Secretary Chu is right: Oil does sell on a world market. But transportation and other distribution factors do segment oil markets somewhat. In fact, the United States is currently paying about $10 less for a barrel of oil than European and Asian nations are.
Offshore, the Obama Interior Department has blocked access to 19 billion barrels of oil in the Pacific and Atlantic coasts and the —and another 10 billion barrels estimated in the off the Alaskan coast. Onshore, federal leasing of oil and gas exploration in the western United States has dropped significantly in the past two years.
Allowing Americans to develop these resources could easily produce at least 1 million new barrels of oil a day. The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data Analysis estimates that, if the United States managed to increase its domestic oil production by 1 million barrels a day, it would create an additional 128,000 jobs and generate $7.7 billion in economic activity.
As bad as these existing are, President Obama’s planned energy policies are even worse. Today, the President is meeting with Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D–NM) to plot passage of a clean energy standard (CES) bill. CES is just another cap-and-trade, energy-tax-like policy, except it’s all cap and no trade.
Congress should not let unrest in the Middle East scare them into energy policies that would make all our energy only more expensive. More bans on , more subsidies for economically unproven technologies, and expensive new alternative energy production mandates are not the answer. America needs a true free-market approach to energy, and we need it now.