So, what do you think, Matt, as we go forward? Are we missing something here in terms of the larger focus on Petraeus and his personal problems? What -- is there a larger failing here about the administration in Benghazi that may, for example, implicate secretary of state Clinton, who has gotten off -- she says, from Peru, she wanted to take responsibility. But what does that mean? She's not testified at all.
KAMINSKI: Not followed up on that.
GIGOT: Not really followed up at all.
KAMINSKI: Well, I think you have -- it really means there's been a -- this is -- they would love to blame it on Petraeus. He's now been disgraced and he's out of office. You can blame it on the CIA. The problem was this goes back to the White House and certainly to Hillary Clinton. We have a failing. The failing was on the day of the attacks. But there's a broader failure of our policy in Libya. We were dragged into this into intervening last year. We very much disengaged early on. We didn't support a pro-Western secular government in Libya and try to reign in their militias. And now we've suffered a terrible defeat in Benghazi itself. We've been forced to pull out the CIA mission there and pull out our --
GIGOT: By not helping the opposition, we've ceded the ground to the Qataris, who did then arm the Islamist, who they favor, and now we've got a proliferation of Islamists in Libya.
KAMINSKI: Yes. And I'd add one point that relates to Susan Rice and the larger point. The president said, why are you blaming Susan Rice who knows nothing about Benghazi. Why was Susan Rice chosen it go out there if she knows about it? Why was not Mrs. Clinton or one of her deputies? It's either because the people who knew things didn't want to be out there on the record or they thought that she would just read what she was given and not disclose something.
GIGOT: Because she -- because she knew she was a loyal political operative and do exactly what --
KAMINSKI: What all of this leads to, whether it's General Petraeus or Hillary, there are questions about whether people were being truthful or were compromised in some ways, and that's not good for us.
GIGOT: All right. Let's hope people keep digging.
When we come back, could it be some good news? A new report says the U.S. is on track to surpass Saudi Arabia as the world's largest oil producer. But will the Obama administration regulate this boom until it goes bust?
GIGOT: We thought we'd bring you some good news this week. The International Energy Agency reported Monday that the U.S. is likely to surpass Saudi Arabia as the world's largest oil producer as early as 20/20. IEA predicts that the U.S. will increase its production to 11.1 million barrels a day by 2020, up from about 6.9 million barrels in 2008. That is if the Obama administration allows it.
So, Steve, you've been out to the shale in North Dakota where it's coming from.
GIGOT: It's based on new technology, so-called hydraulic fracking --
GIGOT: -- and horizontal drilling, private initiative and risk taking. What does it mean for the U.S. energy markets?
MOORE: Well, this is such a great, great pro-American story. And by the way, Paul, it's not just oil. It's also natural gas.
GIGOT: Right, sure.
MOORE: My goodness, we have more natural gas than almost the rest of the world combined. And it's driven by these technological improvements. And by the way, we have about a five or 10-year technological lead on all the countries we're competing with.
It's interesting, Paul, if you look at the last three or four years, do you know what industry has created more than any other industry in the United States?
GIGOT: The electric car industry, Steve?
GIGOT: Sorry, not that, no.
MOORE: No, not that one.
Oil and gas. And the thing that's so amazing is the president is doing almost everything he can to try to hold this back with regulations and with not allowing permitting. Most of the oil and gas development is going out on private lands. And this is an area where the president has to get with the program because we could literally create millions more jobs if we get this story right.
GIGOT: Kim, the consequences here economically are big for downstream production, things like manufacturing --
GIGOT: -- that had left the -- it wasn't -- I talked to one CEO, Dow Chemical, who had planned years ago never to build another plant in the United States. And now he's making a $4 billion bet on manufacturing and chemical production in the United States. That's extraordinary. You're seeing that all over places like Pennsylvania and Ohio. So, this could really be good. What's the risk politically in the coming years?
STRASSEL: To whom?
GIGOT: To this -- to this oil boom, natural gas boom?
STRASSEL: Oh, well, the risk of -- risk from the Obama administration is enormous. I think one thing that's interesting about this EIA report is it's based on current assumption. It doesn't take into account what we could be getting if we were actually actively going after natural resources, which, by the way, prior generations of Americans set aside exactly for us to use in places like in Alaska, on shore, the gulf, off shore at the coast. The president has resolutely refused to tap any of those. And in addition, what you see is his administration trying very hard to think of a way to wiggle its way into this fracking regulatory arena, which up till now, has been monitored and overseen entirely by the states, with great success. And that has really got a lot of president's environmental allies unhappy because they feel they don't have control. And so they're pushing the administration to insert itself in the area.
GIGOT: The irony is that natural gas production, Bill, actually reduces greenhouse gas emissions because it replaces coal, which is more carbon intensive.
GIGOT: So this could be a win-win for environmentalists and for people who want cheaper energy.
MCGURN: Yes. Although, if you look at the environmental web sites, they're already worried. They hate --