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  • The Assault on Drilling Is Onshore, Too

    Gas prices are nearly 40 cents per gallon higher than what they were last year and show no sign of falling any time soon. Although there are plenty of ideas that could help lower prices, the Obama Administration is doing much more harm than good.

    We’ve written in great detail about the Obama Administration’s attack on offshore drilling. They announced that the eastern Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic and Pacific coasts will not be part of the government’s 2012–2017 Outer Continental Shelf program, effectively banning drilling in those areas for the next seven years. Permits in the areas we can drill are down considerably, and the President’s oil spill commission report recommends new fees and tighter regulations moving forward. As a result, our financially strapped government is unable to collect billions in potential oil revenue.

    But the news onshore doesn’t get much better. Federal leasing of oil and gas exploration in the western United States has dropped significantly in the past two years. According to data compiled by the Western Energy Alliance:

    • Bureau of Land Management (BLM) offices in Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming issued 531 leases in fiscal year (FY) 2010, a 79 percent drop from the 2,499 leases issued in FY2005;
    • Since FY 2005, BLM has offered 60 percent fewer parcels and 70 percent fewer acres;
    • Leasing revenue dropped 46 percent, from $189.6 million in FY 2005 to $101.6 million in FY 2010;
    • Since 1984, total leases in effect in the West declined 52 percent and acreage declined 61 percent;
    • BLM sold 75 percent fewer acres in FY 2010 than it did in FY 2005;
    • In the first two years of the Obama Administration, DOI issued 76 percent fewer acres than the first two years of the Clinton Administration and 71 percent fewer acres than the first two years of the Bush Administration; and
    • Revenue from onshore federal royalties, rents, and bonuses declined from $4.2 billion to $2.8 billion between 2008 and 2010, a 33 percent decrease.

    A logical energy policy that would expand supply, create jobs, and bring in revenue to federal and state government would remove the government restrictions that prevent making full use of the oil, natural gas, and other energy resources onshore and offshore in the U.S. How high will gas prices reach before the Administration reverses its destructive energy policies?

    Posted in Energy [slideshow_deploy]

    9 Responses to The Assault on Drilling Is Onshore, Too

    1. George Colgrove, VA says:

      It looks like BLM could let their high paid federal workers go since their work load is appraently going down sharply.

      It also looks like DOI could use some cuts as well.

      Since work load is 60 percent or more, then the federal workforce couls be reduced correspondingly.

      Preferably, let them all go and let business go unteathered.

    2. Bobbie says:

      Exactly, George!

      What are the specifics regarding tighter regulations? What are the specifics for "new" fees? If everyone is suppose to be sacrificing Mr. President, then NOTHING should be going up in price. Someone's getting a smooth ride and it isn't the people you serve, Mr. President of corruption.

    3. Pingback: Tweets that mention The Foundry: Conservative Policy News. -- Topsy.com

    4. Tom Davidson, Richmo says:

      When the Wise Man said "Don't put all your eggs in one basket," I'm pretty sure he didn't mean "Keep all your eggs on the table and condemn all the baskets." How long before someone else (China?) uses some trick like horizontal drilling to drill outside our reserves and then steer the drills INTO our reserves to steal our resources? It could be happening in the Gulf today.

    5. Jamie says:

      For anyone interested in the facts, 2/3 of federal drilling permits sat idle in 2010 – and it's not the government's fault. Those are parcels of federal land that oil companies could have drilled but chose not to.

      BLM issued 4090 permits in 2010. Oil and gas operators drilled 1480 new wells. That's 36% of what was made available. There is plenty of land and oil available to companies that wish to drill.

      Source: E&E News (subscription required) http://www.eenews.net/gw/2011/01/13/

      And Mr. Davidson – your fear-mongering is weak. Cmon, man, surely you can come up with something better than "China is drilling into the Gulf." Especially since you don't seem to be constrained by reality.

      • Kofky says:

        Jamie, an available tract of land that was permitted is only as good as the oil is beneath it. Oil companies purchase these leases -many of which are worthless, in order to obtain an area that is financially viable for development. Your insinuation that companies NOT developing a percentage is false reasoning to deny further permitting to occur. Even after exploration identifies a promising area there is still a long drawn out process to be able to begin production.

    6. Bobbie says:

      Jamie I was wondering if you could help me understand? You wrote, For anyone interested in the facts, 2/3 of federal drilling permits sat idle in 2010 – and it’s not the government’s fault. Those are parcels of federal land that oil companies could have drilled but chose not to.

      If that is true Jamie, how come feds haven't addressed it at any time prior to now and you're the only one to mention it? And why would oil companies commence on government property? Could it be because government would be an unnecessary middle man? A controlling force? Part ownership? And how long have the feds owned this property?

    7. Bobbie says:

      guess not.

    8. Pingback: January 27, 2010 | Official web site of the Western Energy Alliance

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