The Obama administration’s five-year drilling plan (hint: it’s underwhelming)

posted at 4:01 pm on June 30, 2012 by Erika Johnsen

On Thursday, the Obama administration unveiled its latest five-year oil-leasing plan, and I have to say, it looks pretty awesome — you know, as long as you’re not into creating jobs or economic growth or any other such silly material interests.

U.S. oil companies will be allowed to drill in more areas of the Gulf of Mexico but won only limited access to the Arctic under the final version of the Obama Administration’s five year drilling plan that was slammed by industry and some environmentalists.

The 2012-2017 plan calls for three potential lease sales in areas offshore Alaska but the auctions would not be held until the final years of the plan because of environmental concerns about operating in the Arctic. …

“Today, the Obama Administration has announced a bleak future for American energy production by keeping 85 percent of America’s offshore areas under lock and key and refusing to open any new areas to drilling,” said Doc Hastings, Republican chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee.

Why, why, why do we consistently take ourselves out of the game on the energy front? Worldwide demand for oil and gas is booming, and instead of taking advantage of our highly abundant natural resources and getting a hefty share of that market, we quixotically decide that we’re going to take some self-imagined high road and lead the world in the righteous quest for green energy. Drilling our own stuff would produce productive private-sector jobs, create wealth, and increase our energy security, all in one fell swoop — but because the environmental lobby gets its knickers in a twist over anything that doesn’t come from the Captain Planet earth-wind-fire-water-heart playbook, we all have to suffer.

Le sigh. Here are some of the interested parties’ opinions on the announcement:

“The Obama administration has demonstrated that they will not allow the safe and responsible development of oil and gas energy resources off of Virginia’s coast,” Republican Governor Bob McDonnell said in a statement. “Offshore energy exploration and development would mean thousands of new jobs and millions in new revenue.” …

“The government keeps promoting risky offshore drilling that jeopardizes the health of the entire Gulf and Arctic regions,” said Jacqueline Savitz, vice president for North America at environmental group Oceana. “This plan sets us up for another devastating oil spill, which endangers human lives, coastal economies and marine life.” …

“Our plan adopts a regionally tailored approach that accounts for the distinct needs of the different regions,” Salazar told reporters in Washington. “The plan takes into account the range of factors, like resource potential, status of development and emergency-response structure, regional interest, and the need for a balanced approach when it comes to the use of our natural resources.”

The Obama administration has had the perfect excuse to be stingy in their permitting every since the BP oil spill — and yes, the BP oil spill was a terrible disaster, as well as a monumental waste of everybody’s time, money, and effort. We should indeed work to make sure nothing like that ever happens again — but at what cost? It was very much a black-swan situation, and if you haven’t noticed, the Gulf Coast has been completely recovered (both economically and ecologically) for awhile now.

Our economy is in the hurt locker, and frankly, I think playing political games with America’s natural assets is about as inexcusable as it gets.


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Comment pages: 1 2

bayam on June 30, 2012 at 6:34 PM

Read this and weep…
http://omrpublic.iea.org/

It is that the world supply per day is up by 5% over the last 3 years. Demand is actually up as well.

Are you another “Peak Oil” fellow from the Oil Drum?

Kermit on June 30, 2012 at 11:54 PM

It is that the world supply per day is up by 5% over the last 3 years. Demand is actually up as well.

Are you another “Peak Oil” fellow from the Oil Drum?

Kermit on June 30, 2012 at 11:54 PM

You don’t seem to understand the meaning of seasonal demand variation, which occurs regardless of global trends in oil consumption.
As long as Saudi Arabia continues to expand its output, supply will remain strong.

bayam on July 1, 2012 at 12:37 AM

insanity abounds

losarkos on July 1, 2012 at 1:28 AM

Kermit on June 30, 2012 at 7:19 PM

Will you concede the point that we don’t yet know the long term effects of using the dispersant? Do you have anything else beside anecdotal evidence? You claim the studies I point to are cherry picked, but can you provide evidence to the contrary?

For the record, I hope what you say is true. I hope that the gulf has completely recovered and these mutant fish and shirmp are just made up creations of the media.

nazo311 on July 1, 2012 at 1:33 AM

For the record, I hope what you say is true. I hope that the gulf has completely recovered and these mutant fish and shirmp are just made up creations of the media.

nazo311 on July 1, 2012 at 1:33 AM

What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

Will you concede that if one side can cherry pick studies, the other side can as well? If this is not a study but critical reasoning, then this has as much logic as any other statement.

This is an argument in theory, where you have to provide the lack of existence of a non-entity.

As for the Gulf Coast, I grew up there and went back to take my Dad to Father’s Day. They’re pulling red snapper in record numbers, as well as oyster and shrimp. My dad had red snapper, I had oysters and my son had the shrimp. It was delicious. The two-year moratorium as produced a bumper crop. They’re more expensive, but that’s just as much the price of oil as the price of anything.

What’s hurting the Coast is related to a conversation I had with “learned people” about being there. They were shocked to know I actually ate food out of the Gulf. They asked was there still oil everywhere. I had to tell them there was never oil everywhere. There were sections that needed to be cleaned, but as a whole two years later everything is fine.

What hurts the area now is the spread of urban legends. If you want to read a study about what happened in the Gulf and how it got cleaned, read this:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203436904577150910025591788.html

itsspideyman on July 1, 2012 at 3:43 AM

itsspideyman on July 1, 2012 at 3:43 AM
Will you concede that if one side can cherry pick studies, the other side can as well? If this is not a study but critical reasoning, then this has as much logic as any other statement.

Yes, I will concede that point. I would also eat food from the Gulf. I never said I thought oil was still everywhere or not to eat food from the Gulf. We just don’t know what the long term effects will be of using dispersants (using them was unavoidable). Using absolute qualifiers in this case is simply wrong. That’s all I am saying.

nazo311 on July 1, 2012 at 9:32 AM

Point taken well said. Thanks nazo. On that note I invite you anytime you’re near the coast or New Orleans to come enjoy our seafood as my guest.

I recommend the Oyster House in Gulfport or Biloxi, and if in New Orleans go to the Acme Oyster House for some incredible grilled oysters. If the stars align I would love to chase down a cold beer with you.

Best wishes!

itsspideyman on July 1, 2012 at 10:48 AM

Another 5 Year Plan from the Politburo Annex.

ashiya on July 1, 2012 at 12:18 PM

Name one instance of any lingering effect from dispersants used for Ixtoc I.

That is something that there is a longterm track record of since 1979.

Here is what the dispersents do.

The break up the oil and provide more surface area for indigenous bacteria to feast away. The only serve to hasten nature and be eaten along with the oil (since they are made from hydrocarbons).

Unfortunately, there were numerous interviews of St. Pe where he cited all the previous data of no harm.

The greatest harm which could have been caused by oil was is going deep into the marsh, which did not happen. In fact, if the oil does not kill the root system of plants in the marsh it actually works as fertilizer.

Once Again, I ask you how much do you know about the Gulf of Mexico and its coastal marshes?

Have you been to it?
Have you fished it?
Went shrimping?
How about crabbing?
Have you done this for 50 years?
Have you done this for a living?
Do you know the difference between a production platform and an oil rig (the vast majority of poster here don’t)?

We caught mutant shrimp in the early 1960′s.

We also supply 75% of what is eaten as Maryland crabs as exported live from Louisiana to Maryland.

Kermit on July 1, 2012 at 2:36 PM

Oh, and we ate them as well. Maybe that is why my father is 93 alive and kicking (he can still dance).

Kermit on July 1, 2012 at 2:37 PM

Kermit on July 1, 2012 at 2:36 PM

Kermit, why bother trying to explain to those who get information off oildrum. That was actually a good site years ago, until the rejects figured how to spread the lies in it.

upinak on July 1, 2012 at 2:59 PM

upinak on July 1, 2012 at 2:59 PM

You mean the “Prisonplanet” of the oil patch?

Kermit on July 1, 2012 at 3:20 PM

You mean the “Prisonplanet” of the oil patch?

Kermit on July 1, 2012 at 3:20 PM

LMFAO!!!!! OMG I just scared the animals laughing!

I agree with 90% of what you said on this. Maybe because Exxon Valdez didn’t kill everything the naysayers said it would and now the Gulf of Alaska is bringing in more fish, birds and animals than Bristol Bay. And since I saw it first hand cleaning oil off rocks and dead sea birds, fish and mammals, to and over abundance of both seabirds, fish and mammals.

People seem to forget that nitrogen is a huge element in oil, and when it breaks down it feeds everything…. kind of like how volcano ash is bad for the moment, but later makes everything green and lush.

It does crack me up when people post crap that they believe, not looking into the background of the scientist they link to.

Oh, and I guess everyone forgot that maybe the reason there may be a decline of any sort in the shrimp is due to the “tiger prawn” that are coming into the gulf and eating the smaller shrimp.

upinak on July 1, 2012 at 3:30 PM

upinak on July 1, 2012 at 3:30 PM

What really teed off my neighbor is he is a professor at LSU and it was the LSU biology department which was trying to “cook the books” to the detriment of local fishermen. Why? For more money from BP.

Now the largest problem that commercial fishermen actually do have is that the vast majority live in a CASH economy, even when selling catch to the packing houses. It’s difficult to make large claims of lost income when you haven’t declared 90% of your actual income on tax returns.

Kermit on July 1, 2012 at 6:07 PM

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