ISIS and doing stupid s---

While the insurrectionist group the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is causing chaos in Iraq, President Obama has been "talking big" (albeit in private) that his foreign policy is to not do stupid, um, stuff. The World Cup and no-hit baseball may distract us from the crisis for now, but they do nothing to alleviate its impacts.

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Unfortunately, the administration's energy policy is doing nothing to alleviate the impacts either. Lambasting America's "dependence" on foreign oil, Obama is fond of saying that the U.S. has only 2 percent of the world's oil reserves. As debatable as that proposition may be, it appears his administration develops its energy policy using 0 percent of the world's common sense. An examination of how his energy policy undercuts his foreign policy may require a new definition of "stupid."

Here's a test — answer "a" or "b":

1. The Obama administration has delayed and blocked the development of the Keystone XL pipeline. This pipeline could have been delivering, now or in the near future, three-quarters of a million barrels per day of oil from our largest and most reliable trading partner: Canada. This senseless homage to the extreme environmental movement (multiple environmental impact assessments done by Obama's own Department of State determined that the pipeline would have no significant environmental impact, even including CO2 emissions) has damaged our relationship with Canada. It's now moving forward with a pipeline to the Pacific jointly funded with the Chinese state oil company. This policy of thumbing our nose at Canada and shooting ourselves in the foot is:

a. Stupid

b. Not stupid

2. The Obama administration's regulatory impediments and associated investment uncertainty caused oil companies to postpone or abandon plans to drill in offshore Alaskan waters. These same companies then announced agreements with Russia to drill instead in Russia's offshore Arctic waters. Making oil companies more dependent on Russia is:

a. Stupid

b. Not stupid

3. In a professed effort to make the military less dependent on foreign-sourced energy, various branches of the Department of Defense (DOD) have set goals to replace up to 50 percent of their petroleum use with biofuels. These fuels have cost from $25 to $400 per gallon so far. The DOD uses about 360,000 barrels per day of petroleum products. According to the Department of Energy, petroleum production from federal areas in the Gulf of Mexico has dropped by more than 300,000 barrels per day. Energy-security policies that eliminate 300,000 barrels per day of domestically produced petroleum, whose products cost $3 per gallon, and purchasing up to 160,000 barrels per day of biofuel products at a cost of $25 to $400 per gallon is:

a. Stupid

b. Not stupid

4. Iranian oil exports are 650,000 barrels per day above their allowed sanctions limit. The Obama administration has recently had contacts with Iran to discuss the crisis in Iraq. Many have noted the temptation to compromise on the sanctions imposed over Iran's nuclear program to allow more Iranian oil to flow to the market. In 2000, the Department of Energy estimated that oil production from a fraction of 1 percent of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) could economically produce 600,000 to 1.9 million barrels of petroleum per day. In light of geopolitical and economic realities, blocking access to ANWR is:

a. Stupid

b. Not stupid

The phenomenal oil production increase from the private and state leases helped save the world from oil-price spikes during the Arab Spring. It can also help moderate prices as the crisis in Iraq unfolds, but it would be a lot better if the administration actually believed in its "all of the above" rhetoric and encouraged oil production in federal areas instead of hobbling it.

Increasing U.S. oil production does not require subsidies, mandates, soldiers or aircraft carriers. It only requires that the government not block access to the reserves we already have.

Kreutzer, Ph.D., is a research fellow specializing in energy economics and climate change at the Heritage Foundation's Center for Data Analysis.

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