Import More Oil While Cutting Oil Imports

The New York Times reports on Obama’s speech before 1,000 Georgetown U students where he announced a flashy new goal (the way this admin serves up new goals I’d hate to be the staffer responsible for keeping up the goal tracking warboard in the Oval Office) of cutting US oil imports by 1/3:

Mr. Obama’s speech focused on his long-term strategy to save fuel by relying more on alternative and renewable energy sources. The one-third reduction in oil imports he has set as a target, which would be roughly three million to four million barrels a day at current levels of imports, corresponds roughly to the total the United States now gets from the Middle East and North Africa.

Nowhere in the Times’ coverage does the word ‘Brazil’ appear. This seems odd because Obama stood in Brasilia, Brazil just a week or so ago promoting an entirely different new energy goal: Subsidizing Brazillian oil production and pledging to import the oil.

President Obama joined political and business leaders in Brasilia in hailing the fact that their newly discovered offshore petroleum reserves might be twice as large as those in the United States. Americans “want to help with technology and support to develop these oil reserves safely, and when you’re ready to start selling, we want to be one of your best customers,” Mr. Obama said.

In fairness to the President I can see the math working on this. Imported oil – Middle East oil + Brazil oil + tech advances in biofuel production via partnership with Brazil = 1/3 reduction in oil import.

I’m just floored that the New York Times doesn’t think the pledge to ramp up and import Brazil oil is worth mentioning in an article on the pledge to reduce oil production and oil imports one week later. Wild.

Obama did give Brazil a shout out in his speech. He also made a lighthearted Hoyas joke sarcastically couched as a serious subject, which was awesome, except for the fact that it completely devalued his remarks on the world’s tumult that followed:

I want to start with a difficult subject:  The Hoyas had a tough loss, Coach.  (Laughter.)  Coach is here, too, and I love Coach Thompson.  I love his dad and the great tradition that they’ve had.  (Applause.)  And it turned out VCU was pretty good. (Laughter.)  I had Georgetown winning that game in my bracket, so we’re all hurting here.  (Laughter.)  But that’s what next year is for.

We meet here at a tumultuous time for the world.  In a matter of months, we’ve seen regimes toppled.  We’ve seen democracy take root in North Africa and in the Middle East.  We’ve witnessed a terrible earthquake, a catastrophic tsunami, a nuclear emergency that has battered one of our strongest allies and closest friends in the world’s third-largest economy.  We’ve led an international effort in Libya to prevent a massacre and maintain stability throughout the broader region.

Debate the seriousness of Obama’s energy policy all you want, with jokes like this you can’t say for one minute that he’s worried about perpetuating the public’s perception of a seriousness deficit in the White House.

— — —

YOU SOMETIMES HEAR jokes of this nature at memorial services as the speaker uses a lighthearted intro, usually a cute anecdote, to loosen up before launching into the sad meat of their goodbye speech. These jokes can go either way depending on the delivery.

“Bob sure loved sports. We watched a lot games together, him and I. I can’t believe Bob and I were just throwing back beer after beer at our favorite bar, watching Monday Night Football together. He bet me $10 bucks on the game; I won. Bob wasn’t too good at picking games, lucky for him he wasn’t too good at paying off the bets, either. It figures he’d owe me one last ten-spot forever.

We gather here today in sadness for our dear friend Bob, a husband, a father, who tragically crashed and died in his beloved Chevy truck late Monday night.”

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