Kingston was commenting on the commitment Obama made last month to Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, that the U.S. would assist that nation in developing its oil reserves and eventually become Brazil’s "best customer."

Kingston contrasted that commitment with the fact that the administration halted permitting for deepwater projects in the Gulf after last year's catastrophic BP oil spill and only recently issued the first permits.

“If you want to turn the economy around, the best thing we could do is to send the signal that we are going to drill our own gas,” Kingston said. “For the president to go down to Brazil and say, ‘Hey, congratulations on drilling your own oil, we’re going to lend you the money and, by the way, we want to be your best customer,’ that is absurd.”