Just in time for April Fools’ Day, the press reported “Obama clears way for oil drilling off US coasts”, telling us about the President’s “‘tough decision’ to expand offshore drilling.”
While we’ve heard the
President talk about all kinds of energy options including nuclear and
fossil fuel-based sources, we know this administrations in clearly
heavily invested in closing the deal on a “cap and trade” energy policy
(never mind it could cripple the US economy while enriching a handful).
So, quite frankly, I looked for confirmation that our President had “clear[ed] the way for oil drilling off US coasts”.
It’s a hollow promise. The President’s plan closes most of the coasts to oil drilling — just two years after they were opened when a moratorium on coastal drilling expired in 2008. Take a look at these maps.
make it worse, the Secretary of the Interior “quietly” told reporters
in March that no new oil and gas leases will be approved under the Obama
administration — even though 2/3 of the public supports such jobs!
Meanwhile, a Colorado Congressman has introduced HR 4866 to “RESTART” mining of our “rare earth” reserves. Rare earth mineral production is vital for the renewable energy industry but the US has locked up most of our production. Who produces the bulk of the world’s rare earths? China, of course. So, current energy policies are exchanging dependence on foreign oil for dependence on foreign minerals.
While I don’t like the look of oil wells, especially off the coast, I do see the connection between the gas pump and oil derricks. And new technology allows up to drill at a slant and get, from one platform, what used to take many. All good.
I am not alone. A recent Gallup poll revealed that Americans are more
likely to say the U.S. should prioritize development of energy supplies
than to say it should prioritize protecting the environment, the first
time more have favored energy production over environmental protection
in this question’s 10-year history.
It appears that Americans
recognize that the oil business successfully and cleanly drills all over
the world — just not here in the States since we’ve closed most areas
for energy production. It’s a bit hypocritical of us and we pay the
price, dearly, in funding military actions all over the world to defend
our “US interests”.
representatives in Utah understand this conflict and so Utah is suing
to get some of its land back from the federal government which now
“owns” — but does not use — almost 70% of Utah (which has HUGE
reserves of clean coal). And what the fed doesn’t own, it controls
via the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the country’s first animal rights
(no, not conservation) law in the land.
So that headline, that the President has now “clear[ed] the way” for oil production, is sooo misleading.
article states that President “Obama made no secret of the fact that
one factor in his decision was securing Republican support for a
sweeping climate change bill that has languished in Congress.”
Ah, ha! We’re back where we started. This is just a drop of oil to grease the skids for the “cap and trade” fiasco.
Why can’t we just free our
citizens to do the job of delivering energy based on free market
principles? Why so much horse trading to enact nonsensical policies? And
why so much control from DC which technically, per the Constitution,
was supposed to keep their mitts off the State’s lands and water anyway?
If Utah wins its case, in the
future we won’t be reading about any president talking about “his”
decision to allow or not allow drilling. And more drilling will be done
on land, which is safer and simpler than drilling at sea.
And maybe that would be a good thing.
In the meantime, Happy April Fools Day to all us fools out there!
NOTE: What a difference a few short weeks make. This was written shortly before the BP oil disaster in the Gulf, 40 miles off the coastline, outside state jurisdiction (within 12 miles) but still within the 200 mile exclusive economic zone of the USA. So the US federal government had oversight on this deepwater well, run by a British company contracting to another company, Transocean, a Swiss company which owns half of the 50 deepwater rigs in the world. Ironically, “we’re never out of our depth,” is Transocean’s motto.