I’ll give President Obama his due. He wasted no time in implementing some of his energy policy. In spite of the rhetoric he has used about increasing drilling leases on federal lands, we knew he wasn’t serious about making it easier for American oil companies to use new lands for possible development. This is what we get for re-electing a President who has such a focus on promoting green energy. He seems to believe that the harder he makes it for oil companies to retrieve the natural resources in America, the easier it will be for green energy companies to make their products viable for use. The Interior Department has announced they will be closing federal lands that were previously slated to be open for oil shale development. I was first alerted to this by America’s Watchtower.
(The Hill) 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. It faces a 30-day protest period and a 60-day process to ensure it is consistent with local and state policies. After that, the department would render a decision for implementation.
The move is sure to rankle Republicans, who say President Obama’s grip on fossil fuel drilling in federal lands is too tight.
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.
Under the plan, 677,000 acres in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming would be open for oil shale exploration. Another 130,000 acres in Utah would be set aside for tar sands production.
The administration and Democrats said that while the plan would curtail what was originally sought for oil shale development, it still opens up a significant amount of land that was previously unavailable for the energy production method.
It should come as no surprise that the reasons given for closing this land to oil shale development are environmental concerns. Make no mistake, I want to see our environment protected and I have no desire to see a single sage grouse displaced, but does there not come a time when our energy requirements need to take precedent? In every case I have seen of federal lands being shut down for energy development, it has been environmental concerns that have been the culprit. This strengthens my believe that federal lands within the borders of any state should be given back to that state. Doing so would remove federal jurisdiction from places it should not be present in the first place.
Does anyone want to place a bet on how long it will be before the Keystone Pipeline is completely buried by the Obama administration? I’m thinking it won’t be long before any hope we had of it being approved is taken completely away. That’s what we get for re-electing a President who has a special hatred of oil companies.
The image I found on AfterMath says it all. President Obama has tunnel vision, when it comes to what America’s energy policy should be. I agree with Obama that we need to explore alternative energies. I’m not sure pond scum should be included, but you get the idea. Alternative energy sources are fine, if they work. Throwing money down the rat hole of green energy companies is not the way to pursue energy independence. Shutting down federal lands to oil shale development isn’t going to achieve energy independence. If President Obama was really serious about what he calls an all-of-the-above approach to energy policy, he would abandon his efforts to demonize oil companies and cutting them off from federal lands. If he was really serious, he would give control of those federal lands back to the states, to which the ultimately belong, and he would focus on finding sources of alternative energy that have a chance of working. Giving federally backed loans to his campaign donors and watching their companies go bankrupt isn’t going to work.