With the 2012 election cycle in full swing, yesterday Obama took to the stump calling for job-killing tax increases on nefarious oil companies. Although nothing gets the Democrat base excited like demonizing oil and natural gas producers—an industry responsible for over 9 million American jobs, mind you—raising taxes on the oil industry will necessarily stymie American production of our natural resources.
What those hoping “Big Oil” topples over don’t realize is that thousands of American manufacturers rely on the oil and natural gas industry—businesses sell equipment to oil and natural gas producers and also transform crude oil into fuel and a variety of other useful products. One industry that would be hardest hit from a reduction in oil and natural gas production would be America’s refiners. Already struggling for a variety of mostly government-induced reasons, further reductions in crude would literally starve America’s robust refining sector of its lifeblood.
I say further reductions because the Obama Administration is already inhibiting domestic oil and natural gas production wherever possible. Cancelling lease sales on the Atlantic coast, delaying lease sales for nearly a year in the gulf, and increasing the amount of time it takes companies to receive requisite permits have all immediately impacted domestic oil production, and intern, America’s refiners.
To learn more, check out the House Natural Resources Committee’s depressing compilation of all the ways Democrats have attempted to impede domestic energy.
Over in the other chamber, the Republican Energy and Natural Resources staff created this great chart illustrating how difficult it became for job creators to receive an Application for Permit to Drill (APD) under Obama’s tenure:But it doesn’t end there. The most explicit attack on refiners from the Obama Administration thus far must be the decision to kill the Keystone pipeline. As most people know by now, the Keystone Pipeline would have delivered around 800,000 barrels of Canadian crude oil to, you guessed it, America’s refiners. Creating tens of thousands of construction jobs and ensuring that America’s refiners have crude oil to manufacture into other products, the Keystone pipeline would have been a shot of life for the recession weary construction and refining industries. Unfortunately, Obama’s decision to kill the pipeline is indicative of the Administration’s antagonistic stance towards anyone involved in the oil and natural gas supply chain.
So while oil production on federal lands will in all likelihood continue to decline as long as Obama is in the White House, America’s refiners will have to rely on oil production from private lands. Instead of using oil and natural gas companies as an applause line, the Obama Administration should look to increase American jobs and energy security—it sure would make life for America’s refiners a whole lot easier.