Obama’s joke

If you can say anything about former President Barack Obama, you can say he has a robust sense of humor.

Take, for instance, his talk before Rice University’s Baker Institute, where he took credit for the United States emerging during his administration as the largest oil and gas producer in the world.

That from perhaps the most anti-energy presidents in the nation’s history. He blocked the Dakota Access Pipeline. He blocked the Keystone XL pipeline project. He blocked offshore drilling in the Arctic. He refused to open federal lands to oil and gas drilling.

Obama, instead, put his eggs in the wind and solar power basket. Those industries started to grow under the administration of George W. Bush and continued to grow under Obama, largely because of his anti-coal stance.

In fairness to Obama’s claims, there was a steady surge in gas and then oil production in the U.S. during his administration, but it largely was attributable to higher prices that caused the shale drilling revolution to explode. Technological developments spurred production.

The former president mentioned none of that. Instead, he said, “by the way, American energy production…you wouldn’t always know it, but it went up every year I was president. That whole, suddenly America’s like the biggest oil producer and the biggest gas — that was me, people. Say, thank you.”

Sorry. No, it was not. Neither Obama nor the government did much for the oil and gas industries, or for American energy independence. It was entrepreneurs spurred by high prices to make radical, market-driven changes in how oil and gas are produced who get the credit.

It mostly was Americans doing what Americans do – despite their government.


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