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Obama May Be The Most Pro-Oil President In US History

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Robert Donachie Capitol Hill and Health Care Reporter

Despite nearly eight years of anti-oil rhetoric, President Barack Obama may be the most pro-oil president in U.S. history.

Chief among the reasons supporting this claim are that, under Obama’s tenure in office: the 40-year oil export ban was lifted, shale production increased dramatically (up 400 percent since 2008) and oil and natural gas production are increasing exponentially.

Steve Payne, former adviser to President George W. Bush, president of Linden Energy, and one of the chief players in lifting the 40-year oil export ban, reached out to The Daily Caller News Foundation.

“In spite of President Obama’s efforts to stymie the oil and gas industry, US oil and gas production has increased by 90 percent during his first 7 years in office and oil imports are down 28 percent,” Payne tells TheDCNF.

A great driver of this increase is the repeal of the 40-year oil export ban passed by Congress in 2015. Payne was pivotal in helping members of Congress understand the benefits of lifting the ban.

“My team and I were heavily involved in informing Congress on the importance of LNG export laws that were changed to promote gas exports and create US jobs. Oil was a natural part of the discussion, and we supported their exports as well even though our main focus was LNG,” Payne tells TheDCNF.

Oil rhetoric was central to Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign in Ohio and Pennsylvania. Obama openly embraced fracking at the time, praising it in campaign speeches across the nation. He did not, however, throw his weight behind the Keyston XL Pipeline.

“The Obama Administration has played a dubious game with the American people by blocking the Keystone pipeline while allowing fracking to take place to preserve their political interests. (Keystone is 700 to 830,000 bbls per day and fracking has increased 4,500,000 bbls per day or the equivalent of 5 to 6 Keystone pipelines),” Payne explains to TheDCNF.

“America should focus on becoming totally energy independent, before we start worrying about how our exports are going to effect the global market,” Payne tells TheDCNF.

With America pumping out oil and natural gas at a growing rate, and relying less on foreign imports, a future where the United States is energy-independent does not appear implausible.

Some caution that “crowding out” or displacing foreign oil producers like Russia with cheap American oil or natural gas may cause global instability. Payne seems less worried about such issues, even suggesting that America may minimize geopolitical tensions through exports, citing recent commitments by certain countries to reduce reliance on coal or other unclean energy sources.

“Regardless of what happens with oil prices, US LNG exports will increase significantly over next several years as many countries like China and India face international pressures to reduce coal consumption and LNG is a feasible alternative,” Payne says.

“In the marine industry, LNG is becoming the fuel of choice to replace bunker fuel oil as it is cleaner, and more environmentally friendly, Carnival Cruise Lines announced that their 2 newest ships will be LNG fueled.”

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