There have been good moves and bad moves on Obama's part when it comes to energy policy. This would fall quite definitively into the latter category. From the BBC:
The US will seek to expand domestic oil production in an attempt to reduce dependence on imported oil and bring down fuel prices, President Obama says.
That exact quote - domestic oil = less foreign oil and lower pump prices - is shallow, horrible, and false, and could have (in fact has!) come straight out of the mouth of a Sarah Palin or a Newt Gingrich. It gets worse:
Despite the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, Mr Obama said the Gulf remained a core part of the country's future energy supply and new incentives would be offered for on and offshore development.
When you read "new incentives," think "tax breaks for oil companies." Awesome, I know. So, overall, how is Obama's "govern as much like a Republican as possible" strategy holding up?
The president's proposals come after Republicans in Congress introduced a series of bills that would expand and speed up offshore oil and gas drilling.
Cool energy policy, bro!
UPDATE: NPR has more, and their lede is authentically hilarious:
Facing continued public unhappiness over gas prices, President Barack Obama is directing his administration to ramp up U.S. oil production by extending existing leases in the Gulf of Mexico and off Alaska's coast and holding more frequent lease sales in a federal petroleum reserve in Alaska.
Obama said Saturday that the measures "make good sense" and will help reduce U.S. consumption of imported oil in the long term. But he acknowledged anew that they won't help to immediately bring down gasoline prices topping $4 a gallon in many parts of the country.
The oil industry praised Obama's move as a first step but said much more was needed to boost oil production as part of a broader energy strategy.
"If given access to key shale reserves, if we can get the oil sands pipeline built that will allow us to import more crude from Canadian oil sands, and if we can access areas of the US that are currently off limits, our industry can create over a million new jobs and generate over $194 billion in revenue," said Erik Milito, upstream director for the American Petroleum Institute.
Well jeepers! As long as the API loves it, who cares if we actually fix the problem this is ostensibly intended to address (gas prices)?
I have to keep reminding myself that Obama is the candidate who broke all records for contributions from Wall Street during the 2008 election. His actions during TARP/bailouts/etc. certainly were a reminder (in the form of a metaphorical punch in my nose), but when the swelling goes down and I let myself be lulled into placid support for "my guy," I will remember his actions here - that's for damn sure.