Green Room

Maybe Obama should thank the Koch Brothers?

posted at 1:47 pm on October 4, 2013 by

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.

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Just for the record, the Koch Bros deserve the respect of being referred to by their full name…Evil Koch Bros is proper from what I can tell from the Proggie sites.

teejk on October 4, 2013 at 2:00 PM

You’re welcomed.

Bmore on October 4, 2013 at 3:06 PM

Could this bring the smart power foreign policy Obama has promised since the “reset button”?


KOOLAID2 on October 4, 2013 at 8:30 PM

Ed, I believe it was formerspook who said some years back that Russia depends on a Brent oil price of >$90/bbl to fund its military growth ambitions, all the way from “policing” the naughty ex-Soviet satellite countries (e.g., Georgia, Ukraine) to funding the SS-NX-32 Bulava missile (designed to overcome ballistic missile defences by having its warheads drop from orbit in a steep, hypersonic trajectory rather than a traditional – and easily tracked – ballistic arc).

The hard truth here is that good energy policy = formidable foreign policy. Something, btw, that the Left hates, has always hated, and will always hate – because Leftist dependence on Big Government always depends on poor, weak, cowardly people who, pressed about on all sides, believe they have nowhere else to turn.

Want Russia and the OPEC countries to respect the US? I believe the Lady said it succinctly:


Wanderlust on October 4, 2013 at 9:41 PM

Why are we exporting oil and gas and at the same time importing oil and gas?

bgibbs1000 on October 5, 2013 at 10:55 AM

bgibbs1000 on October 5, 2013 at 10:55 AM

Two reasons:

1. Pre-existing long-term commercial agreements (contracts); and
2. Logistics/price (e.g., some users may find it cheaper to import due to their placement on a pipeline vs rail spur)

Energy security doesn’t mean that imports will vanish. Both will continue to exist in a functioning market.

Wanderlust on October 5, 2013 at 2:24 PM