Drill, Brazil, Drill?
posted at 8:50 am on March 22, 2011 by Ed Morrissey
For a man who opposes domestic production of American crude oil in the oceans, Barack Obama seems awfully eager to push Brazil into the kind of exploration and extraction that his administration blocks here in the US. Investors Business Daily calls this policy Drill, Brazil, Drill, a takeoff of Sarah Palin’s Drill, Baby, Drill support for unleashing US energy resources. Obama’s plea also negates the reason he claimed that the trip was necessary in the first place:
Now, with a seven-year offshore drilling ban in effect off of both coasts, on Alaska’s continental shelf and in much of the Gulf of Mexico — and a de facto moratorium covering the rest — Obama tells the Brazilians:
“We want to help you with the technology and support to develop these oil reserves safely. And when you’re ready to start selling, we want to be one of your best customers.”
Obama wants to develop Brazilian offshore oil to help the Brazilian economy create jobs for Brazilian workers while Americans are left unemployed in the face of skyrocketing energy prices by an administration that despises fossil fuels as a threat to the environment and wants to increase our dependency on foreign oil.
Let’s recall why Obama claimed this trip was so necessary that it had to take place just as he started a war in Libya. On Thursday, he wrote an op-ed in USA Today that he needed to boost American exports in order to create jobs:
Every $1 billion we export supports more than 5,000 jobs here at home. That’s why last year, I set a goal for this country: to double our exports of goods and services by 2014. And we are on track to meet this goal: exports were up 17% in 2010.
The impressive growth that we’ve seen in Latin America in recent years is good for the people of the hemisphere, and it’s good for us. Thanks in part to our trade agreements across the region, we now export three times as much to Latin America as we do to China, and our exports to the region — which are growing faster than our exports to the rest of the world — will soon support more than 2 million jobs here in the United States.
Instead, Obama appears to be in Brazil promoting imports rather than exports. Instead of working toward American energy independence, Obama pledges to become even more dependent on South American oil. The very same fossil fuel that Obama incessantly eschews when it comes from American territory, he embraces when it comes from Brazil.
If Obama was really interested in job creation, he would end his permitoriums on off-shore drilling. His administration would dismantle the obstacles blocking extraction of oil in the interior West, where an estimated 800 billion barrels of oil await extraction from shale formations. Obama would call off the EPA and allow Americans to have the same latitude to get at and use our natural resources as he insists that Brazil do. That would support millions of American jobs, and we wouldn’t have to send vast sums of American wealth to Brazil.
I have nothing against Brazil selling its oil on the open market. I wish Obama felt the same way about Americans as he apparently does about Brazilians.