As Gulf WorkContinues, Bingaman Stance Against OCS Revenue Sharing Becomes LessDefensible – Especially Since N.M. Takes Half Revenue from FederalOnshore. The Washington Times(5/17) reports, “Democratic senators from landlocked states aren’t happy about a proposal to offer huge cash incentives to coastalstates willing to drill for oil and natural gas off their shores. Andenvironmentalists are aghast it’s in the Senate’s new climate bill. Thepotential revenue pot from leasing underwater drilling rights to oilcompanies is massive. The federal government in 2008 collected about$23 billion in offshore oil- and gas-drilling revenues. "This couldmean a huge amount of money, in addition to taxing authority and otherthings that states might have related to on-shore facilities, the jobsand the rest of it," said Daniel Kish, senior vice president for policywith the Institute for Energy Research.The senators’ argument rings hollow, some say, because inland statestypically get a significantly bigger cut of royalties for oil and gasproduced on federal land than what is proposed for coastal states.Results of a national poll released last week suggests that Americansstill have an appetite for offshore drilling. The Associated Press/GfKPoll said that 50 percent of respondents "strongly or somewhat favored"increased coastal drilling for oil and gas, with 38 percent "stronglyor somewhat opposed."

Lots of Ins, Outs,What-Have-Yous in Getting Kerry-Lieberman Thru Senate; But ShortestPath to Passage? Hoodwink Public Into Thinking It’ll Actually CREATEJobs. Jonathan DuHamel writes (5/13) in the Tucson Citizen,“The Congressional Budget Office estimates that imposition of carbonreduction schemes would result in fewer net jobs in the coming decades.They also said, “The increases in prices caused by a tax or acap-and-trade program would cause workers’ real (inflation-adjusted)wages to be lower than they would otherwise be.” Congressman Rob Bishop(R-UT), Chairman of the Congressional Western Caucus, said that thisbill “will make it virtually impossible for energy companies to cutcosts and create new jobs. Instead, they will have no choice but toraise prices for consumers who, in many cases, already find theirenergy bills unaffordable. Simply put, this bill is a time bomb wrappedin a nice bow. Over time, costs will explode through the roof and whenit becomes too expensive for the industry to absorb the new fees andtaxes created by this legislation, the consumer will be stuck holdingthe bill.” The “time bomb” refers to the fact that restrictions will bephased in over time for various industries. The Institute for Energy Researchthink tank said, “Two things are certain if this bill becomes law:energy prices will skyrocket, and jobs will be shipped overseas.”

Rep. Eliot Ness(D-Ill.): With an Economy on the Brink, Lawmakers Who Support CarbonCriminalization Really Must Think They’re Modern-Day “Untouchables.” Roger Gray writes (5/16) in Men’s News Daily,“It’s official. Senators John Kerry and Joe Lieberman have signaled theend of their political careers. The two have introduced what they’vetitled the “American Power Act.” “This bill is a compilation of justabout every bad idea that has emerged in the energy debate,” saidPatrick Creighton, spokesman for the Institute for Energy Research,a free-market think tank. “Two things are certain if this bill becomeslaw: Energy prices will skyrocket, and jobs will be shipped overseas.”I don’t think anyone today can reasonably claim that America’spolitical system is working. From hiring ACORN with public money inviolation of campaign finance law, to destroying the nation’s healthcare to increase kick-backs, to destroying the economy to steal moneybased on energy use; it simply doesn’t matter anymore how obvious thescam or how completely corruption is exposed. The American PoliticalClass count themselves as the modern “untouchables.” They’ll do itanyway, mock the American public and laugh in the face of protestswhile they do.

Enviro Press WorksItself Into Frenzy on Categorical Exclusion Granted to Horizon – NeverMind that NEPA, Even with CatEx’s, Is the Most Dilatory Law on theBooks. E&E News(5/14, subs. req’d) reports, “Environmental reviews for offshoredrilling required under the National Environmental Policy Act will bere-evaluated in the wake of the massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill, theObama administration announced today. "We’re also closing the loopholethat has allowed some oil companies to bypass some criticalenvironmental reviews, and today we’re announcing a new examination ofthe environmental procedures for oil and gas exploration anddevelopment," President Obama said from the Rose Garden. Obama saidthat for a decade or more, there has been a "cozy relationship" betweenthe oil companies and the Minerals Management Service, the federalagency that oversees offshore drilling. "It seems as if permits weretoo often issued based on little more than assurances of safety fromthe oil companies," Obama said. "That cannot and will not happen anymore. To borrow anold phrase, ‘We will trust, but we will verify.’" The review willexamine the agency’s NEPA procedures for offshore oil and gasexploration and development, the White House Council on EnvironmentalQuality (CEQ) and the Interior Department said.

Holt: On Gulf Spill,Let’s Find Out What Happened, Let’s Make Sure It Doesn’t Happen Again,and Then: Let’s Start Getting Real About America’s Energy Challenges. Consumer Energy Alliance’s David Holt writes (5/17) for the Daily Caller,“In the same way that this accident in the Gulf is unacceptable, ourcountry’s current energy situation – where we import well over half theoil we consume — is simply unsustainable. If Americans are seriousabout developing their own energy resources and reducing dependency onforeign imports, offshore production must be part of the solution. Infact, unless we want to import more than 80 percent of our oil (and allof the geopolitical risks that come with that),we must find a safe andefficient way to continue to develop our offshore resources. Offshoreproduction is a significant source of oil and gas for the UnitedStates. According to the Minerals Management Service, approximately 43million leased acres along the nation’s Outer Continental Shelf accountfor about 15 percent of America’s natural gas production and 27 percentof America’s oil production. Each year, those efforts help produce anaverage of 600 million barrels of oil and 4.5 trillion cubic feet ofnatural gas. How much is that? Well, in comparison the United Statesimports roughly 550,000 million barrels of oil each year from SaudiArabia.

The Empire Strikes Back: IOGA NY Chief Takes the Gloves Off in Direct Response to Anti-Energy Zealotry in Upstate New York. IOGA NY’s Brad Gill writes (5/14) in the Syracuse Post-Standard,“First, to call an advertisement by the American Petroleum Institute“propaganda,” is laughable in light of the misinformation being fed tothese same fact-starved people by environmental groups who create thisfrenzy of fear and then ask for your donations to help make it go away.I respectfully ask the public to consider the following: New York willnot issue a permit to drill until the operator submits a plan todispose of the flowback. Oil and gas companies are not “exempt” fromthe Safe Drinking Water Act. The act was never intended to regulatehydraulic fracturing. In addition, the federal government alreadyregulates many aspects of drilling operations, including truckemissions and wastewater disposal. The state of New York does so aswell, with requirements far exceeding those at the federal level.Industry opposes the DeGette-Hinchey bill because it does nothing butadd unnecessary layers of bureaucracy. By the EPA’s own admission,states are better suited to regulate the industry because of the manylaws involved and geologic differences.

Fair and Balanced Washington Post Feature Asks Whether Kerry-Lieberman is an Extraordinary Bill, or Merely Just a Great One. Frank O’Donnell of Clean Air Watch (5/16) writes in the Washington Post,“They spent months on an inside-the-Beltway strategy: offering specialdeals to appease powerful special-interest lobbies — oil, coal, power,agriculture, etc. — in hopes that those lobbies would persuadeRepublicans to sign up. So far that strategy is a bust. No Republicanshave yet reached out for the Hail Mary pass that Kerry and Liebermantossed, and without substantial Republican support, it doesn’t have aprayer. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) walked away after Minority LeaderMitch McConnell told him not to expect additional Republican support.Fortunately, the powerful seniors’ lobby AARP has reminded us there isa more consumer-friendly alternative: legislation introduced by Sens.Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine). It would requirepolluters to pay for the right to pollute and return most of the moneyto the public. Though this, too, is an obvious long shot, it is betterpolicy — and bipartisan.” Pew Environmental’s Phyllis Cuttino writes,“To paraphrase the writing on a car’s passenger-side mirror, acomprehensive climate bill may be closer than it appears. Perceptionalways rules the day in Congress, with nothing so obvious aslegislation that has no chance — but then once it starts moving, itwas always inevitable.

With Enviros on thePower Play Following Spill in the Gulf, Folks in Alaska Want MoreOffshore Exploration, and They’re Willing to Roll Back Taxes to Get It. Anchorage Daily News(5/17) reports, “Anxiety about the future of Southcentral Alaska’smajor source of heating fuel and electricity — Cook Inlet natural gas —pervaded the state Capitol this year. Though the Inlet still containsvast quantities of natural gas, geologists say, exploration andproduction drilling have ebbed to the point that Southcentral utilitiescould begin importing gas from the Lower 48 or overseas within a fewyears until they can secure new in-state supplies. Gov. Sean Parnelllast week signed a pair of bills crafted by Anchorage and Kenailegislators to try to boost Cook Inlet gas exploration and createnatural gas storage options for reducing the winter supply crunch. Thestate tax concessions in the bills are huge: for their drilling,companies can shave tens of millions of dollars off their income andproduction tax liabilities. State Sen. Tom Wagoner, R-Kenai, predicteda "stampede" of companies will descend on the Inlet to drill. The twofirms are enthusiastic about the tax incentives but said they could notsecure a drilling rig this year.

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