A New Mexico congressman spoke out about President Obama’s energy-tour stop at oilfields in his home state yesterday, countering the commander in chief’s claim that his policies have increased oil production.
“While I welcomed the President to New Mexico and greatly respect the office of the President, the simple fact is that his energy policies have failed New Mexicans,” Rep. Steve Pearce (R) said. “We are seeing rising gas prices and tremendous reliance on foreign oil sources. Additionally, New Mexicans are faced with the threat of losing their jobs in the oil fields as a direct result of this administration’s determination to list the dunes sagebrush lizard as endangered.”
The congressman noted that oil production on private lands is up, but on federal lands production dropped 11 percent in 2011.
“His visit did little to address these concerns, just as his energy policies have done little to actually help increase oil production,” Pearce said. “The president claims that he is increasing production, but the reality is that his policies are killing oil and gas jobs and have resulted in the decline of oil production on federal land.”
“Over the last three years, I’ve directed my administration to open up millions of acres just like this for oil and gas exploration in 23 different state,” Obama claimed in his address at Maljamar, N.M. “Let me repeat that — millions of acres in 23 different states. That’s just onshore. Offshore, I’ve directed my administration to open up more than 75 percent of our potential oil resources. And that includes an area in the Gulf of Mexico that we opened up a few months ago that could produce more than 400 million barrels of oil — about 38 million acres in the Gulf.”
Pearce’s office also sent out comments from Tim Wigley, president of Western Energy Alliance.
“Despite the president’s promise of reducing regulations on American businesses, the reality is that his own administration’s bureaucracies and broken policies are making energy development in the West increasingly difficult, time consuming, and cost prohibitive. It’s actually delaying the economic recovery he seeks,” Wigley said.
“American oil and natural gas producers have been able to increase domestic production from projects that started years ago, but this upward trend cannot continue unless we seriously reform the federal bureaucracy,” he added.
The president riffed on his location at the beginning of his remarks.
“It was a wonderful trip over here,” Obama said. “We took the helicopter. We landed in Roswell. I announced to people when I landed that I had come in peace.”