One would think that one of the primary requirements of energy independence would be having the ability to collect the energy through which one becomes independent by using. Somehow, this logic escapes the Obama administration as evidenced by their “Five-Year Plan.” However, if their goal was to diminish opportunities for energy resources, they’ve done a magnificent job.
It is pretty well established that there is oil in the Gulf of Mexico and in the Arctic. We should drill there until it runs dry and the administration puts forth the appearance that they agree on this point as they have been kind enough to allow additional drilling there. Specifically, they’ve agreed to set up 12 lease auctions in the Gulf and 3 more in the Arctic. Very nice of them but these are known quantities and probably don’t qualify as the savior of energy independence at this point. For that, we’d need to explore new areas. However, true exploration is not on the agenda.
The five-year offshore lease plan focuses on allowing oil and gas development in already-explored areas of the Gulf of Mexico and the Arctic, while ruling out lease sales in Atlantic waters, despite pressure from some Virginia officials eager for exploration off state shores.
You would think that with all of the information collected by the Interior Department on these matters that the administration would’ve come to a different conclusion. You would also think that the Interior Department would have collected information. Unfortunately that is not the case, and the Governors of 9 coastal states are not very pleased, sending a letter to the President asking for an explanation for the lack of communication.
…the administration fails to expand adequate access to resource-abundant areas in the Arctic and fails to establish leasing in the Mid- and South-Atlantic. Both of these decisions appear to have been made without proper consultation from the states, as required by the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, and without sufficient explanation for the reversal in decision from previous plans.
Furthermore, the administration continues to hide behind “studies” to block further drilling in the Arctic. In a sneaky move, the administration put forth the “possibility of 3 auctions for rights to drill in waters near Alaska.” But this does nothing to stop them from shutting down more areas in order to create “study areas.” This is known to most people as “pandering to environmental whackos” and the letter mentions this as well.
In the Arctic, the proposed plan allows for only three lease sales in the Arctic OCS – one in the Chukchi Sea, one in Beaufort Sea, and one in the Cook Inlet – all of which appear to be postponed by one-year from the date proposed in the draft plan. The final plan further removes millions of acres in the Arctic from leasing in order to form “study areas,” raising the likelihood that these Arctic lease sales may never occur. The Department of the Interior did not reach out to the State of Alaska for input on these decisions, as is legally required.
The letter was signed by Govs. Bobby Jindal (Louisiana), Sean Parnell (Alaska), Rick Perry (Texas), Phil Bryant (Mississippi), Robert Bentley (Alabama), Nikki Haley (South Carolina), & Robert McDonnell (Virginia). You know…basically everyone we like. Full text of the letter here.
So, not to beat a drum to death here but let me take this opportunity to point out yet again what is at stake in this election. We’ve already seen the Keystone Pipeline get derailed. We’ve seen the coal industry destroying MACT Rule, we know about the tyrannical EPA and here we have what appears to be, either through malice or incompetence, a framework which ensures that energy independence will remain out of reach for the United States.
We are on a disastrous energy path that must be altered. There is only one way to alter it.