Obama halts new drilling despite gas price rise

Winningreen Issue Alert                A042511

Obama feels gas price pain but halts new well off Alaska to prove it

By Gretchen Randall

Date: April 25, 2011

As President Obama tells Americans he understands the pain that high gas prices inflict on many families, his Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has refused air permits for Shell Oil Company to proceed with exploration off the northern coast of Alaska. Shell has already spent about $4 billion in leases and exploration costs in an area that is projected to contain 27 billion barrels of oil.

In denying the air permit, the EPA appeals board sided with an Alaska native tribe which, though its village is 70 miles from the drilling site, argued that the emissions from the exploration would harm its 245 residents.  The board noted that Shell had not included the emissions from an icebreaker service vessel in its emissions permit application.  Not surprisingly, several environmental groups supported the natives in fighting the permit.

Additional petroleum supplies are needed, not just for current U.S. consumption, but to continue to fill the Alaska pipeline built about 30 years ago.  The pipeline is capable of carrying almost three times the amount of oil it currently transports and officials fear that without additional production the pipeline may be shutdown.

A recent report by the Congressional Research Service says that the U.S. has 163 billion barrels of recoverable oil — almost six times more than President Obama claims. Also, the report found that America’s supply of natural gas is large enough to keep America supplied for the next 90 years.  Add to that our coal and shale reserves and we have enough domestic energy resources to keep America’s economy running for centuries.

Comment: “My message today is simply this: higher gas prices - indeed, higher prices for the energy we use - are an explicit policy goal of the Obama Administration,” according to  Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) in a March 10, 2011 speech.

Comment: Obama blames higher energy prices on “evil” speculators, probably due to his ignorance of capitalism.  If he had a genuine policy to increase supplies, he’d be amazed at how quickly prices would be speculated down.

Background and links: The four members of the EPA appeals board are Democrats with one being a former attorney for the Environmental Defense Fund, an activist group against oil exploration.  Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/04/25/energy-america-oil-drilling-denial/
Senator Inhofe’s speech and link to the CRS study can be found at:  http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Minority.Speeches&ContentRecord_id=a050bded-802a-23ad-4c02-a6cf5e9c604c&Region_id=&Issue_id=

Contact: Gretchen Randall
Winningreen LLC
Chicago, IL
Phone: 773-857-5086
e-mail: grandall@winningreen.com