The President and his Secretary of the Interior would like you to believe that the reason energy production is stalled is that oil companies are slacking off (presumably because they are indiffferent to making money). Erik Milito of the API explains:
[Y]esterday, the president’s point person on oil and natural gas development, Secretary Salazar, released a politically motivated and deeply flawed report regarding so-called idle leases.
Among other things, it lists offshore leases that do not yet have approved exploration or development plans as “inactive,” regardless of whether there is exploration and pre-production activity going on: such as seismic or technical reviews of the geography.
This preparation work is necessary to determine whether natural resources exist on a lease, and how to produce any oil and natural gas safely.
The administration’s report assumes that oil and natural gas are spread uniformly across the lease acreage – suggesting that 70 percent of idle leases equates to 70 percent idled resources.
As if finding oil was no more difficult than sticking a pipe in the ground.
The report completely whitewashes the fact that in many cases, the reason these leases have no exploration plans is that BOEMRE is sitting on those plans.
This is like leasing an apartment from the government for $20 million dollars – the government refusing to give you the keys to the apartment – and the government proceeding to complain because you are not occupying the premises.
The disturbing reality is that 2011 could go down as the first year since 1957 that there has not been at least one offshore lease sale. Not one.
I’m certain that Americans find it difficult to reconcile that – and the fact that 85 percent of our offshore resources are off-limits to development – despite increased uncertainty in world oil markets and rising worldwide demand for crude oil.
And we could really use some leadership on this right now. Unfortunately, the guy in the White House is essentially anti-energy, unless that energy comes from other countries such as Brazil:
President Obama has a speech on energy scheduled for later today.
We hope he will tell Americans that the administration will abandon their policies to defer, delay and deny access to domestic resources of oil and natural gas . . .
I’m not holding my breath, however.
I’m going to have to remind people that some oil produced elsewhere in the world adheres to high environmental standards–but much of it does not. We really lead the world in terms of safety and environmental protection, so when the President refuses to develop resources available to us here in the U.S., he is in many cases not just “off-shoring jobs,” but also “off-shoring” pollution and accident risk. The end result is that we start running our cars on oil that was produced in a way that’s more hazardous to human life, and more deleterious to the planet.
For instance, Nigeria’s oil facilities have been compared to that country having a Deepwater Horizon-scale environmental catastrophe every single year–not to mention the lives lost in their industrial accidents.
I have asked my liberal/lefty friends–you know, both of them who admit that renewables such as solar, wind, and geothermal are not ready to do the heavy lifting in terms of our energy needs, and won’t be, for a couple of years–why they are okay with wreaking environmental havoc overseas, just so we don’t have to know that, unseen beyond the horizon and invisible on our beaches (but known to our yachters) there are oil rigs sticking up out of the water.
They have yet to give me a coherent answer. They say that I’m not being fair–that I am insinuating racism on their part, somehow, because Nigerians are mostly black.
Then they get into their cars and drive away.