President Barack Obama’s shtick on energy is getting old. The latest version in response to rising gasoline prices goes something like this: He can’t really do anything about high gasoline prices; but he has done something about them; anyway it’s all the fault of the greedy oil companies.

According to the first part of his shtick, high gasoline prices are not his fault; they result from high crude oil prices driven by geopolitical forces — Middle East instability and increased demand by China and India. “Anybody who tells you we can drill our way out of this problem doesn’t know what they’re talking about, or just isn’t telling you the truth,” he said recently.

But wait. He has done something about high oil prices . . . by drilling more! In the second part of his routine, touted in a new White House report on energy security, he assures us that the United States is producing more oil today than at any time in the last eight years. In addition, he said, he is all about opening new areas in the Arctic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico to exploration.

The problem with this claim is that most of the expansion in domestic oil and gas production over the past three years is the result of steps taken by the Bush administration. Obama has actually reduced output from what it would have been had his administration not reversed many of President George W. Bush’s policies.

Indeed, a 2007 report by the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Agency predicted that oil production from federal lands and offshore sites in 2010 would be 16 percent higher than what Obama’s policies have actually produced. According to the same report, Obama’s policies reduced oil production from federal lands and the Gulf of Mexico by 15 percent in 2011 from what it would have been under Bush’s policies and will cause production to decline by another 26 percent in 2012 from the 2010 production high.

In addition, the real reason that domestic production is up is because of exploration and production on private and state lands, not federal lands. Production on the latter has actually declined thanks to the Obama administration.

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