Obama needs to "really get serious about drilling domestically" according to Sarah Palin, former half-term governor of Alaska and presumptive 2012 presidential candidate, in an interview with Greta Van Susteren on Fox News late last month.
We need to "concentrate on domestic drilling," according to Palin and "extract responsibly" the "God-given resources that we have domestically."
What's driving high fuel prices? According to Palin: "More than anything, it is a [sic] supply and demand, a very basic economic principle -- supply and demand."
Palin is right on this. It is an issue of supply and demand.
But it's not supply that the U.S. has to increase. In fact, in a global oil market, no amount of increase in U.S. production will influence oil prices given the relative size of our oil reserves. "Drill, baby, drill" is an economically and environmentally bankrupt policy. The United States is already the world's third largest producer of crude oil. Adding some incremental production is not going to impact the price at the pump in a global petroleum market.
We need to lower our demand and trim our consumption -- by driving less in more efficient vehicles and by transitioning to natural gas- , biofuel- and electric-powered vehicles. Those are the domestic energy supplies we need to exploit.
So, it is a supply and demand issue. But Palin is pushing for a policy based on the wrong end of the equation. Keeping the price of oil low is not an energy policy -- although it's consistent with the actions of the last eight or so U.S. presidents.
During the Van Susteren interview, Palin came up with this nugget: "And not looking at subsidizing some of the harebrained ideas that [Obama] has, thinking that green energy is going to solve all of our problems today."
Here's the transcript of the energy-related portion of the interview:
Well, I never would have done what President Obama did, and that’s engage in that moratorium after the tragedy in the Gulf with the spill. He should have been more sensible in figuring out what the problem was, what the solution was to the Gulf spill but not take it out on the rest of the country and prohibit drilling onshore and offshore, is what he did. Ninety-seven percent of our offshore area locked up after that. And there still is a quasi-moratorium because the EPA is making it virtually impossible for drillers to be out there extracting responsibly the God-given resources that we have domestically.
So that’s certainly a difference that I would have had with President Obama. Had I been in that chair, I would have said, 'No, we’re going to allow the domestic drilling. And we’re not going to subsidize Brazil or other foreign countries and ramp up production in those countries as we promise that we’ll be their best customer if only they’ll drill more!' No, I would concentrate on the domestic drilling here.
Now, the president’s engaged now in what he wants to get to the bottom of with -- whether it be collusion or price fixing or speculators, what else is driving up the cost. Well, he can look at other states like Alaska. We already did a study to find out, was it collusion, was it speculators? What was driving up the last big spike in gas prices? And we found that, no, more than anything, it is a supply and demand, a very basic economic principle, supply and demand.
He needs to maybe take the results from other states’ findings where we’ve already conducted those same studies, those same investigations, find those results, plug them in and then really get serious about drilling domestically and not looking at subsidizing some of the harebrained ideas that he has, thinking that green energy is going to solve all of our problems today.
In April, in what sounded a lot like a campaign speech, Palin said, "And you ignore it when you manipulate the oil supply. You cut off oil development here and you hypocritically praise foreign countries for their drilling. And when hardworking families are hit with four- and five-dollar gas, and your skyrocketing energy and food prices as you set out to fundamentally transform America, you ignore our concerns and you tell us we just better get used to it."
On her Facebook page on April 26, she asked President Obama, "When do you ever just “roll up your sleeves, unplug the teleprompter” and do the job of governing and administrating for which voters hired you?"
Let's see: What has Obama been up to lately?