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.

 

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» Malkin: Obama’s Interior Department Still Going Rogue » Commentary — GOPUSA

» Malkin: Obama’s Interior Department Still Going Rogue » Commentary — GOPUSA.

The Obama administration’s loathsome cowboy, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, won’t take no for an answer. He’s been smacked down repeatedly by federal courts for imposing a draconian, junk science-based moratorium on the oil and gas industry. Yet, the job-killing zealot and his boss just introduced another ruinous offshore drilling ban two weeks ago.

The White House rationale for the renewed crackdown? Because we said so.

Thomas Pyle of the D.C.-based Institute for Energy Research reports that the Salazar scheme “reinstitutes a 30-year moratorium on offshore energy exploration that will keep our most promising resources locked away until long after President Obama begins plans for his presidential library.” Instead of working to enhance our energy independence and free up abundant natural resources, the Obama administration has worked tirelessly to close off access to nearly 86 billion barrels of oil on America’s Outer Continental Shelf alone.

The latest plan involves the interior secretary’s authority to auction oil and gas leases and to oversee oil and gas research and exploration on the OCS. Pyle explains that the “2012-17 plan leaves out the entire Atlantic and Pacific coasts and the vast majority of OCS areas off Alaska. It cuts in half the average number of lease sales per year, requires higher minimum bids and shorter lease periods, and dramatically reduces lease terms.”

The official Obama for America slogan may be “Forward,” but the Salazar-Obama anti-drilling regime leaves America behind. National Ocean Industries Association President Randall B. Luthi told the Oil and Gas Journal (an industry publication): “This deeply disappointing ‘no new access’ plan does not reflect the comprehensive, ‘all of the above’ energy policy touted by the administration, nor does it keep pace with the energy policies of foreign nations that are expanding their offshore access to develop badly needed oil and gas.”

No surprise. Salazar is an unrepentant glutton for punishment — of America’s energy producers. He’s had the unwavering support of President Obama ever since the aftermath of the BP oil spill in 2010, when the administration implemented a radical six-month freeze on America’s entire deepwater drilling industry. Republicans must forcefully counter the campaign fables being spun by Team Obama with the truth about these rogue overlords.

When the president’s Chicago flacks boast of their noble commitment to transparency, remember: The overbroad drilling ban was stuffed into a technical safety document in the middle of the night by Obama’s unaccountable green extremists.

When White House operatives tout their miraculous economics, remind them: The cost of the original Obama-Salazar edict is an estimated 19,000 jobs and $1.1 billion in lost wages. The new ban takes both coasts off the table and throws Alaska oil and gas sales into uncertain delay.

When Democrats tout their adherence to sound science, don’t forget: The administration’s own expert panel disavowed Salazar and former eco-czar Carol Browner‘s claims that they had secured a scientific consensus for the drilling ban. In fact, Salazar and Browner completely perverted the experts’ consensus against the sweeping offshore drilling ban.

When Vice President Joe Biden takes to the stump to tout the “character of his (boss’s) convictions,” make it known: Louisiana federal judge Martin Feldman rebuked the Obama Interior Department for its “determined disregard” for the law.

And the stench deepens. In May, the House Natural Resources Committee released e-mails quoting a senior whistleblower who directly contradicted Salazar’s claim that doctored support for the ban was unintentional. Where is the Interior Department inspector general to look out for taxpayers’ best interests? She’s knee-deep in ethics problems herself.

A federal panel that oversees government watchdogs took up a conflict-of-interest complaint against Interior Department Acting Inspector General Mary Kendall this week. USA Today first reported in May “that Kendall had attended meetings where top Interior officials discussed drafts of a peer-reviewed report on deepwater drilling.” Later, she was enlisted to investigate how White House officials cooked up the scientifically manufactured report that resulted from those very meetings.

Instead of haranguing GOP opponent Mitt Romney with questions about his offshore bank accounts, this search-and-destroy White House should start accounting for its offshore drilling obstructionism. Salazar’s reign has been a shady, secretive and rotten deal for America.

Michelle Malkin is the author of “Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks & Cronies” (Regnery 2010).

» 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.