Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Today President Barrack Obama announced that his administration is opening up new areas for offshore drilling. Or did he?

Few would disagree, other than extreme environmentalists, that more domestic production of energy enhances American sovereignty. Opening more areas to drilling is a good thing.

And this is what President Obama said today, “today we’re announcing the expansion of offshore oil and gas exploration, but in ways that balance the need to harness domestic energy resources and the need to protect America’s natural resources. . . . . That's why my administration will consider potential areas for development in the mid and south Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico, while studying and protecting sensitive areas in the Arctic. That’s why we’ll continue to support development of leased areas off the North Slope of Alaska, while protecting Alaska’s Bristol Bay.”

But the language is interesting, he talks of “considering” and “continuing to support development of leased areas off the North Slope, while protecting Alaska’s Bristol Bay.” What does this mean? For one thing it means that the Obama Administration is canceling leases in the Bristol Bay of Alaska. Additionally, it is reversing the opening up of the Chukchi and Beaufort seas in Alaska until scientists study these two areas longer. In addition, West Coast drilling would still be off limits.

And President Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency tomorrow is announcing tough new mileage and emission standards for automobiles that will add an estimated$1300 cost to each new car. This is what the Obama Administration call a balanced approach: raising costs, closing off areas for development, and maybe opening other areas.

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