Oil & Gas 360® gathered a few news features on the President’s State of The Union address:

Patton Boggs

Last night, President Barack Obama delivered his fourth State of the Union Address before a joint session of the 113th Congress. Not since 1887, when President Grover Cleveland faced a divided 50th Congress, has a Democratic President been confronted (again) with the challenge of doing so, in this case a Republican House and a Democratic Senate. In words that still ring true 125 years later, President Cleveland “earnestly invoke[d] such wise action on the part of the people’s legislators as will subserve the public good and demonstrate . . . its ability and inclination to so meet the people’s needs that it shall be gratefully remembered by an expectant constituency.” (President Grover Cleveland’s December 6, 1886 Second Annual Message to the United States Congress.)

In setting forth his priorities aimed largely at advancing the interests of the middle class in a speech in which he made reference to the economy and jobs 62 times, President Obama called on the 113th Congress to, among other things, enact legislation to avoid the automatic spending cuts otherwise set to hit on March 1, to produce comprehensive immigration reform legislation, to “pursue a bipartisan, market-based solution to climate change,” to make preschool universal and adopt other educational reforms, to adopt cyber security legislation to address issues beyond those that he could implement through executive action, and to adopt a variety of other measures that would create jobs and grow the economy. In addition, he made an emotional appeal for Congress to vote on gun control measures. He pledged that the war in Afghanistan would be over by the end of next year. And closer to home, he announced the formation of a non-partisan commission to “improve the voting experience in America,” which we are proud to say will be co-chaired by one of our partners, Ben Ginsberg.

In the Republican Response, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) offered a fundamentally different perspective on how to address many of the major issues that divide Congress and the two parties, while at the same time stressing as did the President the need to address the concerns of middle-class Americans. Full PDF here.

Western Energy Alliance

If you watched last night’s State of the Union address from President Obama, you probably heard him discuss America’s need for “energy independence.” For those of us who work in the oil and natural gas industry, we fully support that goal! Our industry has the greatest technology in the world and we have the resources right here in the West to bring security for generations to come.

But listening to and reading the full transcript of the President’s comments on energy development, I got the distinct feeling that I have seen this movie before…in fact, many, many times! When the movie Shawshank Redemption is on TV, I always sit down and watch it even though I know how it ends.

After four State of the Union addresses from this President, like the movie…I know how it ends.

The President once again took credit for increased oil and natural gas production. What he didn’t say is that the increased production occurred on private and state lands not as a result of his actions and policies, but in spite of his actions and policies.

The President again talked about “clean energy” development such as wind and solar. While we support an “all-of-the-above” strategy to include renewables, we’ve all seen the financial disaster that the Solyndras of the world have become. He frequently mentions the need to end “big oil subsidies,” then takes credit for increased production in the same breath. He’s actually targeting industry’s intangible drilling cost (IDC) deductions, which are ordinary deductions of business expenses similar to those available to every other business. Why would anyone want to financially threaten an industry that created 9% of all new employment last year?

The President claimed that his administration will “keep cutting red tape” when it comes to the production of natural gas. Our industry has been seeking a more streamlined and efficient permitting process since the President first took office, but his administration’s response has been more red tape and increased regulatory control. Which is it?

If President Obama really wants to help middle class Americans in their continued economic struggles, what better way to do so then by allowing our industry to harness the vast oil and natural gas resources on western federal lands which will provide price stability for citizens and businesses?

If the President is concerned about “climate change,” why not focus his efforts on reducing red tape so that natural gas can play an even larger role in supplying our nation’s energy needs? America is the only industrialized country that has significantly reduced greenhouse gas emissions because of the dramatic increase in natural gas electricity generation. We should commit to producing even more and allow our western communities to enjoy the same economic boom that we’ve witnessed in states like North Dakota.

Mr. President, we are here and ready to continue taking steps to truly attain energy independence and security. But for some reason, the comments you make in your annual address don’t match your actions. We ask that you direct your regulatory agencies to stop impeding domestic oil and natural gas development, and let us deliver real solutions to our energy challenges.

Let’s change the ending to this “movie” and take action now!

Tim Wigley

Western Energy Alliance (formerly IPAMS)


Key Takeaways for Energy Markets from the State of the Union: Last night’s State of the Union address highlighted the Administration’s commitment for harnessing domestic energy sources as a way to drive economic growth and achieve national security. Key takeaways for energy markets included President Obama’s allusion to an energy trust, supportive commentary on oil and gas drilling permits, and the potential for government directed investment in modern pipelines and R&D overseen by the Department of Defense and Department of Energy. We view the commentary as positive for further development of the nation’s hydrocarbon resources, particularly natural gas due to its low carbon and abundant nature.

Limited Focus on Geopolitics: Little time was spent discussing geopolitical threats, underscoring an ambitious second-term domestic agenda and waning public support for foreign intervention. The President stated the Administration will do what is necessary to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon and noted the growing threat of cyber security to national security and the economy. We continue to think military intervention in Iran and cyber threats pose meaningful upside-risk to commodity prices and expect more deliberation related to Iran in the coming months.

Washington D.C. Energy Policy Trip: Last night’s address highlighted many of the opportunities and challenges related to domestic and international energy markets. Please join us for a trip to Washington DC on March 5th and 6th to meet with various energy policy makers, government agencies, geopolitical and policy experts, and country representatives and diplomats. As last night’s address shows, the political winds are shifting once again and domestic energy and foreign policy changes will likely follow as a result. We believe understanding these nuances is paramount to investment opportunities and challenges. We hope you will be able to join us for what we know will be an exciting and insightful trip.

New York Times

Obama’s 2013 State of the Union Address – Transcript here.


Keeping up pressure on congressional Republicans after his State of the Union address, President Barack Obama launched three days of campaign-style speeches on Wednesday with a visit to a North Carolina manufacturing plant that he said epitomized his proposals for job creation.

Obama toured the Linamar Corporation plant in Asheville before telling workers that Congress should pass his proposals laid out in Tuesday night’s speech that call for more job training and ending tax subsidies that reward sending jobs overseas.

“We’ve got to stop with some of the politics we see in Washington sometimes that focuses on who’s up and who’s down,” he said.
In all ways, the president appears to be “up” after a well-received annual address that continued to define the political and ideological divide with Republicans over the role and size of government, as well as how to reduce chronic federal deficits and rising debt.

Congressional Republicans, meanwhile, seem “down” as the Washington debate focuses on impending budget cuts mandated by a past agreement with Democrats and the White House to raise the federal debt ceiling.

In the GOP response to Obama’s speech at the Capitol, conservative Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida rolled off a now-familiar list of criticisms of the president’s approach while repeatedly referring to Republican proposals rejected by Democrats. – Read More

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