Earlier this year, President Obama announced that the US would lend Petrobras $2 billion to help them develop more offshore oil drilling. Petrobras is Brazil’s state-owned oil company that is expanding its offshore drilling in the Tupi oil field not far from Rio de Janeiro. Along with the $2 billion loan came the promise for more money in the future.
Over the weekend, Republican presidential candidate, Newt Gingrich appeared on Fox News’ program Power Play with Chris Stirewalt. Gingrich mocked Obama’s Brazilian oil program by suggesting that the US sell Alaska to Brazil so they could do all of the work setting up oil and natural gas drilling in Alaska’s vast reserves then buy it back from them.
“[The federal government] owns 69 percent of Alaska. That’s one and a half Texases. So, let’s set half of Texas aside for national parks and wilderness areas. That leaves you an area the size of Texas that you can develop.”
He suggested that the solution to the nation’s debt problem would be solved by the royalties America would make over a ten year period on mining, coal, natural gas and oil in the Texas sized part of Alaska being developed by Brazil.
If Gingrich’s jest seems ridiculous, he meant it to sound that way because of how ridiculous the President’s actions are in supporting Brazil’s oil drilling while doing everything in his power to hinder US oil production. However, I’m not so sure if Newt’s comments even if made in jest, were well accepted by Alaskans or environmentalists.
Gingrich and other Republicans have rightfully criticized Obama for his failed energy policies claiming that they are hurting the US economy while supporting the economy of other oil producing nations including Brazil. If the President wants to invest $2 billion in oil and natural gas production, he should do so here in the US and help us to become more self reliant and let Brazil develop their own oil field.