Energy: Obama's plan vs.real solutions

Winningreen Issue Alert       A051911

Energy: Obama’s trickery, deceit and decals vs. real solutions, right now, courtesy of IER

By Tom Randall

Date: May 19, 2011


Back in my days of retail marketing I knew a particularly good merchant of a line of products that had virtually no intrinsic value whatsoever.  Though the products had little real value, he kept his line new and intriguing year after year and always produced substantial increases in sales and profits.  When asked how he did it, he would always get a satisfied, cat-who-ate-the-canary grin on his face and reply, “Trickery, deceit and decals.”

Later on he became the president of the company that made the decals.  When I asked him how he got the job, for which he wasn’t particularly qualified, he answered with the same grin, “Trickery and deceit.”

Reading about Obama’s energy plans reminded me of all of this.  They are pure trickery, deceit and decals, completely lacking of substance.  His plan is to open new leases.  The industry could use more leases but have many now.  The problem is Obama’s regulatory agencies won’t approve drilling permits for them which makes his claim to even have a plan frivolous. 

Of course Obama’s Wall Street buddies, along with the Associated Press quickly moved to give their guy cover.  From an AP story dater May 14:

“There is practically nothing that Washington can do that would materially change the price of fuel in this country,” said Raymond James analyst Pavel Molochanov, noting that the United States produces about five percent of the world’s petroleum while consuming about 20 percent.  “Given that imbalance, there is simply no policy sift that could plausibly come from the federal government that can significantly change that dynamic.”

Poppycock, Pavel.

The U.S. has astounding energy reserves, perhaps more than the rest of the world combined but the government stands in the way of accessing them.  We have companies and people ready to invest in them while the government makes that investment risky and uncertain.

Enter the Institute for Energy Research.

Their American Energy Act of 2011 is easily one of the outstanding pieces of legislation to cross our desks in a long time.  No wonder.  It was written by people who know energy, markets, policy and a thing or two about writing legislation. 

Their proposed bill would provide unprecedented certainty and predictability to markets and investors.  It would rein in both government bureaucrats and anti-energy alarmists, as well as courts and agencies.  Its passage would show America is serious about producing American energy.  And its passage alone would have a huge psychological effect on world markets, driving down prices almost immediately.  The longer term effect would be even greater as America adds vast new, dependable supplies to the world

Provisions providing certainty and predictability run throughout the first 12 sections of the Act.  Here are just the first four examples:
Section 2(a)(1) “The term ‘Priority Energy Project” means a project or facility in the United States or territorial waters whose operation results in the production of a domestic supply of energy or the generation of electricity.”

That would seem to include just about everything, folks.

Section 3(a) “Notwithstanding any other provision of law, immediately upon passage of the Act, the provisions of this Act shall apply to any action by any agency arising from any Federal law or any regulation promulgated thereto that affects or potentially affects a Priority Energy Project.” 

This makes it clear that this law applies to any part of government that may have anything to do with an energy project, period.

Section 4(a) “The administrative record compiled by an agency regarding an application for a permit, authorization or other agency action involving a Priority Energy Project shall be the sole and exclusive record for any appeal or review of the permit action or other activity by that agency or other agency, as applicable.  Upon final agency action, such record shall be closed and shall not be subject to any further evidentiary proceedings or requirements unless requested by the applicant. 

This puts the lid on environmental activists coming up with an endless stream of nonsensical reasons why a domestic energy source should not be developed.

Section 5(a) “The relevant regulations, guidance, guidelines, and any other agency interpretations and rules that are in effect on the day on which a Priority Energy Project Developer submits an application for a permit, authorization, or other agency action regarding a Priority Energy Project shall remain in effect for purposes of the agency’s evaluation, review, or action on such application.  In no event shall any regulations, guidance, guidelines or any other agency interpretations and rules that become effective after such day be considered applicable to or otherwise controlling with regard to an agency’s evaluation, review, or action on such application.

We would call this the “anti-Lucy snatching the football away as Charlie Brown tries to kick it” section.  Agencies can’t change the rules in midstream or adopt a new rule or regulation just to stop a particular project.

To read about IER’s proposed energy legislation, go to:http://www.instituteforenergyresearch.org/2011/04/19/ier-presents-the-american-energy-act/  From there you can also acces both an executive summary and the full bill.

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