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  • Drilling Delays Inspire New Proposal to Reform Permitting Process

    Two Republican lawmakers have developed a plan they hope will put pressure on the Obama administration to speed up the permitting process for offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.

    Reps. Bill Flores (R-TX) and Jeff Landry (R-LA) introduced legislation to codify timeliness of permitting process by establishing stringent deadlines and clear requirements on drilling applications. Leaseholders would even be able to request a refund on their bonus bid if the Department of Interior rejects an application.

    The goal is to finally end the de facto drilling moratorium, which was the subject of Wednesday’s hearing of the House Natural Resources Committee.

    “The Expedited Offshore Permitting Act aims to increase American energy production and reverse the Obama administration’s reckless anti-energy policies that are costing thousands of jobs, driving up gasoline prices and increasing uncertainty in the marketplace,” Flores said.

    The legislation comes on the heels of conflicting information from the Obama administration on the number of permits currently pending. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar testified that seven deepwater permits and 47 shallow-water permits have been submitted in the past nine months.

    But in a recent court filing, the Department of Justice produced much larger numbers: 57 deepwater applications and 270 shallow-water drilling permits.

    By establishing a timeline for drilling permits, Congress would force an end to the bureaucratic quagmire at the Department of Interior. Administration officials have defended the delays as a safety measure in the wake of last year’s oil spill.

    Yesterday’s hearing featured Scott Angelle, secretary of the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources. Angelle spoke about the hardships his state has witnessed due to the delays. He called for “regulation without strangulation” and related how the uncertainty fostered by the Obama administration has dire economic effects for the Gulf of Mexico region.

    Seahawk Drilling, a company in his state, was forced to file for bankruptcy and may not be able to play a role in the “the suddenly unstable futures of its nearly 500 employees.”

    “It’s time we put the Gulf of Mexico back to work and restore stability and certainty from unlocking access and tapping into the vast amounts of taxpayer-owned resources that currently sit idle,” Flores said. “By establishing more stringent deadlines and other requirements for the offshore drilling permitting process, we may work to restore certainty in offshore oil and gas development.”

    Matthew McKillip is currently a member of the Young Leaders Program at The Heritage Foundation.

    Posted in Energy [slideshow_deploy]

    9 Responses to Drilling Delays Inspire New Proposal to Reform Permitting Process

    1. Lloyd Scallan (New O says:

      It's Obama that's stopping drilling and exploration, thus causing crude prices and gasoline prices to continue to skyrocket. Ken Salazar is being trotted out as an scrificial lamb to deflect blame from his boss. Salazar is being used as a mouth piece for Obama to hide behind. We all should understand by this time that Obama's MO is using others to deflect blame.These excuses about "safty" is the same old same old, deceptions and lies. Obama hates fossil fuels, all fossel fuels but does not have the guts to take full responsibility, in particular since he is running for reelection in 2012. Obama will continue to throw up every

      roadblock he can to force our economical system into socialism.

    2. Mike, Wichita Falls says:

      I like the idea of including a bonus refund for rejected permits. Oil companies, yes even Big Oil, take a big chance buying leases that may never produce one drop of oil. They cannot even evaluate the subsurface for its oil potential until they have a lease in hand. They can accept the risk of evaluation that leads to no drilling or the drilling of dry holes. So, it stands to reason that if oil companies do see a prospective area worthy of drilling and file permits that are rejected because of some perceived spill risk or worse yet political reasons, they should recover some or all of that lease bonus.

    3. Norma in Nebraska says:

      Are you worried about our “carbon footprint” that results from using oil products to heat our homes, produces electricity, and fuel our cars, etc? Are you so absorbed in developing GREEN energy that you are willing to “throw out the baby with the bathwater” in order to move in another direction . . . ANY direction that does not include oil and coal?

      With the recent nuclear problem in Japan, perhaps we should live with the "pollution" we know. Drilling for oil ends up heating our homes, fueling our cars BUT we KNOW what the effects are going to be from using it. And until the rest of the world reduces the amount of pollution they are emitting, our efforts will be negligible. Once again this push for “green energy” has a lot more to do with power and money than maintaining a clean environment.

      The radiation that is now spreading across our country from Japan is a consequence we cannot control. Our Energy Department is currently pushing to build over 100 nuclear plants HERE without really knowing the actual condition of the ones we already have. I know we are supposed to have inspectors visiting the current facilities, but after the lack of supervision over the oil wells in the gulf – staff was too busy watching porn on the internet, playing games or taking money under the table from the oil companies – I have little or no faith that the required inspections are actually being done. I would challenge our congressmen and senators to PROVE to us that these inspections are routinely done on a timely basis with infractions noted and corrections made. But with the increase in nuclear plants comes an increased risk for something similar happening in our country.

      So it appears to me that we have to continue to use oil and supplement it with alternative forms of energy until it can be phased out in an orderly fashion. Let's put people back to work in the oil industry and let private enterprise find the solutions in the PRIVATE sector which do not require massive infusions of cash on a yearly basis from our government . . . let the private sector do what they do the best – innovate!

    4. Diana Brown, Illinoi says:

      Someone should look very close at the DOJ and Salazar and I believe there should be investigations. These people and their policies are against our Constitutional rights as we know them. The Feds have too much power over our States and it is about time (long overdue) that we take them back. Governors of our States should do their best to see that we are able to drill baby drill. Obama is destroying our country with his Progressive and Socialistic Policies. People Wake UP Please!!!!

    5. NeoConVet says:

      They way this WH makes decisions at the speed of drying concrete…this proposal is dead before it starts! It only took six months to send additoonal troops to Afghanistan, several weeks to decide we have no policy for Libya, and we still have no leadership from the WH for a budget in '011 much less '012.

    6. Corky, Howey in the says:

      Wake up all you Good Americans and see what the obama administration is doing to us and to this Country. Stand up and do something before it's to late. Get involved or We all, including your children, will suffer.

    7. WHICH WAY says:


    8. Pingback: While the American Dream Slips Away for Many Americans, Michelle Obama Says American Dream Alive and Well in Chile | The Lonely Conservative

    9. Pingback: $5 GAS BY MEMORIAL DAY: So how many think that the voters will forgive this - Page 7 - US Message Board - Political Discussion Forum

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