Remember Michele Bachmann’s critique of President Obama’s energy policy? “We have resources from coal to oil to natural gas,” she said. “The problem is, under the EPA, they’ve been busy locking up (supplies), especially under President Obama.” Now, the Interior Department controls oil and gas leases, not the EPA, but never mind. Obama, the argument goes, is preventing us from harnessing our vast oil supplies.
Over at Climate Progress, Joe Romm puts together his own chart, using data from the Energy Information Administration, showing that U.S. field production of crude oil is up significantly since 2008. As a result, oil imports have shrunk 11 percent in the past year. The United States is becoming more energy independent. But here’s the kicker — gas prices are still significantly higher this year than they were in 2010. It’s almost as if additional U.S. oil production is too small in the global scheme of things to affect prices at the pump in any sizeable way. (Though one could argue that extra production is keeping oil prices from going even higher than they otherwise would.)
In any case, that’s all context for Bachmann’s promise that she can ratchet gas prices down below $2 per gallon by cranking up domestic production. This boost is already happening under the Obama administration, and gas prices aren’t exactly flying downwards.