President Obama continued his all-of-the-above energy tour with stops in New Mexico and Oklahoma to talk about investing in "a strategy that relies on producing more oil and gas here in America, but also producing more biofuels in America, more fuel-efficient cars in America, more wind power in America, and more solar power in America."
Speaking in Maljamar, New Mexico, the President said:
We've got to make some important choices for our future. The oil companies that are drilling here in New Mexico and all over the country are making record profits. And like I said, as long as we drill safely and responsibly, I’m committed to making sure that we open more acres to gas and oil exploration. I want American oil companies to do well. I have said, though, it doesn’t make sense for us be providing a $4 billion subsidy when oil and gas are doing plenty well on their own. Oil companies are making record profits, and that's good. But we don't need to subsidize them. Four billion dollars is a lot of money, and we've been subsidizing them for a hundred years.
So my attitude is, let's make sure that we use that money in smarter ways to develop a whole range of new energy sources, since the oil industry is mature and has already taken off. Instead of investing tax dollars in profitable companies, let's invest in our future. Let's tell Congress to get their act together, let's allocate these subsidies in a smart kind of way.
During today's visit to Cushing, Oklahoma, the President laid out a plan to increase American oil production:
Over the last three years, I’ve directed my administration to open up millions of acres for gas and oil exploration across 23 different states. We’re opening up more than 75 percent of our potential oil resources offshore. We’ve quadrupled the number of operating rigs to a record high. We’ve added enough new oil and gas pipeline to encircle the Earth and then some.
So we are drilling all over the place—right now. That’s not the challenge. That's not the problem. In fact, the problem in a place like Cushing is that we’re actually producing so much oil and gas in places like North Dakota and Colorado that we don’t have enough pipeline capacity to transport all of it to where it needs to go—both to refineries, and then, eventually, all across the country and around the world. There’s a bottleneck right here because we can’t get enough of the oil to our refineries fast enough. And if we could, then we would be able to increase our oil supplies at a time when they're needed as much as possible.
Now, 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'm directing my administration to cut through the red tape, break through the bureaucratic hurdles, and make this project a priority, to go ahead and get it done.