Obamateurism of the Day

Wonder why Barack Obama can’t come up with a coherent gas policy? Take a look at Obama’s speech at Sempra Energy in Bouder City, Nevada yesterday:

We have subsidized oil companies for a century.  We want to encourage production of oil and gas, and make sure that wherever we’ve got American resources, we are tapping into them.  But they don’t need an additional incentive when gas is $3.75 a gallon, when oil is $1.20 a barrel, $1.25 a barrel.  They don’t need additional incentives.  They are doing fine.

First, oil is not $1.20 or $1.25 a barrel.  Today it was trading at $107 per barrel, or around 86 times what the President quoted here.  Besides, this is about as big a non-sequitur as one can possibly create on the cost of gasoline.  To the extent that this is coherent at all, it sounds as if Obama is claiming that the difference between the price of a gallon of gasoline and the price of a barrel of oil equals profit. That’s about as ignorant a claim on energy costs as I’ve ever heard.

Update: Thanks to Instapundit for the link.  I have had a couple of people e-mail me to suggest that the transcription was in error, and Obama said “one twenty” as in $120 rather than $1.20.  That’s possible — but first, this is the official White House transcription. Second, the argument makes even less sense that way.  Obama’s claiming that the profit is the difference between $3.75 a gallon and $1.20 a barrel.  If it’s $120 a barrel in this form, Obama would be claiming that they’re taking a bath, not profiting.  And either way, the direct comparison between a gallon of refined gasoline and the cost of a barrel of oil to demonstrate the scope of profit is completely absurd.  As one correspondent to Instapundit says, it seems as if Obama is completely unaware that gasoline has to be refined from the oil.

Update II: The speech was in Boulder City, Nevada, not Boulder, Colorado.  I’ve fixed it, and thanks to Chris A for the head’s up.

Got an Obamateurism of the Day? If you see a foul-up by Barack Obama, e-mail it to me at [email protected] with the quote and the link to the Obamateurism. I’ll post the best Obamateurisms on a daily basis, depending on how many I receive. Include a link to your blog, and I’ll give some link love as well. And unlike Slate, I promise to end the feature when Barack Obama leaves office.

Illustrations by Chris Muir of Day by Day. Be sure to read the adventures of Sam, Zed, Damon, and Jan every day!

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