In a May 5 op-ed in The Washington Examiner, David Limbaugh, right-wing pundit and brother of Rush Limbaugh, falsely claimed President Obama's "policies and actions are actually contributing to rocketing gas prices today." In fact, as Media Matters has repeatedly documented, energy experts have said it's "not credible" to blame Obama for the recent spike in gas prices. Limbaugh's op-ed also suggested that increasing U.S. domestic oil production would reduce gas prices; in fact, experts have agreed increased domestic drilling would not affect the global price of oil by more than a few cents over a few decades. Limbaugh also claims that Obama "does everything in his power to suppress domestic oil production" -- but in fact, according the U.S. Energy Information Administration, domestic oil production has been steadily declining since 1985.
From Limbaugh's op-ed (emphasis added):
Do you remember the terrible things the left was saying about President George W. Bush when gas prices soared under his watch? Yet President Obama, whose policies and actions are actually contributing to rocketing gas prices today, gets the usual mainstream media pass.
During Bush's term, gas prices went down 9 percent, adjusted for inflation. Yet, preposterously, he was excoriated for allegedly colluding with "big oil" to drive up prices. When prices spiked later in his term, he took proactive steps to increase our supply and reduce prices, and they worked. But Obama has taken action to impede conventional energy sources and shove us into alternative ones. Even so, liberals ignore any possible causal links.
Behind the smoke and mirrors of his rhetoric, it's hard not to conclude that Obama's on a mission to suppress or shut down the existing oil infrastructure in the United States in pursuit of his stated alternative priorities.
The Heritage Foundation's Rory Cooper reports that, as of February 2011, at least 103 permits were awaiting review by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement. And since February, the administration has issued on average only 1.3 permits a month, a 78 percent reduction in the monthly average according to the latest Gulf Permit Index.
Obama even reversed an earlier decision to open access to coastal waters for exploration, placing a seven-year ban on drilling in the Atlantic and Pacific Coasts and in the eastern Gulf of Mexico. Oil production in the Gulf is expected to drop by 220 thousand barrels per day in 2011, which is going to cost the U.S. some $1.35 billion in revenues in 2011.