I had suspected ever since I knew about Obama’s trip to Brasil with his Energy Chief Steven Chu in tow, this would be one of the trip’s goals: to forge the first steps of buying oil from Brasilian oil mega-giant Petrobras. Petrobras is 57% owned by the state and the remainder is publicly traded. Petrobras has over $133 billion in assets and recently discovered two huge oil fields off the coast of Rio.
Now we have confirmation of my suspicions. Right from the horse’s mouth. From both Obama’s speech in Rio and the White House blog itself. Yes, I did listen to the entire 23 minute speech but instead of subjecting all of you to a youtube of it, I pulled the quote of interest from Powerline:
In particular, with the new oil finds off Brazil, President Rousseff has said that Brazil wants to be a major supplier of new stable sources of energy, and I’ve told her that the United States wants to be a major customer, which would be a win-win for both our countries.
And from the White House blog, his remarks at the CEO Summit in Brasilia, paragraph 21:
The second place we want to partner with Brazil is on the issue of energy, which is why President Rousseff and I also agreed to launch a Strategic Energy Dialogue. By some estimates, the oil you recently discovered off the shores of Brazil could amount to twice the reserves we have in the United States. We want to work with you. We want to help with technology and support to develop these oil reserves safely, and when youâ€™re ready to start selling, we want to be one of your best customers [emphasis mine.] At a time when weâ€™ve been reminded how easily instability in other parts of the world can affect the price of oil, the United States could not be happier with the potential for a new, stable source of energy.
As far as I know, no documents were signed but Obama’s intent is certainly clear. At a time when a moratorium in the Gulf was placed on drilling, permits have been put on hold and thousands of people are out of work, not only the oil workers themselves but those in ancillary services, I consider this to be an out and out betrayal of the American people. We have plenty of oil here, Mr. Obama. Multiple sources tell us so:
Here is an interactive map from the USGS on the oil and gas assessment in the US. And it’s a stunner. If only we could be allowed to get it out of the ground…
But wait! There’s more. Petrobras was awarded a permit by BOEMRE in the Gulf off the coast of Louisiana one day before Obama left for Brasil when American companies are frustrated and waiting in line with no action.
Doc Hastings (R-WA) Chair of the House Natural Resources Committee had this to say in a press release about this disturbing turn of events:
â€œRather than creating American energy and American jobs, President Obama is in Brazil advocating for deepening the United Statesâ€™ reliance on foreign energy,â€ said Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings. â€œThe President has clearly learned nothing from recent world events. He appears to believe the answer is to shift our foreign energy dependence from one part of the world to another. The real answer is to produce more American energy. The â€˜potential for a new, stable source of energyâ€™ can be found with our own resources here at home. Resources that the Obama Administration is purposely choosing to keep under lock-and-key.â€
And Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar can’t get his facts straight. Sen David Vitter (R-LA) blasted him and BOEMRE’s Michael Bromwich in a letter about the “discrepancies” in the number of permits requested, excerpted below:
Over the last several weeks and months, you have indicated publicly, before Congress, and privately to members, including myself, that there are only a handful of permits awaiting agency action. Specifically: Secretary Salazarâ€™s testimony before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee two weeks ago stating that the administration has received only 47 shallow water permit applications over the past nine months, and that only 7 deepwater permit applications are pending; Mr. Bromwich personally stating to me that only 6 deepwater permits applications are pending; and Mr. Bromwichâ€™s public statement that deepwater permit approvals will be limited because â€œonly a handful of completed applications have been received.â€
Your statements are completely inconsistent with the DOJâ€™s motion filing last week for a stay of Judge Martin Feldmanâ€™s rulings. On page 11 of that filing, the DOJ notes that there is potential harm in the â€œre-prioritization that results from the courtâ€™s ordersâ€ to issue seven permits in Feldmanâ€™s February and March orders. DOJ explains that this is because there are 270 shallow water permit applications pending, and 52 deepwater permit applications pending.
Put the American people back to work, Mr. Obama. Our economic and national security should be left out of the hands of OPEC and the Middle East, and other countries as well. Including Brazil.
Crossposted at Conservative Outlooks