President Obama and Governor Romney had a huge spat on the second question of the debate regarding energy policy. The debate got up close and personal.
Here are the facts of the domestic energy development situation.
More importantly, here are the stats that either side is talking about.
Obama is essentially arguing that U.S. crude oil production is back on the rise, and that’s what should be in focus.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, domestic crude oil production per day is on the rise during the Obama administration, and the president uses those numbers to back up his claims that he’s increased domestic production of oil.
Here is the chart:
The President has also opened up federal land for energy use, according to a White House paper:
In 2010, 29 onshore oil and gas lease sales were held, covering 3.2 million acres, including one sale within the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska encompassing approximately 1.8 million acres. In 2011, over 30 sales on public lands are expected. Offshore, in 2010, 37 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico were offered for lease.
On the other hand, the Romney campaign claims that federal lands have not been opened to the oil and gas industry at the same rate that it had been under the previous administration. Here’s his claim:
Under the Obama Administration, leasing and permitting on federal lands and offshore are down by half. Last year, oil and gas production on federal lands plummeted.
Here’s what he means by “down by half.” The rate of leasing on federal land has slowed by half, he cites in his energy policy paper. From 2006-2008, 11,635,373 acres were leased. From 2009-2011, 5,283,373 acres were leased according to the Bureau of Land Management.
Here’s the nuts and bolts of this though.
Obama is trying to stand on the outputs of his energy policy — the amount of oil produced, the number of new leases implemented.
Romney is trying to critique the inputs — number of acres opened up to new exploration.
The numbers that each side is working from are relatively accurate on all sides. Which statistics are meaningful, though, goes to the very heart of the election and seems to be up to the interpretation of the voters.
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