Ever since Donald Trump turned our country around, his predecessor, Barack Obama, has been trying to take credit for Trump’s successes. The economy, unemployment, the stock market… you name it, he’s been going around the country and the world telling whoever will listen that he deserves the thanks for all the economic progress that failed to occur while he was in office.
Yesterday, his “you didn’t build that, I did” approach to rewriting his legacy continued at a gala at Rice University in Houston, where he tried to claim credit for America becoming the world’s number one oil-producing country.
Obama: "Suddenly America is the largest oil producer, that was me people … say thank you." pic.twitter.com/VfQfX1SR0x
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) November 28, 2018
“I was extraordinarily proud of the Paris accords because… I know we’re in oil country and we need American energy and, by the way, American energy production—you wouldn’t always know it, but it went up every year I was president. That whole, suddenly America’s like the biggest oil producer and the biggest gas — that was me, people.”
Actually, it wasn’t.
While it’s true that oil production increased on his watch, that was in spite of Obama, not because of him. Here’s the real story.
In 2010, Obama issued a moratorium on offshore drilling. He used the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico as an excuse, but the truth is, his 2010 budget had already planned for government revenues from offshore drilling to decline 72 percent over the following five years. The moratorium caused gas prices to skyrocket, reaching nearly $4.00/gallon at the pump. Gas prices would remain above $3.00/gallon for a record 1,410 days. Obama did nothing to improve America’s oil production the entire time. Why not? Because he was busy spending billions to prop up green energy firms like Solyndra. Obama also opposed various oil pipelines like the Keystone XL pipeline—even threatening to veto any legislation approving its construction.
What Obama didn’t say was that he did everything he could to slow down, if not stop, oil production in the United States. His administration cut back the amount of federal land available for shale oil production and blocked oil exploration in Alaska. Federal drilling permits were also delayed. On Obama’s watch, oil and natural gas production on federal lands dropped 6 percent and 28 percent respectively. Where oil and natural gas production increased was on private and state land—a whopping 61 percent and 33 percent respectively. But Obama can hardly pat himself on the back for this either, as he tried his best to restrict them. In 2011, he proposed more than $60 billion in tax and fee increases on American energy production. In 2012, Obama proposed exempting oil and gas companies from eligibility to receive a tax credit that encourages domestic manufacturing. He also increased regulations on oil and gas as part of his radical environmental agenda.
As oil and gas are contributing to America’s prosperity, Obama would like us to forget that he waged a war on America’s energy resources like oil, natural gas, and coal. The truth is, Obama’s a sad, pathetic man who’s had to sit on the sidelines as Donald Trump takes a sledgehammer to his presidential legacy. With so much of his legacy left in ruins thanks to Trump, Obama’s current strategy is to co-opt Trump’s legacy by taking credit for things he had nothing to do with. His transparent attempt to pander to a pro-oil crowd in spite of his anti-oil record won’t work. We know his real record, and we won’t let anyone forget it.
Matt Margolis is the author of The Scandalous Presidency of Barack Obama and the bestselling The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. His new book, Trumping Obama: How President Trump Saved Us From Barack Obama’s Legacy, will be published in 2019. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis