Former Shell Oil President John Hofmeister is pouring cold water on former President Barack Obama’s claims that he’s responsible for the country’s boom in oil and gas production.
Mr. Obama on Tuesday told the audience at a gala for Rice University’s Baker Institute that he deserved credit for the oil-and-gas boom that his successor, President Trump, is now enjoying.
“You wouldn’t always know it, but it went up every year I was president,” the former president said to applause. “That whole — suddenly America’s like the biggest oil producer and the biggest gas — that was me, people.”
Mr. Hofmeister, who now serves as CEO for Citizens for Affordable Energy Inc., appeared on Fox News Thursday suggesting that U.S. oil and gas production increased in spite of Mr. Obama’s policies.
“Yes, the production did increase throughout his term, but, frankly, he had nothing to do with it,” Mr. Hofmeister said on “Fox & Friends.”
“This was production in states like Texas, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Colorado, North Dakota, in particular. And these were all state decisions made with industry applications for permits. The federal government had no role,” he added.
Mr. Hofmeister also criticized the former president’s opposition to drilling, his increasing of permitting regulations and his handling of the Keystone XL pipeline.
“I would say that he was not a leader when it comes to energy, other than the Clean Power Plan, when he tried to remake the power generation industry without involving Congress, and the Paris accords, again without involving Congress,” he said. “So he tried to do a lot but it was not in the direction of the kind of energy that President Trump is working on.
“[Mr. Obama] was mostly in the way when it came to any carbon-based fuel, but when it came to the actual facts of the matter, because there were areas beyond his jurisdiction, things got done. The industry and the states working together did a remarkable job, which continues to this day under Trump,” he said. “So [Mr. Obama] can take credit for all he wants, but whether people believe him or not it depends on how much history do you really know versus how much history do you want to reinvent.”