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January 27, 2015

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Obama: ‘We are the Saudi Arabia of natural gas’

President’s speech in Las Vegas highlights nation’s energy potential


Leila Navidi

President Barack Obama speaks at a UPS facility in Las Vegas Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012.

Click to enlarge photo

President Obama waves to the media before boarding Air Force One at McCarran International Airport after a visit to Las Vegas Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012.

President Obama at UPS in Vegas

President Barack Obama speaks at a UPS facility in Las Vegas Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012. Launch slideshow »

President Barack Obama proposed major energy policy initiatives in Las Vegas this morning, including a plan to open 38 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico for oil exploration and development of natural gas resources in the United States.

Flanked by two massive natural gas tankers at a United Parcel Service facility south of McCarran International Airport, Obama told some 200 people that the United States sits over enough natural gas that, if developed, it could provide a relatively carbon-clean energy source for 100 years.

“We are the Saudi Arabia of natural gas,” he said.

Over 10 years, natural gas development could add 600,000 jobs to the economy, he said. A sop to environmentalists, he added that companies would need to divulge lists of chemicals used when drilling on public lands.

He also chose his visit to Nevada — a swing state that he covets in November — and specifically to the UPS facility, to promote greater use of natural gas as vehicle fuel and the development of a natural gas-fueled corridor for UPS deliveries between Long Beach, Calif., and Salt Lake City.

UPS has benefited by the stimulus bill to purchase a fleet of trucks that run on cleaner-burning liquefied natural gas and to construct a natural gas refueling station.

Obama said he wants to create such corridors throughout the United States.

“We need an all-out, all-in, all-of-the-above strategy that develops every source of American energy — a strategy that’s cleaner and cheaper and full of new jobs,” Obama said.

The president also took the opportunity to echo a complaint that has been screamed by the Occupy Wall Street activists: that the wealthiest Americans have, in many cases, lower tax rates. He wants to impose a 30 percent tax rate on those earning $1 million or more — which he said is a lower rate than during the years Ronald Reagan was president — and see no tax increases for those earning under $250,000.

The wealthy don’t need more tax breaks, Obama said. “You’re the ones who deserve a break.”

The audience, some of whom had arrived nearly three hours before his remarks, cheered.

Among them, Las Vegas attorney Matthew Dushoff said that with the only rhetoric being heard being the negative campaigning of Republican presidential candidates, he was glad to hear positive news from the president.

“We got to hear the good that is happening,” Dushoff said, adding that “people seemed to forget where we were four years ago, how Obama inherited an awful economy, how (the United States) was hated by the rest of the world.”

Peggy Ross, visiting from Montana, said she, too, was gratified to hear his positive message.

“But I guess it comes down to whether or not he can get politicians on both sides of the aisle to work with him,” she said. “He has the leadership ability; I just think some people will refuse to work with him no matter what.”

Obama smiled and waved before ducking into Air Force One, signaling the end of an overnight stay.

The president's departure at McCarran International Airport was quick and with little fanfare — no local dignitaries on hand to bid him farewell. He simply exited the limousine and briskly climbed the stairs to Air Force One, not forgetting to give Vegas a cheery goodbye wave.

Obama left the UPS speech and at 12:20 p.m. was in the air heading for Denver, then to Michigan, it was announced, before going back to Washington, D.C.

Jackie Valley contributed to this story.

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  1. I know frank is going to post some way out name calling funk, but let us get the facts:
    Natural gas is at a very low price, and storage is at high amounts.

    So we need another gas well like we need a hole in the head.
    Now oil, let us take gas for cars:
    up from 1 year ago...
    when pres O took office gas was about $1.90 a gallon
    now it is $3.50 or so.
    how about this? Let the XL pipeline bring the crude from Canada, ND, make the refineries run at near full capacity and LOWER the poor american you are trying to help fuel bill!

  2. A look at the actual oil content of American ground shows we are marginally bigger than the Saudi's in oil also. We just need to get it out of the ground.

    It seems to me a massive increase in use of NG without massive increases in exploration and feed networks; will make heating homes with NG much more expensive as the supply is decreased.


    Natural gas is a much better fuel for the environment than gas....dual fuel cars set up to use NG in close in a city and gas on the open highway are a nice way to go. Having used them in the past for work they are ok to use in my experience.

    (I was told a while ago by a mechanic working on one of our government owned NG/Gas car) NG burns hotter than gas BUT marginally worse mileage. Thus the utility of a NG/Gasoline car dual fuel set up as opposed to a pure NG set up.

  3. Natural gas, or methane is also known by the terms 'Swamp Gas' or (thanks to Carl Sagan), a component of bovine flatulence. None of this is new information.

  4. "A sop to environmentalists, he added that companies would need to divulge lists of chemicals used when drilling on public lands."

    Thank you Joe Schoenmann for using the right words.

    Barack Obama is the Charlatan in Chief. He'll say anything to anybody to get re-elected, even if what he says to one group is a dire detriment to another, especially ordinary people who are "part of his base".

    I was getting irritated with the Republicans for demanding to see Obama's college grades, but now I agree with them. Exactly what science courses did he take and pass in college? Vegetable Gardening 101?

    Barack Obama obviously knows nothing about geology, ground water hydrology, and the chemistry of toxics in drinking water.

    America's drinking water is awash in toxic chemicals, in every state, in every major metropolitan area. We all know the Charlatan in Chief is talking about "fracking" to increase natural gas production.

    It's so nice that he will require "disclosure" of the chemicals used for fracking to pump natural gas on public lands. Such a tiny little sop to plaintiffs' lawyers to help them expedite their lawsuits against the natural gas extraction companies for contaminating ground water aquifers which supply water to individuals, farms and cities.

    It's bad enough in most states that ordinary citizens are being forced to protect their drinking water from fracking chemicals used on private land. Soon they'll get to defend their drinking water from fracking chemicals used on public land.

    Barack Obama, the smartest Republican President since Bill Clinton.

  5. In comparison to the Republican candidates and the Republican party in general, President Obama is clearly the better choice to be President---hands down, no doubt!

    Reasonable people independent voters) understand what is at stake and can clearly see the difference. This is why Barack Obama will be re-elected come election time.

  6. I do not know if Mr. Obama is the better choice. He hasn't shown it to date EXCEPT for some military activity and this hopeful speech. Certainly he has not shown much sagacity in economic activities except for an adroit bailing out of the big money men so they can continue to fund campaigns.

    His record on energy to date is at best dismal. If he follows up the speech with some actual action to aid the economy/energy then he might very well be the better choice. His foreign policy is mostly ok as "countries do not have friends just interests." Let's face it, the people who hated us last term will always do so and what he says has little or no effect on their views/actions. On foreign policy and war making (other than the military budget, apology speech and aiding the false Arab Spring) he has been Bush. His Administration seems a bit better than Bush at killing terrorists.

    Action on the economy and energy is needed and without it he is NOT the best choice.

  7. Well, if Barack Obama is not the best choice to be President of the United State, tell us who is? And why!

  8. Who and why indeed....actually it appears your need is to say WHY The President is the best for the job. I haven't seen it and you haven't articulated it.

    So WHY IS HE THE BEST FOR THE JOB? Should be easy for you to answer if you truly believe it.