by Greg Noth
A new study conducted by the energy consulting firm IHS CERA and sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the American Petroleum Institute, American Chemistry Council, and Natural Gas Supply Association finds the U.S. is on track to become the largest oil producer in the world.
Oil and other liquid carbon production is expected to reach 10.9 million barrels per day (bpd) this year, which is a 7 percent increase from last year. By next year, the Department of Energy projects the country will produce an average 11.4 million bpd — just below the 11.6 million bpd produced by the largest oil producer in the world, Saudi Arabia.
This study, which the Chamber happily endorsed, proves that attacks from the right against the Obama administration’s domestic energy policies — often led and funded by the Chamber of Commerce — are completely false. Indeed, production has increased every year of Obama’s presidency and this year is the largest single-year gain since 1951.
Compared to the last three years of President Bush, there have been 241 million more barrels of oil produced from public lands in the first three years of President Obama. Also, the number of oil drilling rigs have seen a 75 percent increase between 2009 and 2011.
Even though the Chamber acknowledges energy production is high, the organization and other oil-funded groups have spent millions this election cycle running attack ads, some repeating energy myths about the government limiting production. Its campaign narrative does not match reality.
Oil production is now higher than at any point since the mid 1990′s. Yet, despite these massive gains in production, gas prices have remained “stubbornly high.” This is because the global market determines prices, and factors outside U.S. borders control them — not presidents.
According to a recent analysis from the Congressional Budget office, the only way to truly protect consumers from price increases is to promote “policies that reduce the use of oil.” And that’s what we’ll need to do in order to address climate change as well.
The Chamber continues to attack Obama on energy. But the group is already getting the energy policy it wants, as this recent report it sponsored points out. Meanwhile, gas prices remain high and we continue on a path of uncontrolled carbon pollution.
Greg Noth is an intern with ThinkProgress.