For all the rhetoric about moving to a green economy and spending to subsidize development of renewable energy resources, the fact remains the nation will be almost totally dependent upon energy generated from burning of fossil fuels – chiefly coal, natural gas and oil – for the foreseeable future.
So the need to develop America’s bountiful fossil fuel resources will only intensify as our economy grows and those of emerging world economic powers like China and India similarly expand. But President Obama is moving national energy policy in exactly the opposite direction. Instead of aiding exploration and development of available fossil fuel resources, the administration appears to be doing everything possible to slow or even stop it.
American Solutions’ Steve Everley offers an illuminating partial listing of examples of the Obama energy policy of delay in action:
• Within a month of taking office, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar delayed the offshore leasing process by extending the public comment period for an additional six months.
• Just days before he delayed the leasing process, Salazar also voided several existing onshore drilling leases in Utahdelaying the development of American energy.
• Last September Salazar announced that he could delay offshore drilling until 2012, or longer, depending on Interior’s own internal analysis, which is at his discretion.
• Days after the end of the public comment period, Interior promised that it would take “several weeks” to review and analyze the 530,000 comments received. That analysis was delayed, as there has been no public announcement from Interior.
• Earlier this year Salazar announced a new layer of bureaucratic regulations for energy companies, which will furtherdelay any kind of responsible energy development.
• Last month Salazar announced that offshore drilling in Virginia could be delayed until at least 2012.
• Senate Democrats wrote to Salazar last month that his delays on offshore drilling were preventing economic recovery and job creation in Virginia.
• Through a FOIA request, American Solutions uncovered a deliberate delay within Interior regarding release of the breakdown of public comments on offshore leasing, which they have known since October were 2-1 in favor of drilling.
• And just recently, the Minerals Management Service, which oversees offshore drilling, told the Justice Department that it would miss its own deadline for a court-ordered environmental assessment of drilling in Alaska. Without that analysis, all further drilling will be delayed in the Bering, Beaufort, and Chukchi seas.
Friday’s announcement by Salazar that the Interior Department is putting the Western Sage Grouse on the candidate list, rather than moving forward with classification of the “prairie chicken” as an endangered species, appears on the surface to be only a slight deviation from the systematic policy of delay.
You can read Everley’s piece on Fox News.