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  • Drill, With Tougher Regulations Baby, Drill!

    In what is being labeled as “Onshore Oil and Gas Leasing Reforms” Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced tougher new leasing rules that will inevitably make it more difficult and more expensive to drill for oil in the United States. Despite the recession, gas prices have crept up steadily in the past year – about a $1 increase per gallon from a year ago today. The national average is currently $2.68. Instead of increasing access to supply and creating jobs the administration is doing more to limit opportunities – or at least have it take longer to make use of those opportunities and make them more expensive. The Institute of Energy Research president Thomas J. Pyle weighs in:

    “When it comes to paving the way for the responsible development of homegrown, job-creating energy resources, no administration in history has done more to ensure producers do less. It’s a superlative not achieved by accident. Over the course of a single year, we’ve seen the Interior secretary block commonsense exploration through a number of creative means – from executing a pocket veto on a sensible plan to produce offshore, to outright rescinding existing lease contracts in Utah.

    But while the means and methods have changed, the loser continues to be the American taxpayer. In 2008, the Interior Department collected 10-times the amount of revenue from lease sales than it did in 2009. Thanks to today’s announcement, that number has nowhere to go but down in 2010.”

    The biggest loser is the American taxpayer and the American energy consumer, but the government is losing out, too, adds American Petroleum Institute president Jack Gerard:

    “Since Salazar has taken his position, revenues from federal onshore oil and gas leasing in the five states that make up the Inter-Mountain West (Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming) have plummeted over 80 percent, and the amount of total acreage leased by the government has shrunk to the lowest level on record. In Wyoming alone, nearly 70 percent fewer lease acres were issued by the federal government in 2009 than in 2008.”

    Although the reforms aim to bring consistency and certainty, it will only reduce the incentive for companies to pursue projects that would increase jobs and the supply of energy without the help of the federal government. And it could be just the start. There are host of other things Congress and the Obama administration are doing to bring back higher energy prices. Senior Policy Analyst Ben Lieberman explains, and offers more prudent alternatives, in this paper.

    Posted in Energy [slideshow_deploy]

    9 Responses to Drill, With Tougher Regulations Baby, Drill!

    1. Brad, Chicago, IL says:

      But aren't they just trying to protect us from burning fossil fuels and producing more of that evil carbon? That excuse wouldn't surprise me. It could also be a ploy to decrease demand for fossil fuels by forcing prices up. That way we'd all start supporting "green" energy. I'd like to hear the rationale Mr. Salazar is using to make these decisions, but I bet he doesn't have to answer to anyone.

    2. Jason, New Jersey says:

      As I read this and other similar stories, I can't help but wonder why the Government "owns" Hundreds of Millions of acres in OUR Country at all. I remember reading a story about Cuba lending out parcels of the Millions of acres of "the people's" land for production and thought that was insane…

    3. Scott Soyer Tucson, says:

      Time to start deregulation of environmental laws. We cannot keep warring with OPEC nations for oil forever. Drilling here and now is the answer and the only thing standing in our way are the laws that environmentalists insist improve the environment. Taxpayers just keep paying and paying and paying for nothing in return. It must stop, no amount of money thrown at the problem i.e., alternative fuels, electric or solar will solve our futures transportation problems. Drill now baby, Drill now.

    4. James Handfest,White says:

      Seems like our Goverment just wants to keep Bleeding us of our money for higher prices at the pump while all the time saying that we need to be Energy Independent. But that is what you get when the Dems are In control. All I got to say is Drill Baby Drill here and Now. Save Money.

    5. Bobbie Jay says:

      Alternative energy is just props. They have to appear there is a crisis need for money. As they force upon AMERICANS, inefficient ways for more burden and cost. Because it's government they set rules. Breaking all that show self-worth.

      …JUST WAITING FOR THAT DROP OF A HAT!

      The only crisis this country has, is the GOVERNMENT!

      HOUSTON! WE HAVE A PROBLEM!

    6. Don Fitterer Glen Ul says:

      Salazar is brainless. He was bad in the Senate and only continues down that road as the head of an agency. The libs continue to p and m about the billions of dollars we spend on foriegn oil yet they will not allow us to use our own. They are all brainless. Look at the empty suit in the Whitehouse. What he wants is all that matters even as it continues to ruin this country. The revolution needs to begin soon.

    7. FRANK, BLOOMFIELF, N says:

      THIS ADMINISTRATION WILL STOP AT NOTHING TO DIMINISH AMERICA IN ORDER TO KEEP THE ENVIORMENTALISTS VOTE. THEY FORGET IT'S GOVERNMENT BY AND FOR THE PEOPLE NOT GOVERNMENT BY AND FOR THE GOVERNMENT. WE THE PEOPLE MUST SAY NO TO TYRANNY AND YES TO INDIVIDUAL LIBERTY AND FREEDOM. WE MUST BE FREE FROM DEPENDING ON FOREIGN OIL.

    8. Denise, Colfax WA says:

      I just read this last night an article in the Globe in Mass. on Cape Wind!! I guess Obama is going to take the Indians in a back room! This is the first part there is more you can go to the Globe and look up Beth Daley can be reached at bdaley@globe.com

      A decision in sight on Cape Wind dispute

      Interior secretary orders parties to meet next week

      By Beth Daley, Globe Staff | January 5, 2010

      The Obama administration signaled a sudden urgency yesterday to resolve the nine-year dispute over building a wind farm off Cape Cod, as US Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced he would summon key parties to a meeting next week in hope of concluding the decision process within two months.

      The announcement was made minutes after the Cape Wind project appeared to suffer an unexpected setback, when the National Park Service agreed with two Native American tribes that Nantucket Sound is eligible to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places because of its cultural and spiritual significance to the tribes.

      The decision caught many by surprise, because listing in the Register, which affords extra protection against development, is normally reserved for structures or smaller, more specific locations.

      Native Americans’ pursuit of the historic designation is the last outstanding major issue before Cape Wind Associates can begin construction in the Sound. The Park Service’s decision threatened to further delay a glacial review process for the 130-turbine wind farm.

      But in a written statement, Salazar directed that “principal parties’’ meet next week, probably in Washington, to come up with a “common-sense agreement’’ by March 1 on ways to minimize the project’s impact on the sound’s cultural and historic value. Barring an agreement, the interior secretary said, “I will be prepared to take the steps necessary to bring the permit process to conclusion.’’

      Salazar did not detail what those steps might be. He oversees the Park Service, and although it is unlikely he would overrule its eligibility determination, he could orchestrate a compromise all parties would have to accept.

      An Interior Department spokeswoman said the date and exactly who would be attending were still to be determined. However, it is expected that Cape Wind developers and state historic preservation officials would be included.

      Salazar’s intervention in the heated battle over the Cape Wind project reflects the Obama administration’s intensified interest in the fate of the nation’s first proposed offshore wind farm after more than a year of silence on it. The administration, smarting from disappointing international climate talks in Copenhagen and the failure of Congress to pass legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, is eager, some observers say, to show the world that it is serious about switching to a lower-carbon economy.

      Remember there's more at the news site.

    9. Bill, Denver CO says:

      Go Green. Go Broke.

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