IER: Obama's new oil drilling policy a huge step backward

“While many newspapers and cable news pundits cheered [Obama’s] announcement [on offshore energy exploration and production] as a positive development, we at the Institute for Energy Research caution lawmakers, the media, and the American people from rushing to conclusions until all the facts are on the table. This is a huge step backward for America’s energy security.

Prior to today’s announcement, the vast majority of OCS areas were open for business. No longer. Today, while President Obama may have stated his support for increased energy development in the Eastern Gulf (which requires congressional action) and the Southern Atlantic (which he’ll study over the next year), he also announced that he would delay the development of the energy resources off Virginia’s coast and lock up vast resources off the Alaskan coast.

Additionally, those who cheer the President’s newfound support for domestic energy resources should remember that the very same President’s FY 2011 budget proposal includes upwards of $36 billion in new oil and natural gas taxes, which will discourage domestic production, especially in areas like the Southern Atlantic that have little to no existing infrastructure. While today’s rhetoric made for a good news cycle, the policy is not a step forward, but a huge leap backward.  …

What the President announced today at-a-glance:

  • Cancelled five lease sales off the Alaska coast that were planned over the next 2 years. One of the areas is estimated to hold up to 77 billion barrels of oil, or more than 3 times US reserves.
  • A study of the southern Atlantic OCS, with the findings due back next year….no leasing
  • Delaying a planned lease sale off Virginia until at least 2012

Obama Energy Announcement: More Imported Oil, Less Domestic Production, Fewer Jobs


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