WaPo: Why is Obama pursuing a “Drill, Brazil, Drill” strategy?

posted at 10:12 am on March 28, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Good question! In fact, as the Washington Post editorial board notes, it’s actually a series of good questions.  Not only does Barack Obama need to explain his enthusiasm for drilling and oil consumption apparently everywhere but in the US, he also needs to explain why the US wants to import oil from Brazil, but not ethanol:

Brazil already produces vast quantities of a fuel — ethanol — that the U.S. government, under a policy long supported by presidents and farm-state members of Congress from both parties, has promoted as a green alternative to gasoline. But the United States, protecting its own heavily subsidized ethanol industry by means of a 2.5 percent tariff and a 54-cent-per-gallon duty, prevents Americans from importing all but trivial amounts of the stuff from Brazil. Therefore, we need more oil — much of it imported. In Brasilia, Mr. Obama spoke of strengthening U.S.-Brazilian technical cooperation on ethanol but did not propose allowing U.S. protectionist measures to lapse after their scheduled expiration on Dec. 31.

As for offshore drilling, Mr. Obama’s enthusiasm for punching holes in the ocean floor off Brazil is hard to reconcile with his decision, announced Dec. 1, to keep the waters off the East and West coasts and the eastern Gulf of Mexico off-limits to exploration indefinitely. His policy was a reversal of an earlier decision he had made to open some of those areas.  …

[I]t is tough to reconcile with U.S. eagerness to “help” Brazil pump oil off its coasts and ship it here. U.S. companies, enticed by government loan guarantees, are already lined up to sell Brazil drilling equipment and services. Forget the implications for U.S. dependency on foreign sources. What does this posture say about American regard for the natural environment outside U.S. territory?

It says this: we’re willing to let foreign nations extract resources in ways that we refuse to do in America.  Either that’s because we don’t really think there’s anything wrong with those policies, or because we don’t give a damn what Brazil does to its own environment as long as we don’t have to do anything to ours to benefit by it.  It’s arrogant either way, and hypocritical in all senses.

Give the Post some credit for highlighting these hypocrisies.  Most of the rest of the media ignored them, just as they ignored the fact that Obama was cheerleading for Brazilian oil production at the same time he had launched a war against Libya.  Hardly anyone has commented on the connection between those two actions, but Obama has to have his eye open for ways to increase supply and lower fuel prices in case Libya’s production stays off line for a long time, which looks like a pretty good bet.  Otherwise, oil prices will skyrocket and the American economy will stall further into stagnation, which will mean a short political career for Obama.

He could solve that problem by pursuing a “Drill, Baby, Drill” policy here in the US.  Unfortunately, Obama apparently wants Brazilians to do the job that he won’t do on oil as much as he wants NATO to do the job he won’t do on Western leadership.


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In bizarro-world, it’s better for the environment to drill & then ship it for thousands of miles, rather than just drill.

itsnotaboutme on March 28, 2011 at 10:16 AM

Drilling for thee, but not for me

Just when you think he can’t get lower, he proves us wrong

cmsinaz on March 28, 2011 at 10:16 AM

Are ya happy there enviro-wackos?

cmsinaz on March 28, 2011 at 10:17 AM

George Soro’s hasn’t ok’d drilling in the U.S. again yet.

ctmom on March 28, 2011 at 10:18 AM

How dare they question.

artist on March 28, 2011 at 10:18 AM

The only way it makes sense is if you look at “spreading the wealth,” not just from rich Americans to poor Americans but also from rich America to poor other countries such as Brazil (even though Brazil isn’t that poor, but given the superficial nature of The Whine’s view of the world, he most likely believes Brazil is still third world poor.)

And he has to protect the ethanol subsidy, or else he’d risk losing a primary challenge in Iowa. LBJ had a serious primary challenge in NH and had to drop out, Dear Liar doesn’t want to run the same risk.

rbj on March 28, 2011 at 10:20 AM

In bizarro-world, it’s better for the environment to drill & then ship it for thousands of miles, rather than just drill.

itsnotaboutme on March 28, 2011 at 10:16 AM

…In a country whose environmental protections aren’t as stringent as ours.

misterpeasea on March 28, 2011 at 10:20 AM

What, so that America might drill itself out of debt and dependency?

Perish the thought!

OldEnglish on March 28, 2011 at 10:20 AM

Good. Keeping f’in with us Obama. You’ll be out the door on your keaster. Time’s flyin’.

NJ Red on March 28, 2011 at 10:21 AM

It would be more beneficial to drill for honest journalists…

right2bright on March 28, 2011 at 10:21 AM

Why is Obama pursuing a “Drill, Brazil, Drill” strategy?

George Soros.

coldwarrior on March 28, 2011 at 10:24 AM

It’s always strange to me that the Washington Post has, perhaps, the most balanced editorials of any major newspaper. Their news department leans left and their columnists lean even farther, but the editorial board itself seems to see the world pretty clearly.

strictnein on March 28, 2011 at 10:25 AM

Rookie on March 28, 2011 at 10:24 AM

Linky error, sorry.

Rookie on March 28, 2011 at 10:26 AM

I wonder …..if we said the Koch Bros. were against drilling in the U.S. would the lefties would then support it?

ctmom on March 28, 2011 at 10:27 AM

The way I see it is, if you want to bring a country to it’s knees, choke off it’s energy supply.

wheelgun on March 28, 2011 at 10:27 AM

Did you ever heard of the “Fair Trade” program?

Rookie on March 28, 2011 at 10:24 AM

Funny, I’m eating a “fair trade” banana right now…

strictnein on March 28, 2011 at 10:28 AM

WaPo: Why is Obama pursuing a “Drill, Brazil, Drill” strategy?

Because he loves the world but hates his country.

predator on March 28, 2011 at 10:29 AM

And the best part of the billions sent to Brazil to have them drill in our waters?

They won’t support us on Libya!

Smart Power inaction.

ajacksonian on March 28, 2011 at 10:30 AM

WaPo:

So Congress and the president worked hard to disguise or postpone the true cost of this new entitlement.

Interpretation: The Congress and President lied their asses off because we can’t afford it and such, but ..

J_Crater on March 28, 2011 at 10:31 AM

Every time we throw money at our Brazilian “friends,” they throw money at our enemies. For example:

Brazil-Iran Trade Grows

Brazil’s trade with Iran grew last year by 4.3 percent to $1.316 billion thanks to growth in both exports and imports, according to a Latin Business Chronicle analysis of data from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Brazil is Iran’s top trading partner in Latin America.

Brazil supporting Cuban banks

Cuba and Brazil signed two agreements for commercial banking training and “technical strengthening of the banking system in Cuba,” Prensa Latina reported.

The agreements were signed by Marcos Farani, head of Brazil’s foreign aid agency, and the Cuban ambassador in Brasilia.

Brazil has provided Cuba support in the banking sector for a decade.

Presidents of Brazil and Venezuela Review Bilateral Accords for Soy, Industry, and MERCOSUR

President Chavez said this integration would help Venezuela industrialize rather than export purely raw materials such as aluminum and steel.

The bilateral cooperation also includes the joint construction of a biotechnological research complex in Venezuela, which will benefit from a knowledge sharing agreement with Brazil’s biotechnological research center in Manaus.

In the energy sector, Venezuela’s state oil company, PDVSA, and Brazil’s Odebrecht moved forward on joint plans to upgrade Venezuelan oil refineries and incorporate PDVSA into the construction of the 3.3 million barrel per day Abreu e Lima refinery in Pernambuco, Brazil, a project launched more than a year ago.

Also, Venezuela’s petrochemical company, Pequiven, signed a memorandum of understanding with Brazil’s Braskem to produce petroleum-based chemicals in Bahia, Brazil.

To help Venezuela reach its goal of equipping half the cars manufactured in Venezuela with natural gas-powered engines, Brazil’s MAT S/A group signed a memorandum of understanding with PDVSA to share knowledge and develop the necessary technology.

steebo77 on March 28, 2011 at 10:32 AM

Will Brazil be as careful as BP to guard against an oil well blowout?

TimBuk3 on March 28, 2011 at 10:32 AM

Hypocrisy, thy name is Obama!

pilamaye on March 28, 2011 at 10:35 AM

Soros, Obama and the rest of the Anti American crew currently in charge are getting away with this because 52% of Amercans are now so ignorant and uninformed that they haven’t a clue. I really hope we can get out of the mess but will the less than 48% of us who do have a clue be able to educate enough of the 52%?

CCRWM on March 28, 2011 at 10:36 AM

Well, the Chinese are lending money to Cuba to drill in the Gulf of Mexico. Looking at Cuba’s infrastructure, I can’t imagine they can drill safely. Even though we’re not drilling, we will pay the consequences of the spills. Wouldn’t it be better to use safer tech to drill than allow others to drill with their equipment?

NJ Red on March 28, 2011 at 10:36 AM

Obama is showing what an imperialist he is by exporting environmental destruction to 3rd-world countries. He’s also bombing Libya over oil for his European buddies.

At least, that’s what I say to my liberal friends. To my conservative friends, I say, Obama really has no coherent policy, does he?

hawksruleva on March 28, 2011 at 10:37 AM

For those who might not have seen it, this article about a report by the Congressional Research Service puts energy resources in perspective: http://www.energytribune.com/articles.cfm/6933/US-Has-Earths-Largest-Energy-Resources
Obama and the Interior Sec should be taken to task about the outsourcing of our energy production.
Then again our ‘energy strategy’ could be designed for world energy domination. We use up the rest of the world’s resources and then make them buy from us. (Start that as a rumor around the world and see how current oil producing countries react.)

rlyle on March 28, 2011 at 10:37 AM

He’s a dimwit, who can’t do the job. Further proof of that? Right here…..http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2011/03/ayers_affirms_he_wrote_dreams.html

capejasmine on March 28, 2011 at 10:38 AM

WaPo: Why is Obama pursuing a “Drill, Brazil, Drill” strategy?

‘Cause it rhymes?

Fallon on March 28, 2011 at 10:39 AM

And now, so you aren’t forced to copy and paste… lol

http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2011/03/ayers_affirms_he_wrote_dreams.html

capejasmine on March 28, 2011 at 10:39 AM

Hypocrisies don’t bother Democrats, they prefer to call it “nuanced diplomacy”.

GarandFan on March 28, 2011 at 10:39 AM

Obama’s Drill Brazil Doctrine explained

faraway on March 28, 2011 at 10:42 AM

Obama’s primary focus seems to be on killing jobs here in America.

GaltBlvnAtty on March 28, 2011 at 10:43 AM

Isn’t it amazing that the media doesn’t report on the Obama – Soros connection? On second thought, it would be amazing if it did.

bw222 on March 28, 2011 at 10:44 AM

Unfortunately, Obama apparently wants Brazilians to do the job that he won’t do on oil as much as he wants NATO to do the job he won’t do on Western leadership.

Isn’t that the meme the left loves to repeat? That is, people from south of the border do the jobs that Americans won’t do…? I’m asking.

ted c on March 28, 2011 at 10:45 AM

Try idiocy.

rplat on March 28, 2011 at 10:48 AM

They really don’t have to ask, do they?

SouthernGent on March 28, 2011 at 10:53 AM

This only makes sense if you believe that is part of a “Suck ‘Em Dry, He who has the last oil, controls the universe” strategy.

J_Crater on March 28, 2011 at 10:57 AM

Next I expect Pres**ent Obama to lease federal lands to the Chinese.

J_Crater on March 28, 2011 at 10:58 AM

Obama hates the dumb American proles who need to buy gas. I really think that the explanation is no more complicated than that.

We’re all at the mercy of a man-child nursing a scarred psyche, and he’s going to punish all of us for it.

Cicero43 on March 28, 2011 at 11:04 AM

WaPo: Why is Obama pursuing a “Drill, Brazil, Drill” strategy?
Because he loves the world but that hates his country.

predator on March 28, 2011 at 10:29 AM

Minor FIFY

profitsbeard on March 28, 2011 at 11:09 AM

Next I expect Pres**ent Obama to lease federal lands to the Chinese.

J_Crater on March 28, 2011 at 10:58 AM

I must be getting cynical as i get older, the first thing that came to mind was 50,000 chinese field worker’s and at least a million support staff.

heshtesh on March 28, 2011 at 11:09 AM

ctmom at 10:27am: John Hinderaker asks that very same question. The Koch industries are demonized while the administration props u GE. ObaMao likes those fascistic monopolies.
http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2011/03/028698.php

onlineanalyst on March 28, 2011 at 11:14 AM

Isn’t it amazing that the media doesn’t report on the Obama – Soros connection?

bw222 on March 28, 2011 at 10:44 AM

The same media that allows Biden’s flunkies to lock them in a closet during a political fundraiser they’re supposed to be reporting on, then drops the story and tries to pretend it didn’t happen and it’s no big deal anyway?

Not amazing at all. Just SOP for our “independent” U.S. media. They only see and report on the things that Barry and co. give them permission to see and report on.

AZCoyote on March 28, 2011 at 11:15 AM

The USA is energy rich … Why do liberals deny that fact?

tarpon on March 28, 2011 at 11:22 AM

Also (soros) New Guinea and Obama investing US Taxpayer money:

http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/03/soros_wins_under_obamas_energy.html

journeyintothewhirlwind on March 28, 2011 at 11:23 AM

It’s not tough to compare the hatred the leftist trash have for their own country’s economy to the enthusiasm they show for promoting others’ economies.

MNHawk on March 28, 2011 at 11:25 AM

but Obama has to have his eye open for ways to increase supply and lower fuel prices in case Libya’s production stays off line for a long time, which looks like a pretty good bet. Otherwise, oil prices will skyrocket and the American economy will stall further into stagnation, which will mean a short political career for Obama.

This is how a pro-American President would think, Ed. Obama is the post-American President.

The goal is transfer of wealth and power from us to others.

For a global governance plan to work, the playing field must
be leveled. This is why I think Obama is impeachable. He is deliberately working to weaken America and its Constitution.

Connie on March 28, 2011 at 11:27 AM

You need to see the elephant in the room to understand the Obama administration’s policies with respect to Brazil.

With Brazil being, after China, the only major foreign buyer of the U.S. national debt whose ownership share of that debt has significantly increased over the past decade, Obama needs Brazil to continue increasing its ownership share of that debt to help offset the influence that China might otherwise be able to have (what the Chinese did in December 2010 was a wake-up call for the administration.)

Increasing the U.S. trade deficit with Brazil, which is balanced when the Brazilians “buy” U.S. Treasuries, helps Obama keep spending the amounts he wants to spend while reducing the impact from the Chinese playing a very real “starve the beast” strategy to achieve their policy objectives.

Of course, the President could have chosen to implement spending cuts as a way to protect and free the U.S. from that kind of influence, but he apparently has other priorities.

ironman on March 28, 2011 at 11:34 AM

George Soros.

[coldwarrior on March 28, 2011 at 10:24 AM]

^ This, this, this THIS!!!

Dusty on March 28, 2011 at 11:36 AM

thats the nasty little secret, the Dims are the ones outsourcing American jobs. disgraceful.

maineconservative on March 28, 2011 at 11:42 AM

Next I expect Pres**ent Obama to lease federal lands to the Chinese.

J_Crater on March 28, 2011 at 10:58 AM

Not necessary-they own them already.

Del Dolemonte on March 28, 2011 at 11:42 AM

[I]t is tough to reconcile with U.S. eagerness to “help” Brazil pump oil off its coasts and ship it here.

It’s tough to reconcile any Bam policy with logic, common sense, or even a modicum of forward thinking. The guy is an idiot and a disaster.

CantCureStupid on March 28, 2011 at 11:45 AM

Yes, it’s redistributing the wealth, according to leftist dogma.

Obama often uses the scurrilous “we produce 2% of the world’s oil but use 25% of it” to justify downgrading our energy industry. Brazil is leftist and brown skinned; therefore, they are our victims and we must use policy to pay them reparations.

PattyJ on March 28, 2011 at 11:47 AM

That is Sarah Palin’s meme, he wouldn’t be caught dead doing what she says.

tinkerthinker on March 28, 2011 at 11:49 AM

It says this: we’re willing to let foreign nations extract resources in ways that we refuse to do in America. Either that’s because we don’t really think there’s anything wrong with those policies, or because we don’t give a damn what Brazil does to its own environment as long as we don’t have to do anything to ours to benefit by it. It’s arrogant either way, and hypocritical in all senses.

You really need to read The Roots of Obama’s Rage by Dinesh Disouza. In it he explains that this is about “reparations” and repaying the world for the US’s current and past “colonialism” and “oppression”. He doesn’t care about the environmental impacts or anything else except making sure OUR money flows to the third world and other nations that we have oppressed, in his Ivy League, the US sucks, world view.

His father fought colonialism. Dreams From My Father is all about Obama adopting those beliefs. Obama clearly, and everything he has done lines up with this, believes that the third world is the the third world because the first world did, and continues to, oppress it, and making sure as much US money as possible flows to these countries is the only way to fix it.

PastorJon on March 28, 2011 at 11:51 AM

capejasmine on March 28, 2011 at 10:39 AM


Seemed to me that he was more making fun of the meme that he wrote it than admitting to it. However, it was enjoyable to hear that his audience sure seemed to believe it. “Yea, we know that.” They don’t doubt it for a second. Also, I love hearing him trash O’s second book.

mauioriginal on March 28, 2011 at 12:00 PM

He must assume these are just more “Jobs Americans dont want”

Koa on March 28, 2011 at 12:05 PM

Soros is the true emperor pulling President Obama’s strings.

joshlbetts on March 28, 2011 at 12:11 PM

Perhaps he means Donna Brazile.

vcferlita on March 28, 2011 at 12:16 PM

It staggers the imagination how 52% of the voters swallowed the legacy media’s championing (and continuing) of this worst president EVAH!!! November 2012 can’t come soon enough.

Bob in VA on March 28, 2011 at 12:21 PM

capejasmine on March 28, 2011 at 10:39 AM

Good article. Thanks.

Another very good analysis of Obamanomics by Ed Lasky: Obama’s Edifice Complex at http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/03/obamas_edifice_complex.html

petefrt on March 28, 2011 at 12:43 PM

we don’t give a damn what Brazil does to its own environment as long as we don’t have to do anything to ours to benefit by it

Wrong answer. If CO2 really were a problem, it is a world wide problem not localised to Brazil or the USA. There are votes to win in the corn belt, which is growing at the expense of other grain production.

burt on March 28, 2011 at 1:11 PM

Bob, Obama is as bad as any, but he is tied with FDR and Teeth Carter.

burt on March 28, 2011 at 1:14 PM

There’s that voice inside my head again that says, “Maybe Obama does want the U.S.A to fail.”

(Shakes head) No, no, no, that’s pure cynacism. Is it?

shick on March 28, 2011 at 1:18 PM

The answer to this is probably simplier than it is made out to be. His plan to speak to the people being hosed by their rejection was not expected by his handlers. A hastily arranged meeting with the Brazilian government behind closed doors had to have some legitimate reason to justify his vacation/official business in Brazil. It had hit the news that his gulf oil polices had resulted in 19,000 jobs lost and more than a billion in lost wages, and someone on vaction with him noticed that brazil does off shore oil drilling. To a socilist those two things cancel each other out; oil supply increased, jobs created in the oil industry. Not to mention that it also, as noted in another post, promotes the socialist agenda of wealth redistribution.

Socialism has to fail to make communism possible.

Franklyn on March 28, 2011 at 1:41 PM

He went to Brazil to be a salesman and came back a buyer…of oil and natural gas, en masse from Brazil…

The U.S. has plenty of both.

Plus, what jobs will that create for the U.S.

He and the media are full of sh*t, inside and out.

Schadenfreude on March 28, 2011 at 2:01 PM

herp! i like toccer! derp!

TruthBeTold2 on March 28, 2011 at 2:04 PM

Obama heard there were Brazilian barrels down there, and it sounded like more than in ANWR.

When the first oil slick washes up in Rio, Obama figures that the Brazilians will celebrate Mardi Gras in Nawlins.

But the United States, protecting its own heavily subsidized ethanol industry by means of a 2.5 percent tariff and a 54-cent-per-gallon duty, prevents Americans from importing all but trivial amounts of the stuff from Brazil.

To protect the dirty little secret: Brazilian ethanol from sugar cane is CHEAPER than corn ethanol. Wouldn’t it be better to import Brazilian ethanol and sell them our corn? Think of all the starving children!!!

Steve Z on March 28, 2011 at 3:38 PM

Steve Z on March 28, 2011 at 3:38 PM

The real dirty secret is that we are using actual food to produce ethanol…and the Brazilians are using waste cane (already processed for sugar) to produce ethanol.

When a society uses food for fuel it is already well into decline.

(Also, it costs a lot more to make ethanol from corn than it does to make ethanol from waste cellulose….a lot more.)

Smart power.

coldwarrior on March 28, 2011 at 4:00 PM

He told Joe the Plumber that it’s good to spread the wealth around. Instead of us getting wealthy from our oil resources Brazil is getting money from us to create their wealth along with a friend of Zero—Soros!

Herb on March 28, 2011 at 4:59 PM

“Most of the rest of the media ignored them, just as they ignored the fact that Obama was cheerleading for Brazilian oil production at the same time he had launched a war against Libya.”

Obama started working on this Brazil “strategy” long before there was a hint of popular resistance in North Africa.

JM Hanes on March 28, 2011 at 10:29 PM

This only makes sense if you believe that is part of a “Suck ‘Em Dry, He who has the last oil, controls the universe” strategy.

J_Crater on March 28, 2011 at 10:57 AM

The Self-Exalted One probably does. Either that, or he looks at our resources and in his mind (or the privacy of the Oval Office) dances a little jig and gleefully chants, “Mine! Mine! MINE!!” (Meaning Himself, not actual mining, that is.)

Or, of course, he may simply be he!!-bent on destroying our civilization, which he openly considers the Source Of All Evil On Earth. Simultaneously starving us of energy and sending all our available money elsewhere is a serious one-two punch from that POV. (Resulting in Him dancing with glee again, I suspect.)

Where both theories fall down is that once the expanding economies elsewhere (India, China, etc.) exhaust most of their available energy resources, they will do either or both of these things;

1. Stop selling to us to meet their domestic needs.

2. Go to war against us to seize our untouched energy reserves for their own use.

In either case, I’m sure The One will know just what to do- for about three seconds. The first He would celebrate, until He realized that No Energy = No Economy = Nothing Left To Lord It Over. (Leftists tend to go psychotic in such situations. The results are usually ugly.)

As for the second, I’m sure He would immediately try to cut a deal. Until He found out that those coming to our door with a list of demands would be backing them up with nukes. (Glassing a few American cities would in no way impede the exploitation of our energy resources, as old-time Cold War Red Army strategic doctrines pointed out. And guess who trained a lot of the likely suspects in a scenario like this?)

That would leave Him, and us, with two options; pre-emptive surrender, or Armageddon. My guess is He would opt for the former. Which means you can kiss the future good-bye. (Unless it’s a future that looks a lot like the worst parts of the past, around 1000 AD.)

You notice I haven’t mentioned Islam. That’s because a primitivist culture of that type is unlikely to engage in a resource war. However, after the major powers have been reduced to paupery- or nothingness- by such a conflict, look for the Islamists to seize the moment- and what’s left of the world.

No matter what The One believes, His “brilliant” schemes end in darkness, and destruction. I just can’t decide whether He is too stupid to realize it, so stupid He yearns for it, or just too disconnected from reality to give a damn.

clear ether

eon

eon on March 29, 2011 at 6:44 AM