The Cushing Manifesto

“Right now, a company called TransCanada has applied to build a new pipeline to speed more oil from Cushing to state-of-the-art refineries down on the Gulf Coast.  And today, I am directing my administration to cut through red tape, break through bureaucratic hurdles, and make this project a priority.”  —President Barack Obama

That was the absolutely astounding message from President Obama in person in Cushing, Oklahoma taking credit for the decision by the pipeline sponsor to end run his Administration and build the Keystone XL pipeline in segments since the Obama State Department rejected the pipeline application to cross the Canadian border.

Cushing Welcome Pipeline
Cushing Welcome Pipeline (Photo credit: FreeWine)

Perhaps it just dawned on the White House that one of the reasons that this segment of pipeline is needed is that we have a real economic development producing energy boom going on in America in the form of unconventional oil and natural gas production from shales.

Oh—I forgot the president already took credit for that even though most of that production is done on private lands under state jurisdiction because the Federal agencies he ordered to cooperate today were ordered to slow walk the permitting on Federal lands before today.

Perhaps the White House is just realizing that one consequence of their hold up on new permits in the Gulf of Mexico after the BP spill has been to strand or starve much of the infrastructure in the Gulf coast of its usual and customary offshore flow of oil and gas.

Perhaps it is the inconvenient truth that high gasoline prices at the pump may not be immediately helped by additional domestic oil and gas production as the President’s spokesman has been repeating ad nauseum hoping against hope that he will not be blamed for high gas prices.

Perhaps, the White House does not realize that the global price of oil is set based upon a calculus of the swing productive capacity of oil in the market at any given time—that is as little as 3-5 million barrels a day of spare capacity.  So “cutting through red tape, breaking down bureaucratic hurdles” and making other projects a high priority could probably double that swing productive capacity.  Now THAT would be something we would gladly give President Obama credit for!

So I am happy to give President Obama credit for an epiphany on domestic energy production.  This is, after all, Lent a time of reflection and repentance and, Lord knows, this Administration has much to repent for in its politically driven energy industrial policy that has spent billions and produced little.  But I digress!

By all means let’s build the Cushing to Gulf Coast pipeline because we are running out of storage and pipeline capacity for all the domestic energy we are producing and relieving the congestion at Cushing just makes our entire energy infrastructure work better.  Besides we need to get ready for export boom shaping up sending some of the higher priced energy product to places where they appreciate energy for its job creating potential and wish they had what we have right here in America.

You can take credit for that too, Mr. President!

PS:  Dang!  That rant felt good!

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