According to this yes, and yes, there is a catch, as you just knew there would be. But first the good, or at least better news
President Barack Obama is looking to bolster U.S. oil drilling, announcing Saturday a preemptive strike against bolder efforts from Capitol Hill as consumer unrest deepens over the price at the pump.
The White House will move forward without congressional action on a set of ideas espoused by Republicans and oil-state Democrats to expand oil and gas drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, Alaska and potentially parts of the Atlantic seaboard.
“[W]e should increase safe and responsible oil production here at home,” Obama said. “Last year, America’s oil production reached its highest level since 2003. But I believe that we should expand oil production in America — even as we increase safety and environmental standards.”
Obama is now looking to give a blanket extension to all oil and gas leases in the Gulf of Mexico due to the disruption caused by last year’s Gulf spill and subsequent administration ban and slow-down of drilling permits. By doing so, Obama is at least touching on an idea advocated by Republicans as part of a three-part offshore drilling package the House approved this month.
OK, that sounds positive enough, depending of course on the details. Now comes the obligatory carrot to the Liberals.
At the same time, Obama is also firing upthe liberal Democratic base by urging Congress to repeal billions of dollars in oil-industry tax incentives and to raise fees against companies that do not act quickly on drilling leases they own.
Back to the drilling for a moment, talk is fine, but let’s see how soon the “Drill Baby drill” talk lasts, and how much actual action on that gets accomplished