Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Lying About Oil Production

Republicans keep harping on gas prices. They want very much to blame Obama, and they do so through some astonishing rhetoric. Romney in particular insists that Obama has a weak and ineffective energy policy, and that it is the reason why gas prices continue to climb.

Three points are worth noting; one is Romney's breathtaking willingness to lie, a subject I'll address in greater detail separately; second is that his own economic advisers have distanced themselves from his claims.

And then there is point number three: Romney's charges about oil production are wrong. In fact they are laughably, face-palm in disbelief kind of wrong. I have already touched on this point before. I referenced an article in the Houston Chronicle that discussed the transformation in oil production that is taking place since Obama took office. And here is how the New York Times reports it (emphasis mine):
The desolate stretch of West Texas desert known as the Permian Basin is still the lonely domain of scurrying roadrunners by day and howling coyotes by night. But the roar of scores of new oil rigs and the distinctive acrid fumes of drilling equipment are unmistakable signs that crude is gushing again.

And not just here. Across the country, the oil and gas industry is vastly increasing production, reversing two decades of decline. Using new technology and spurred by rising oil prices since the mid-2000s, the industry is extracting millions of barrels more a week, from the deepest waters of the Gulf of Mexico to the prairies of North Dakota... 

Taken together, the increasing production and declining consumption have unexpectedly brought the United States markedly closer to a goal that has tantalized presidents since Richard Nixon: independence from foreign energy sources, a milestone that could reconfigure American foreign policy, the economy and more. In 2011, the country imported just 45 percent of the liquid fuels it used, down from a record high of 60 percent in 2005. 
Pretty good, though obviously that is not what Romney is claiming. The real problem here is the White House does not tout its accomplishments very well. President Obama has allowed Republicans on all levels, including their allies at Fox, to establish the narrative. That is a mistake Democrats are prone to making. I expect the talking heads at Fox to lie, including the buffoons at Fox and Friends, but Mitt Romney is repeatedly and deliberately misrepresenting the facts.

I leave you with one other factoid, the picture below, that Mitt Romney is shamelessly lying about. Note the sharp increase in the blue line. Note the date. Who became president just before the blue line started to go up?

Go ahead and say it, Mitt. No lying this time.

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