During the speech, the president stated, "Over the last three years, we've opened millions of new acres for oil and gas exploration, and tonight, I'm directing my administration to open more than 75 percent of our potential offshore oil and gas resources."
But that raises a question. how many new acres are actually being opened?
U.S. Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Dist.11) says, "Until we see the details of what he's actually proposing, if it is in fact 75 percent, that's great. I'm not sure why it wasn't 100 percent. Never the less, we'll take the 75, if it is the right 75."
Later on in the speech, the president made it clear that oil wasn't going to play the biggest part in his plan for America's energy future. "We've subsidized oil companies for a century. That's long enough. It's time to end the taxpayer giveaways to an industry that rarely has been more profitable, and double-down on a clean energy industry that never has been more promising. "
Rep. Conaway replied to this statement by saying, "The president thinks he's poking at the majors. He's not. They haven't gotten those deductions or percentage depletion since the late 70's. Who he's trying to attack are the good folks in Midland and Odessa who are the small town operators who drill most of the wells that are drilled in most of the continental United States. I can't believe his staff didn't explain to him exactly what that meant. But he did it last year in the State of the Union, and he was wrong-headed then, and he did it again this year, and he's wrong-headed. Apparently, he's a slow learner."
But there was some good news for the Permian Basin. Along with clean forms of energy like wind, solar, and high-tech batteries, the president is also pushing for more use of a resource that is readily available in the U.S. - natural gas. "My administration will take every possible action to safely develop this energy. Experts believe this will support more than 600,000 jobs by the end of the decade," said the president.
So how will this affect the Permian Basin? According to Conaway, "the folks in the Permian Basin drill gas wells, and they drill oil wells. The level of activity you see right now is a result of prices of oil where they are. Natural gas prices are a little depressed to make money on these huge frac jobs and horizontal drilling. So, they would prefer the price up. Yeah, it'll be very positive."
The president spoke in more detail about his plan for the future of American energy Thursday in Las Vegas and at the Buckley Air Force Base.
Now, we'll have to wait and see if those plans will actually be implemented when America votes this November.