Maybe Obama should thank the Koch Brothers?
posted at 1:47 pm on October 4, 2013 by Ed Morrissey
Yesterday, Erika wrote a must-read post on America’s emergence as the world’s largest exporter of oil and gas combined, eclipsing Russia. After reading that, be sure to read Liz Peek’s column about who Barack Obama should thank for that outcome. I’m guessing that the White House won’t be issuing any missives of gratitude in the near future — even if the Kochs provide Obama leverage over a global leader that has repeatedly gotten the best of him:
While President Obama continues to tilt for windmills, rising oil and gas production has showered his administration with unexpected benefits. Those producers inadvertently include his arch enemies—the Koch Brothers. How deliciously ironic it is that the oil industry – consistently scorned by this president – has been one of the most potent economic drivers of this recovery, the biggest contributor to an improving balance of payments picture and has provided Obama significant leverage in digging out of his difficulties in the Middle East.
President Obama and fellow members of the flat earth society, who many years ago wrote off the future of conventional energy resources, must be stunned. The president has noted more than once that “we are running out of places to drill” and that “we have only 2 percent of the world’s oil reserves.” What a surprise, then, that the U.S. is on track to become the world’s largest oil and gas producer, likely overtaking Russia this year. …
To satisfy those who put him in office, Russian President Putin is spending heavily, running a budget deficit that will be closed only through higher oil prices – less likely due to our increasing output. Soon, as LNG exports gear up from the U.S. and elsewhere, Russia will no longer be able to punish Europe by withholding natural gas in exchange for political slights.
These are extraordinary changes – brought about by energy investment still opposed by the environmental fringe in the U.S. These people fear hydraulic fracking in spite of study upon study that shows the process to be safe and productive, and regardless of the long successful history of the approach. Happily, those with clearer vision are propelling our country forward; we all reap the benefits.
Could this bring the smart power foreign policy Obama has promised since the “reset button”? Hey, all the Koch Brothers can do is give Obama leverage over Putin. They don’t have any way to make sure he uses it.