Friday, 7 September 2012

Obama tries to take credit for the shale gas revolution

The shale gas (and oil) revolution is probably the best thing that has happened to America for years, if not decades. It should therefore be no surprise to anyone that Barack Obama tries to benefit from it in his re-election campaign:

"We're offering a better path - 
 ... where we develop a hundred year supply of natural gas that's right beneath our feet. If you choose this path, we can cut our oil imports in half by 2020 and support more than 600,000 new jobs in natural gas alone."

Barack Obama

 in his speech at the Democratic National Convention

“I am a big promoter of natural gas as a way for us to reduce our dependence on foreign energy sources but also to create jobs”

Barack Obama

 in a taped radio interview on WHBC radio on September 5

However, there is no evidence that Obama administration policy has had anything to do with the American shale gas revolution. On the contrary. It is obvious that Obama´s embrace of shale gas is only a tactical move in order to help him in the re-election campaign, as the Wall Street Journal pointed out in its editorial already in January: 

A re-election campaign is a terrible thing to waste, and this year’s race is already producing miraculous changes at the Obama White House: The latest example of a bear walking on its hind legs is the President’s new embrace of ... natural gas from shale. The catch is that this endorsement runs against every energy policy pursued by the Obama Administration for three years. It’s certainly smart politics for Mr. Obama to distance himself from the anti-fossil fuels obsessives, and no doubt his political advisers are hoping it helps this fall in the likes of Ohio and Pennsylvania. On the other hand, this could be a one-year wonder, and if he wins Mr. Obama might revert to form in 2013.

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