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Sarah Palin blasts Obama for high gas prices

Former Republican Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin. Getty Images/John Moore

Sarah Palin blasted President Obama on Tuesday for what she called his "anti-drilling mentality" and said the president was waging a "war on domestic oil and gas exploration and production" that was resulting in high gas prices for Americans.

In a Facebook post published Tuesday night, Palin outlines a list of what she claimed was "evidence of the President's anti-drilling mentality and his culpability in the high gas prices hurting Americans."

"It's not even an exhaustive list," she writes, before launching into a lengthy three-part argument.

Citing the Obama administration's moratorium on drilling, which the White House imposed last year in response to the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Palin laid blame on the Obama administration for rising oil prices in the U.S.

"Guided by politics and pure emotion following the Gulf spill instead of peer-reviewed science or defensible law, the President used the power of his executive order to impose a deepwater drilling moratorium," she writes.

"A large drilling company was forced to declare bankruptcy, the economy of the region has been hobbled, and at least 7 rigs moved out of the Gulf area to other parts of the world while many others remain idle. Is it any surprise that oil production in the Gulf of Mexico is expected to fall by 240,000 bbl/d in 2011 alone?" Palin asks.

The Obama administration lifted the moratorium, which applied only to deep-water floating facilities with drilling activities, in October 2010. According to the Los Angeles Times, it affected about 36 rigs in the gulf, and "extraction of oil and gas in the gulf, which accounts for a third of domestic oil production, continued largely unabated."

Palin further points to Mr. Obama's 2012 budget, which she said discouraged energy companies from completing exploratory projects, and the administration's reluctance to allow drilling in Alaska's Arctic coast, as evidence of the Obama administration's "war on domestic oil and gas exploration and production has caused us pain at the pump, endangered our already sluggish economic recovery, and threatened our national security."

Palin argues that federal regulations on drilling in Alaska's Chukchi and Beafort seas - which environmental groups argue are sacred ecosystems that could suffer serious, irreparable damage from an oil spill - were costing Americans jobs.

"Allowing Royal Dutch Shell to tap these reserves in Alaska's Chukchi and Beaufort seas would create an annual average of 54,700 jobs nationwide with a $145 billion total payroll and generate an additional $193 billion a year in total revenues to local, state, and federal governments for 50 years," Palin said, citing a study by Northern Economics Inc., Alaska's largest private economic consulting firm, and the University of Alaska at Anchorage's Institute of Social and Economic Research.

Palin also points to cuts in Mr. Obama's proposed 2012 budget that would end tax breaks for oil and gas companies - which she argues would "discourage energy companies from completing exploratory projects, resulting in higher energy costs for all Americans." (Mr. Obama, in his State of the Union address, contended that eliminating "the billions in taxpayer dollars we currently give to oil companies" was a means to a more forward thinking future in energy. "Instead of subsidizing yesterday's energy, let's invest in tomorrow's," he said.)

"Taken altogether, it's hard to deny that the Obama Administration is anti-drilling," Palin writes. "The President may try to suggest that the rise in oil prices has nothing to do with him, but the American people won't be fooled. Before we saw any protests in the Middle East, increased global demand led to a significant rise in oil prices; but the White House stood idly by watching the prices go up and allowing America to remain increasingly dependent on imports from foreign regimes in dangerously unstable parts of the world."

Palin suggests that Mr. Obama is not only responsible for a rise in oil prices - but that he is rooting for them.

A rise in oil prices, she says, "was no accident."

"Through a process of what candidate Obama once called 'gradual adjustment,' American consumers have seen prices at the pump rise 67 percent since he took office."

"Let's not forget that in September 2008, candidate Obama's Energy Secretary in-waiting said: 'Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe.' That's one campaign promise they're working hard to fulfill!"

"2012 can't come soon enough," she says.

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