Energy right on our shores – Washington Times – LUTHI

 

Energy right on our shores – Washington Times – LUTHI

.When the Interior Department released its five-year plan for our nation’s offshore energy resources late last month, it revealed that President Obama’s “all of the above” energy strategy excludes new areas for offshore natural gas and oil. The plan for the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) fails to open access to any new areas on the East and West coasts and unnecessarily delays sales in Alaska, putting the nation further behind other countries that are expanding their offshore energy industries.

Fortunately, House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings, Washington Republican, is advancing legislation to fix the plan by expanding access to the OCS. My organization supports the legislation because the United States — thanks to a domestic energy boom driven by new exploration and drilling techniques mainly on state and private lands — realistically can set a course to dramatically reduce its dependence on Middle Eastern oil. The administration’s plan stands in the way because it leaves new offshore opportunities sidelined until 2017.

This is frustrating news for Americans, who time and time again hear the same empty promises about tapping into domestic energy resources when gas prices rise at the pump but never see follow-through. It’s worse for many of the millions of unemployed Americans who would jump at the opportunities the offshore energy industry and the sectors that support it could provide if only given a chance to find out how much oil and natural gas we have off our coasts.

Inexplicably, the new plan even restricts access to offshore Virginia, which was included in the previous five-year plan. This step backward flies in the face of bipartisan support for offshore development from the Old Dominion’s U.S. senators, its governor, a majority of the congressional delegation and the state legislature. Meanwhile, new land-based natural gas and oil operations in states such as North Dakota, Pennsylvania and Texas are supporting tens of thousands of new jobs in each state while providing much-needed new revenue to local and state governments. While the nation’s unemployment rate hovers above 8 percent, the oil and gas industry in North Dakota is actively seeking workers in a state that has an unemployment rate of about 3 percent.

States such as Virginia and South Carolina see what’s happening in other parts of the country and ask, “Why not us?” The key difference is that the energy boom in the nation’s interior is taking place on state-owned and private land. In fact, over the past year, oil production on federal lands and waters is down 14 percent, including 17 percent in the Gulf of Mexico.

If this proposed final plan moves forward without modifications from Congress, our country’s energy future will be worsened. It will hamper efforts to reduce our reliance on imported oil, and much-needed jobs won’t be created. Producing what we have offshore would generate as much as $1.3 trillion over the life of the resource for government at all levels. Leaving much of this out of the picture simply makes no sense. It’s not too late to change course. The Natural Resources Committee quickly passed Mr. Hastings‘ legislation last week, as should the full House and the Senate. There’s no time to waste.

Randall Luthi is president of the National Ocean Industries Association.

 

» Malkin: White House Lied, Jobs Died » Commentary — GOPUSA

» Malkin: White House Lied, Jobs Died » Commentary — GOPUSA.

By Michelle Malkin

While the White House and its media water-carriers try to distract the American public with gay-marriage talk and half-century-old tales of Mitt Romney’s prep school pranks, the inconvenient truth remains: President Obama is responsible for perpetrating jaw-dropping, job-killing scientific fraud. And his minions are still trying to cover it up.

New internal e-mails disclosed by the House Natural Resources Committee this week show that a supposedly exculpatory report on the administration’s doctored drilling moratorium analysis — issued by the Department of Interior’s Inspector General‘s office — was itself incomplete, misleading and unsubstantiated. Even more damning, the documents reveal that the White House actively blocked investigators and refuses to comply with subpoenas.

Now, as one senior IG agent warned his bosses, “the chickens may be coming home to roost.”

A quick refresher: After the BP oil spill in 2010, the White House imposed a radical six-month moratorium on America’s entire deepwater drilling industry. The overbroad ban — inserted into a technical safety document in the middle of the night by Obama’s green extremists — cost an estimated 19,000 jobs and $1.1 billion in lost wages.

The anti-drilling administration based its draconian order on recommendations from an expert oil spill panel. But that panel’s own members (along with the federal judiciary) called out then-eco czar Carol Browner for misleading the public about the scientific evidence and “contributing to the perception that the government’s findings were more exact than they actually were.” Browner and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar oversaw the false rewriting of the drilling ban report to completely misrepresent the Obama-appointed panel’s own overwhelming scientific objections to the job-killing edict.

Federal judge Martin Feldman in Louisiana blasted the Obama Interior Department for defying his May 2010 order to lift its fraudulent ban on offshore oil and gas drilling in the Gulf. He called out the administration’s culture of contempt and “determined disregard” for the law.

Ever since, GOP watchdogs have attempted to hold administration officials accountable for the drilling ban fraud. In November 2010, the DOI Inspector General issued a report cited by Salazar to argue that any editing of the drilling ban report was unintentional and mistaken. But e-mails from IG senior agent Richard Larrabee released by the House Natural Resources Committee flatly contradict Salazar.

“I truly believe the editing WAS intentional — by an overzealous staffer at the White House. And, if asked, I, as the case agent, would be happy to state that opinion to anyone interested,” Larrabee wrote.

He noted that the IG report failed to mention that investigators were unable to independently validate e-mails supplied by Salazar’s office — and that the report was “simply silent” about how the White House blocked investigators’ attempts to interview one of Browner’s chief henchmen, Joe Aldy. “Well, it will be interesting to see if anyone picks up on these things, or cares about them,” Larrabee wrote.

Well, House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings, R-Wash., cares. In a letter to the DOI Inspector General’s office, Hastings blasted the stonewallers who have hid in the dark for more than a year. “The IG report is being used by the Obama Administration and others as a defense that this matter has already been investigated and resolved. These emails contradict that claim and raise new questions on whether the IG’s investigation was as thorough and complete as it should have been,” Hastings wrote.

The actual drafts of the drilling moratorium report and the communications between senior Interior Department officials and White House political appointees remain out of public view. “To date, the Interior Department has never had to disclose documents to the IG or to Congress,” Hastings noted. “Despite the President’s pledge of transparency, this Administration has not answered questions by anyone on how this decision was made that forced thousands of Americans out of work and cost millions of dollars in lost economic activity.”

This election isn’t just about jobs, jobs, jobs. It’s about the lies, lies, lies that have led to massive job destruction — and the ruthless corruptocrats using our tax dollars to whitewash their radical green agenda.

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