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April 1, 2010
Obama's 'Now you see it - Now you don't' drilling policy
The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) takes a look at President Obama's new policy on offshore oil drilling and finds that what the president offers with one hand, he takes away with the other:
In 2008, President George W. Bush revoked his father's executive order barring new offshore energy development and the Department of the Interior prepared a five year offshore leasing plan. The Democratic Congress co-operated by dropping the long-time moratorium which banned offshore oil production everywhere except in the western Gulf of Mexico and the Arctic Ocean off Alaska. The Obama administration, however, suspended the Interior plan and delayed a planned lease auction scheduled for 2011. It is now proposing a new plan that is much more limited.
"Anyone who sees this as a step in the right direction should remember that President Obama still supports energy-rationing policies to address global warming that would cause electricity prices to, in his own words, ‘necessarily skyrocket' and would require gas prices of at least seven dollars a gallon according to a recent Harvard study," said Ebell. "I guess when gas hits seven dollars as a result of Obama's policies, Americans can take comfort in the fact that a bit more of it is being produced in the U.S."
While opening some areas off the east coast for drilling, the fact is that leases already in the process of being let have been canceled and huge swaths of potentially productive tracts are still off limits - including the entire west coast. There has also been a cancellation of leases in Alaska in order to carry out further environmental studies, while placing more restrictions on drilling in several productive sites.
This is great PR for Obama in that every headline in America will carry the word "Drill" thus giving the impression that the president is addressing our vital energy needs. But in truth, the slow motion approval process means that it will be long after Obama leaves office before a drop of that oil reaches the market.