, Discover, and the Washington Post magazine, among other outlets. From 2000 to 2008, he was a senior editor at Audubon Magazine. In 2008-2009, he was a Fellow at the University of Colorado’s Center for Environmental Journalism, in Boulder, where he studied how a changing environment (including climate change) influenced prehistoric societies in the U.S. Southwest. He covers a wide range of topics, from conservation biology and biotechnology to urban planning and archaeology.


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