The Old Democrat Party: FDR Expanded US Domestic Oil Production
I may be waxing nostalgic, but in 1972, I was paying $0.36 a gallon for high test gasoline for my '66 Mustang. My grandaddy used to bitch about the price because he paid $0.25 a gallon for his '54 Chevrolet Sedan Delivery. In 20 years, the price of a gallon of gasoline at the pump only increased $0.11.
The "Drill, baby, drill!" mantra of the 2008 Republican National Convention was cynically answered by Barack Obama supporters at the Democratic Convention with: “You can't drill your way out of the problem.”
To address what President Obama called the worst worldwide crisis in living memory, the President promised hundreds of thousands of new green jobs if America abandoned its reliance on oil and gas, which he contemptuously refers to as the “fuel of the past”.
During President Obama’s term in office he will have escalated the federal debt by $6.4 trillion, 31.6 times the $202.6 billion debt the Franklin Roosevelt Administration issued to deal with the greatest worldwide crisis of all time, defeating Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan. But unlike Obama, FDR achieved victory by expanding domestic oil and gas production and delivery.
In spite of the Obama Administration, a rag tag assortment of small “wildcat” oil and gas entrepreneurs have proven that America has over 100 years’ supply of natural gas and over 50 years’ supply of oil. With Obama’s green initiatives in tatters, his new strategy seems to be taking credit for drill, baby, drill achievements, but remains fearful of the political consequences to build the pipelines to pump, baby, pump all that oil and gas to markets.
With war looming, FDR appointed Harold Ickes, former Secretary of the Interior, to select 72 leaders of America's oil industry to serve on the Petroleum Industry War Council. Ickes would later describe in his book, Fightin Oil: “as one of the great coincidences of history”, the first meeting of the PIWC was scheduled for Monday December 8, 1941, the day after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Within weeks, the PIWC had mobilized America’s 1,500 oil companies, great and small, to work amicably with the government to win the war. With full involvement of the oil industry, America began massive drilling and quickly developed the technical capabilities to refine huge quantities of gasoline, including the 100-octane grade needed for aircraft.
To get energy supplies from Texas to the East Coast refiners to fuel Atlantic supply convoys, the industry in one year built the two largest diameter pipelines in the history of the world, the Big Inch and the Little Big Inch. During the war, U.S. oil companies delivered 6 billion out of a total of 7 billion barrels of oil consumed by the Allies. The Army-Navy Joint Chiefs of Staff wrote a letter to the PIWC in 1945 stating that “at no time did the Services lack for oil in the proper quantities, in the proper kinds and at the proper places.” Field-Marshall Von Rundstedt, commander of Germany’s Western Front, attributed Germany’s defeat to three factors involving oil: (1) Allied bombing (2) Allied naval bombardments; and (3) Germany's gasoline deficiency.
For three years the Obama Administration energy policy focused on pouring $60 billion into alternative energy; while limiting U.S. drilling off the Atlantic Coast, Florida Gulf Coast, Gulf of Mexico, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and federal lands in the Rockies. Due to these policies, the average price per gallon of gas just hit an all-time-high for this time of year at $3.84 a gallon.
In 20 days, the price of a gallon of gasoline at the pump has increased twice that.