Obama Continues to Despise American Energy

The recent Supreme Court decision on ObamaCare gave sufficient cover to the administration to release a five-year plan for offshore drilling which will continue to depress the economy and eliminate energy independence in this country.

This new plan "resinstitutes a 30-year moratorium on offshore energy exploration" in the United States.  Thus, the 44th president has now denied "access to nearly 98% of America's vast energy potential on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS)."

Thomas J. Pyle, president of the Institute for Energy Research explains that the "Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act or OCSLA of 1953 provided the interior secretary with the authority to administer mineral exploration and development off our nation's coastlines."  In effect, this Act allows the interior secretary to "provide oil and gas leases to the highest-qualified bidder while establishing guidelines for implementing an oil and gas exploration-and-development program for the Outer Continental Shelf."

In 1978, the Act was amended to require a series of five-year plans that would provide a schedule for the sale of oil and gas leases in order to better meet America's national energy needs.

Since 2008, President Obama and former U.S. Sen. Kenneth L. Salazar of Colorado, the current interior secretary, have restricted access to American offshore oil and gas resources.  These restrictions include:

  • Canceling lease sales
  • Delaying lease sales
  • Creating an uncertainty about offshore development that has caused job-creators to look for other countries' waters to transport their offshore rigs
  • Restricting Alaska's development of its 24 billion barrels of oil reserves
  • Prohibiting Virginians from unlocking their offshore resources of 130 million barrels of offshore oil and 1.14 trillion cubic feet of natural gas

In addition, shale oil development is being blocked by this administration.  In effect, Obama has "embargoed nearly 200 years of domestic oil supply."

As a result of these draconian restrictions, the government has lost considerable revenue from offshore lease sales in the last three years.  In 2008, during the last year of George W. Bush's administration, the revenue was $9.48 billion.  In 2011 it was down to $36 million.  Oil production on federal lands has also dropped as has the number of annual leases.

This latest assault on American energy reserves will only worsen the current economic situation, since the "2012-2017 plan leaves out the entire Atlantic and Pacific coasts and the vast majority of OCS areas off Alaska."  But since 2009, the U.S. government has loaned more than $2 billion to support the Mexican state oil company in support of oil drilling in the southern Gulf of Mexico1.  And American tax dollars are being used to support drilling off the coast of Brazil2.

According to Michelle Malkin, in the aftermath of the BP oil spill in 2010, "the cost of the original Obama-Salazar edict [was] an estimated 19,000 jobs and $1.1 billion in lost wages."  Amazingly, "this new ban takes both coasts off the table and throws Alaskan oil and gas sales into uncertain delay."  The deliberate "drilling obstructionism"3 "could cost the United States more than $24 billion in lost oil and natural gas investment in the next several years"4.

U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman of New Orleans found that the Obama administration "acted 'in contempt' by continuing its deepwater-drilling moratorium after the policy was struck down."  Federal judge Martin Feldman rebuked the Obama Interior Department for its "determined disregard" for the law  and maintained that "[s]uch dismissive conduct, viewed in tandem with the re-imposition of a second blanket and substantively identical moratorium, and in light of the national importance of this case, provide this court with clear and convincing evidence of the government's contempt."

In light of the administration's total disregard concerning the moratorium, the question has arisen if "a second Obama cabinet member [will] be found in contempt" of Congress.  The possibility exists, since the House has escalated its efforts to make Interior Secretary Ken Salazar comply with a subpoena pertaining to the drilling moratorium that he imposed after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

In essence, the Obama administration ignores a judicial ruling, acts in contempt, and lies to the American public. Mr. Obama claimed that he had lifted the Gulf moratorium even though not a single deepwater permit was issued in nine months.  Obama obfuscates and maintains that U.S. oil production is higher than it's been in eight years.  This is a false claim, since "any increase in domestic drilling during his tenure has been almost entirely in areas over which the Obama administration exercises no authority"5.  Furthermore, economy-stifling, complex new federal drilling regulations most certainly guarantee a continuing inability for companies to begin any drilling -- ergo, a moratorium.  This latest massive assault against offshore drilling is costing jobs, depressing economic growth, hindering our national security, pushing up gas prices, and depressing government revenues which could balance the budget.

In a reasonable manner, Thomas J. Pyle writes that "[w]ith oil hovering around $85 a barrel and nationwide gas prices nearly double what they were when Mr. Obama took office, you'd think the administration might implement a sensible plan to promote robust job creation and safe offshore energy development." 

It is sensible to think such a thing only if you think that Obama cares about America and its inhabitants.  On the other hand, if, as many are concluding, Obama has a deep-seated destructive impulse against this country, this ongoing assault is perfectly in line with the 44th president's desires.

Eileen can be reached at middlemarch18@gmail.com.

1Matt Covet, "Exclusive: U.S. Government Loaned Mexican Government More Than $1 Billion to Drill Oil in Gulf of Mexico Last Year; Has $1 Billion More Planned For This Year," CNS News, September 7, 2010.

2 "Lawmakers, Executives Slam Obama for Boosting Brazil's Offshore Drilling," Fox News, March 23, 2011.

3David Limbaugh. The Great Destroyer: Barack Obama's War on the Republic. Washington, DC: Regnery Publishing, Inc., 2012.  Chapter Seven of this book documents Obama's "statist, ideological hostility to oil" and how it is resulting in lost jobs and regulatory impediments.

4Ibid., p. 227.

5Ibid., p. 233.

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