Chris Matthews: Yeah, maybe blocking that Keystone XL Pipeline was a mistake


As much as President Obama likes to claim that approving of pipelines and issuing drilling permits won’t do anything to lower gas prices in the near future (which isn’t true, by the way — the confirmed prospect of an expanded oil capacity tomorrow can incentivize speculators to release oil into the market supply today), what they definitely will do is start creating productive, private-sector jobs right now. What we really need at the moment is economic growth, and President Obama’s policies are deliberately limiting our market share in the worldwide energy industry and giving countries like China a free pass to those opportunities.

The NYT just reported on the energy boom sweeping into the Ohio River Valley, and how oil and gas leases are causing a nice economic influx for local residents — private property, for the win! We could have many more situations like this, if not for the Obama administration throwing bones to their environmental base by playing politics with energy investments (and I mean legitimate private investments there, not “investments” like President Obama fallaciously uses the term). What a waste.

Here in Noble County, where vehicle repair and convenience stores are economic mainstays, Eclipse Resources, a Pennsylvania company, mailed $16 million in oil– and gas-leasing checks last month to 70 households whose property has been found to sit atop oil and gas reserves. Working with a lawyer in nearby Marietta, the residents were able to band together to negotiate an unusually lucrative deal with the company that paid $4,000 an acre and 19 percent royalties on oil and gas production, and included safeguards to protect water and land. (The standard has been $20 to $30 an acre, one-sixth royalty rates, and no protections for water and land.)

In a region where median household income is less than $33,000, the first big flush of oil- and gas-related income produced leasing checks of six and seven figures — amounts the recipients say are a bit disorienting. …

More is probably on the way, potentially much more. Some 6,000 feet beneath Noble County and much of east and southeast Ohio lies the Utica Shale, a thick layer of oil- and gas-bearing rock that has attracted billions of dollars in energy industry investment in leases and infrastructure. Representatives of the nation’s largest energy companies — Chesapeake Energy, Exxon Mobil and BP, to name a few — crowd the recorder’s office at the local courthouse here and in a dozen other counties, scouring property records to identify landowners willing to lease their oil and gas rights.

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David Strom 9:21 PM on February 02, 2023