More public lands to be closed to shale oil drilling

posted at 5:31 pm on November 10, 2012 by Jazz Shaw

In the final days of the election I made what turned out to be a clearly futile effort to demonstrate that the future of energy production, as well as the associated jobs and economic boost which go with it, could be significantly affected by the outcome. One candidate had a substantially pro-energy policy which included completing the Keystone pipeline and unshackling promising areas of domestic energy development. The other did not. Taking a line from Bruce Willis for a moment… I hate it when I’m right.

The Interior Department on Friday issued a final plan to close 1.6 million acres of federal land in the West originally slated for oil shale development.

The proposed plan would fence off a majority of the initial blueprint laid out in the final days of the George W. Bush administration…

Interior’s Bureau of Land Management cited environmental concerns for the proposed changes. Among other things, it excised lands with “wilderness characteristics” and areas that conflicted with sage grouse habitats.

Well, that didn’t take long at all. If you check your watches, that was actually less than 72 hours after the polls closed. Of course, it’s not final yet. There will be a 30 day protest period and a 60 day review, all carefully overseen by the fair minded members of the Obama administration who will certainly be open to…

Oh, who am I kidding? They’re going to ram this through like the Texans blowing past the defensive line of the Jets. So no drilling, leading to no investment by energy companies, no new jobs and decreasing domestic supplies. When you combine that with the already beginning job losses in the coal industry, the picture becomes fairly grim. But America had a choice to make and they apparently chose to stay warm this winter by huddling around the smoldering remains of their hybrid cars.

But it’s not as if we weren’t given fair warning. During the debates, Mitt Romney called out the President on his claims over oil production being up and noting that permits on federal lands had fallen by 36%. Obama responded by saying that the lazy oil companies were sitting on the permits for too long and they needed to “use it or lose it.” Of course, he didn’t mention that we’d be losing them forever

But look on the bright side, little campers. The price of Sage Grouse sandwiches should be coming down.


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