3/13/2010

The Obama administration announces a three-year offshore drilling ban

During the 2008 presidential campaign, Obama said that he would allow offshore oil drilling.

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has also moderated his stance, moving from staunch opposition to suggesting that new drilling could be part of a new energy strategy. That shift led to accusations from some of his supporters that he had flip-flopped. . . .


Or this:

Sen. Barack Obama responded Saturday to criticism that he has changed his position on opposing offshore oil drilling.

Obama said Friday that he would be willing to compromise on his position against offshore oil drilling if it were part of a more overarching strategy to lower energy costs.

"My interest is in making sure we've got the kind of comprehensive energy policy that can bring down gas prices," Obama told The Palm Beach Post early into a two-day swing through Florida.

But on Saturday morning, Obama said this "wasn't really a new position." . . .


However, now Obama has imposed a three year ban on offshore oil drilling.

The Obama administration’s six-month delay in approving new offshore drilling leases in federal waters will become a new three-year ban, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar quietly told reporters last Friday. Which means that no new oil and gas leases will be approved during President Obama’s term even though two –thirds of the American public supports such activity, according to a December 2009 Rasmussen poll.

Sixty percent also believe that gas and oil prices will drop if the government allows offshore drilling, opening up an estimate 14 billion barrels of oil and 55 trillion cubic feet of natural gas

On July 14, 2008 President George W. Bush lifted an executive ban on Outer Continental Shelf leasing. On October 1, 2008, in a bipartisan agreement, Congress lifted another longstanding ban on new oil and gas leasing in the OCS.

Drilling was supposed to begin this July. But Salazar said he intends to discard the 2010-2015 lease plan developed by the Bush administration in favor of a new plan that won’t even go into effect until 2012.

“Secretary Salazar has finally confirmed what had long been feared – that the Obama Administration has no intention of opening up new areas for offshore drilling during his four-years in office,” said Rep. Doc Hastings, the ranking Republican on the House Natural Resources Committee. , , ,

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2 Comments:

Blogger Aaron said...

We at CEA applaud President Obama for his serious focus on a comprehensive energy policy. As stated by the President in his speech, our nation needs to adopt a broader strategy for meeting our energy security. This strategy involves balancing the use of traditional sources of energy, expansion of alternative energy’s role, as well as continuous strives to improvements in energy efficiency. It is from these conditions that America can ease itself from foreign oil by relying on more domestic resources while strengthening our economy in term of jobs and revenues.

The administration’s intention to potentially unlock millions of energy-rich acres along the OCS suggests this president is well-aware of the tremendous benefits to our economy and our security that responsible exploration makes possible. These are benefits that must be realized not only in the near-term exploration of oil and natural gas offshore, but in the aggressive, long-term pursuit of efforts to convert the wind, the sun and the tides into stable and affordable sources of energy for the future.

Some elements of the plan released today indicated willingness by this administration to pursue the vast amounts of offshore resources that the United States possess. That being said, the cancellation of the already scheduled lease sales in Alaska, a state that holds the promise and potential to provide this country with so much more than policymakers in Washington permit it to, was a huge set back for today’s struggling economy . We’re also disappointed that in putting forth a new plan that doesn’t begin until 2012, further delays will be encountered in ensuring already scheduled lease sales between now and then are actually held.

Want to learn more about balanced energy for America? Visit www.consumerenergyalliance.org to get involved, discover CEA’s mission and sign up for our informative newsletter.

3/31/2010 4:09 PM  
Blogger Aaron said...

A BIG STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION

March 31 was a groundbreaking day of such historic significance that had its developments come one day later, it might well have been mistaken as an April Fool’s Day joke.

President Obama has proposed opening large swaths of the country to offshore drilling, reversing the staunch anti-drilling stance he took while he was campaigning. It a decisive move that also marked a dramatic departure from the delays that have characterized Obama’s Interior Department in recent months.

Obama’s proposal is not perfect and today, as so many not-in-my-backyard types are attacking the new policy, it will be tempting for those of us who support a strong domestic oil sector to criticize the president for not going further in supporting drilling in many of the country’s oil rich regions, like Alaska, or to question the timing or the political motives behind his decision.

While there will be time to examine the proposal in more detail, our first order of business must be to applaud Obama’s courageous move, and offer to help him keep true to his words. In announcing a plan to open much of the Gulf of Mexico and the East Coast to drilling, he has not only opened up some major new sources of oil within our borders, he has also shown a willingness to break with his core allies for the greater good of the country.

At CEA, we have consistently chronicled the battle to produce more homegrown energy, but it has too often felt like a losing battle. We have offered all the arguments, from how domestically produced oil creates jobs and strengthens national security, to how a strong oil sector can coexist with strong environmental protections. We have offered all those arguments, but at times it felt like we weren’t getting through.

Obama’s support of offshore drilling has shown us that there need not be two sides in this issue; that anyone who is for a strong economy and strong national security should include development of more oil and natural gas here at home, and buying less of it from distant markets – while, of course, we also develop all forms of alternative energy.

“Given our energy needs, in order to sustain economic growth and produce jobs and keep our businesses competitive, we are going to need to harness traditional sources of fuel even as we ramp up production of new sources of renewable homegrown energy,” Obama explained.

Surprising? Yes. Courageous? Definitely. Practical politics? That too.

But, if the appropriate actions follow the President’s words, it’s no joke.

4/07/2010 11:48 AM  

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