President Obama has been quick to counter criticism of his energy policy many believe is leading to higher prices at the pump by saying oil production is up in his administration. While true, the increased activity has little to nothing to do with the president’s policies, according to FuelFact.
Inspired by sites like PolitiFact.com and FactCheck.org, FuelFact is a new project of FuelFix.com — the latter an online source for news and analysis on the energy industry. Anchored by business reporters at the Houston Chronicle and other Hearst newspapers, FuelFix incorporates blogs by energy experts, market updates, useful data and a real-time summary of the top ideas and biggest stories.
Throughout the 2012 presidential election, FuelFact will be evaluating statements about energy policy and high gasoline prices, which are sure to remain a hot topic. It will be consulting with experts and rating their accuracy.
FuelFact’s staff judges statements based on its “truthiness” gasoline gauge:
- Full: The statement is accurate.
- Three-quarters Full: The statement is accurate but needs clarification or additional information.
- Half-Full: The statement is partially accurate but omits important details or takes facts out of context.
- Quarter-Full: The statement contains an element of truth but ignores critical facts.
- Empty: The statement is not accurate.
The president gets a Half-Full because while drilling is up, analysts don’t give him the credit for the increase over the past three years. They says oil production rose because of projects approved before Obama took office.
In truth, there is little the president can do to bring immediate relief at the pump, but he’s still getting beat up by the public, many Republicans and even some fellow Dems who believe increasing domestic supply will soften prices.
FuelFact noted that Obama fought back against his critics last week during a speech in Maryland about his energy policy: “First of all, we are drilling,” he said. “Under my administration, America is producing more oil today than at any time in the last eight years. That’s a fact. We’ve quadrupled the number of operating oil rigs to a record high. I want everybody to listen to that — we have more oil rigs operating now than ever.”
During President Obama’s administration, crude oil production has risen to levels not seen since May 2002, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The U.S. produced more than 182 million barrels of crude oil in December in 2011, the most recent available statistics with the agency. The number is a bit lower than the 183 million barrels produced in May 2002, FuelFact notes.
Read more of the analysis here.