Good news: Obama backs off-shore drilling! Update: A Soros connection?

posted at 3:35 pm on August 18, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

This should be good news for the Drill Here, Drill Now contingent, right?  The Obama administration has committed $2 billion in loans to exploit offshore oil resources in hopes of extracting a major new source of petroleum.  Despite the White House pursuit of a cap-and-trade scheme to limit the use of fossil fuels, the new field could help bring lower energy prices, and their support of this exploration of American resources shows their flexibility on energy policy.

Wait — did I say American resources?  That’s true, but only in the South American sense (via Gateway Pundit):

The U.S. is going to lend billions of dollars to Brazil’s state-owned oil company, Petrobras, to finance exploration of the huge offshore discovery in Brazil’s Tupi oil field in the Santos Basin near Rio de Janeiro. Brazil’s planning minister confirmed that White House National Security Adviser James Jones met this month with Brazilian officials to talk about the loan.

The U.S. Export-Import Bank tells us it has issued a “preliminary commitment” letter to Petrobras in the amount of $2 billion and has discussed with Brazil the possibility of increasing that amount. Ex-Im Bank says it has not decided whether the money will come in the form of a direct loan or loan guarantees. Either way, this corporate foreign aid may strike some readers as odd, given that the U.S. Treasury seems desperate for cash and Petrobras is one of the largest corporations in the Americas. …

But it still doesn’t allow the U.S. to explore in Alaska or along the East and West Coasts, which could be our equivalent of the Tupi oil fields, which are set to make Brazil a leading oil exporter. Americans are right to wonder why Mr. Obama is underwriting in Brazil what he won’t allow at home.

This seems odd in several ways.  For this particular administration to offer billions in loans to a foreign oil company makes a mockery of a number of Obama talking points.  First, why does Petrobas need loan guarantees to pursue its exploration?  As the WSJ notes, it is a very large corporation, which should have the resources to get to the oil on its own.  Obama, who has ripped American corporations for their supposed subsidies in American tax policy, now wants to use an empty Treasury to give cash to a Brazilian oil company.

Next, Obama keeps insisting that we cut back on our use of fossil fuels.  He and his allies in Congress have blocked exploration of American oil fields off both shores for decades, and Obama insists that we would only keep enabling our oil addiction if we started drilling off of our own coasts.  Yet he has no trouble committing $2,000,000,000 of our money for Brazil to drill off its own coast.

Here’s a proposal: Let American companies do what Obama is paying Brazilian companies to do — drill offshore.  We won’t have to pay them money or float them any loans to do it, either.  In fact, we will make money off of the leases, while the effort creates hundreds of thousands of high-paying jobs in the US, creating more tax revenue rather than emptying out the Treasury.

Update: Who else besides Obama has taken an interest in Petrobras?  Hmmmmmm:

His New York-based hedge-fund firm, Soros Fund Management LLC, sold 22 million U.S.-listed common shares of Petrobras, as the Brazilian oil company is known, according to a filing today with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Soros bought 5.8 million of the company’s U.S.-traded preferred shares.

Soros is taking advantage of the spread between the two types of U.S.-listed Petrobras shares, said Luis Maizel, president of LM Capital Group LLC, which manages about $4 billion. The common shares were 21 percent more expensive than preferred today, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. …

Petrobras preferred shares have also a 10 percent additional dividend, said William Landers, a senior portfolio manager for Latin America at Blackrock Inc.

“Given that there will most likely never be a change in control in the company, I see no reason to pay a higher price for the common shares.” Brazil’s government controls Petrobras and has a majority stake of voting shares.

This story is from last Friday.  Is it a coincidence that Obama backer George Soros repositioned himself in Petrobras to get dividends just a few days before Obama committed $2 billion in loans and guarantees for Petrobras’ offshore operations?   Hmmmmmmmmmm.

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If Sarah Palin brings it up on facebook maybe they will.

farright on August 18, 2009 at 8:14 PM

Funny you should mention Palin:


powerpro on August 19, 2009 at 3:53 AM

Palin made a statement about this on facebook. I have it on my blog too.

msmveritas on August 19, 2009 at 4:50 AM

Energy workers and citizens rally against climate Bill, cap/trade.

maverick muse on August 19, 2009 at 5:35 AM

It looks as if it is time to start making a big noisy fuss about Obama’s payoffs to all the big money entities that got Obama elected. The light of truth needs to be shined upon them!

BetseyRoss on August 19, 2009 at 8:27 AM

Anyone against America producing her own oil is living in fairy land. It seems as if there is an effort afoot to bring down this great country and I put BHO at the head of that effort. How did that bozo ever get to the highest office in our land?

Ernest on August 19, 2009 at 9:14 AM

That new Palin piece? Awesome.

lansing quaker on August 19, 2009 at 10:07 AM

Here is the text to the above link from Gov. Palin’s Facebook article.


Today’s Wall Street Journal contains some puzzling news for all Americans who are impacted by high energy prices and who share the goal of moving us toward energy independence.

For years, states rich with an abundance of oil and natural gas have been begging Washington, DC politicians for the right to develop their own natural resources on federal lands and off shore. Such development would mean good paying jobs here in the United States (with health benefits) and the resulting royalties and taxes would provide money for federal coffers that would potentially off-set the need for higher income taxes, reduce the federal debt and deficits, or even help fund a trillion dollar health care plan if one were so inclined to support such a plan.

So why is it that during these tough times, when we have great needs at home, the Obama White House is prepared to send more than two billion of your hard-earned tax dollars to Brazil so that the nation’s state-owned oil company, Petrobras, can drill off shore and create jobs developing its own resources? That’s all Americans want; but such rational energy development has been continually thwarted by rabid environmentalists, faceless bureaucrats and a seemingly endless parade of lawsuits aimed at shutting down new energy projects.

I’ll speak for the talent I have personally witnessed on the oil fields in Alaska when I say no other country in the world has a stronger workforce than America, no other country in the world has better safety standards than America, and no other country in the world has stricter environmental standards than America. Come to Alaska to witness how oil and gas can be developed simultaneously with the preservation of our eco-system. America has the resources. We deserve the opportunity to develop our resources no less than the Brazilians. Millions of Americans know it is true: “Drill, baby, drill.” Alaska is proof you can drill and develop, and preserve nature, with its magnificent caribou herds passing by the Trans Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS), completely unaffected. One has to wonder if Obama is playing politics and perhaps refusing a “win” for some states just to play to the left with our money.

The new Gulf of Mexico lease sales tomorrow sound promising and perhaps will move some states in the right direction, but we all know that the extreme environmentalists who serve to block progress elsewhere, including in Alaska, continue to block opportunities. These environmentalists are putting our nation in peril and forcing us to rely on unstable and hostile foreign countries. Mr. Obama can stop the extreme tactics and exert proper government authority to encourage resource development and create jobs and health benefits in the U.S.; instead, he chooses to use American dollars in Brazil that will help to pay the salaries and benefits for Brazilians to drill for resources when the need and desire is great in America.

Buy American is a wonderful slogan, but you can’t say in one breath that you want to strengthen our economy and stimulate it, and then in another ship our much-needed dollars to a nation desperate to drill while depriving us of the same opportunity.

– Sarah Palin

Clyde5445 on August 19, 2009 at 10:07 AM

I sure am glad that Obama put all of those consumer controls on wall street so we would be protected against fraud and market manipulations.
Still we wonder where is the SEC! They made damn sure Martha Steward went to jail for what she did. Yea, they sure made main street safer with that one.

patriotparty1 on August 19, 2009 at 10:30 AM

Just another bullet to the brain of America folks….hard to believe that, this shows that the Govt has not got, never had America’s best interests at heart….this saddens me, what a nation this could be!!

Self sufficiency!!

I cannot believe the sheer audacity of this administration or past admins….OUT OUT OUT with the whole SHEBANG!!

We are crippled by our Govt, anything that would bring prosperity is shot down…another nail in our coffin :-(

Onward Forward and Upward!!

RoxanneH on August 19, 2009 at 11:35 AM

The Democrat culture of corruption rolls on.


N. O'Brain on August 19, 2009 at 12:20 PM

Go Sarah! Great FB post!

journeyintothewhirlwind on August 19, 2009 at 1:03 PM


I’m sure there is no connection between Obama, his blackberry being secure and this Soros connectio so please don’t even suggest such a thing. It’s all just a coincidence.


Bullseye Former Governor Palin. To bad she doesn’t have a show on Fox that the left could boycott.

PappyD61 on August 19, 2009 at 1:54 PM

I’d say that the oil in the middle east technically is our oil. It was just empty desert until we found the oil, developed the infrastructure to bring it to the surface, ship it, and built markets to actually use it. The Middle East can barely manage it on there own and still relies on American oil companies to keep the operation running smoothly.

Heftyjo on August 19, 2009 at 4:56 PM

Incredible. This administration is beyond corrupt, beyond hypocritical and actively working against United States interests in favor of foreign governments.

Of course, some of us SAW THIS COMING LAST YEAR!

Sign of the Dollar on August 19, 2009 at 5:51 PM

Here we go…Palin posts on facebook and the MSM is starting to write up stories attempting to refute her:

Ex-Im Bank disputes Palin attack

However, the Politico/ex-IMer fail to address the plans to nationalize Petrobas and limit foreign involvement to financing only.

KittyLowrey on August 19, 2009 at 5:55 PM

Heftyjo on August 19, 2009 at 4:56 PM

Saw a bumper sticker once:

“Cosmic Conundrum:
Why did God put OUR oil under THEIR sand?”

Chuckled when I saw that one!

A_Nonny_Mouse on August 19, 2009 at 5:57 PM

type type BAM!! Go Sarah, at least she calls it like
she sees it…everyone is too scared to open their
ok, you’re going to say i’m a loon, anti-American,
a domestic terrorist, part of the MOB…said it
before, i’ll say it again…Obama was only put in
office to overwhelm the system and ultimately
SHUT IT DOWN…. and then remake it into some
goo goo cotton candy utopian unicorn world.

Wake up American, time to die!

falderal on August 19, 2009 at 11:00 PM