President Obama is fond of iterating the only-technically correct factoid that, during his tenure, total U.S. oil production has increased — the only problem being that recent policy decisions tend to have little bearing on energy-sector metrics like total oil production (a reality of which I’m sure the president is perfectly aware, but chooses to deliberately mislead the public anyway).
Our country’s increased oil production is due largely to greater productivity on state and private land as well as technological innovation, not to mention the decisions that Obama “inherited” from his predecessors. Under the Obama administration, the rate of federal permitting has decidedly decreased, and the extent of the plans they’ve revealed for drilling opportunities thus far are not encouraging (cough cough, this).
As I’ve long maintained, if Americans really want to be energy independent, there’s no need to get federal policy enforcements involved — simply allow Americans to take full entrepreneurial advantage of our abundant natural resources, and we’ll become a net exporter without even having to try to engineer that outcome.
A new report from the International Energy Agency basically confirms as much, as reported by the WSJ: