Ben Carson said the United States has more oil and natural gas than Russia. Not so.
In a tense exchange during the Oct. 16 debate, President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney sparred over domestic oil and gas production on lands and in waters under the Obama administration’s control.
The facts, for the most part, are on Romney’s side.
Obama was wrong when he denied Romney’s claim that the Obama administration cut in half the number of new permits and new leases for offshore oil and gas drilling. The decrease is actually more than half.
President Barack Obama has been claiming that the United States has “doubled our use of renewable energy.” Not true. Wind and solar have doubled, but total renewable energy consumption is up by about one quarter from 2008 to 2011. Plus, since wind and solar started at such a low level, a doubling may not be as impressive to voters as it sounds.
The largest category of renewable energy is biomass, such as ethanol that is blended in gasoline.
In an email to constituents, Republican Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana claims “the Obama administration shut down the entire offshore oil and gas industry” after the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. That’s not true.
The administration halted the drilling of all new wells for one month. And the Interior Department issued a months-long moratorium on deepwater drilling. New safety requirements also slowed down the permitting process for shallow-water drilling.
But existing offshore wells continued to pump out natural gas and oil.