FacingSpecter of 40,000 Residents Out of Work Because of His Decision, Obama Moves toRe-Open Shallow Offshore – Too Bad 70% of the Oil Comes from Deepwater.  Wall Street Journal (6/8) reports, "TheObama administration, facing rising anger on the Gulf Coast over the loss ofjobs and income from a drilling moratorium, said Monday that it would move torelease new safety requirements that would allow the reopening of offshoreexploration in shallow waters. Gulf Coast residents, political leaders andindustry officials said delays in releasing the new rules, along with theadministration’s six-month halt on deepwater drilling threatened thousands ofjobs. The moratorium on offshore drilling is shaping up to be one of the mostcontentious elements of Mr. Obama’s response to the April 20 explosion thatsank the rig and touched off the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history.Industry trade groups say that each deepwater rig employs 180 to 280 workers,with each of those jobs supporting another four industry workers, for a totalpotential loss of more than 40,000 jobs. The moratorium "will result incrippling job losses and significant economic impacts for the Gulfregion," the National Ocean Industries Association said in a letterMonday. "I fully support offshore drilling and I always will," saidNatalie Roshto, of Liberty, Miss., whose husband, Shane, was among 11 peoplekilled in the blast. Clickhere to see IER’s Dan Kish debate the merits (and reality) of offshoreenergy exploration on FOX News this past Sunday.

Here’sthe Other Problem with the Obama Moratorium: No One with the Government SeemsAll that Interested in Releasing Any Details on How It Works, Who It Covers.The Hill (6/7) reports, "Agroup representing offshore energy companies is pressing the new chief of theMinerals Management Service to clarify drilling rules and allow development toproceed. The letter from the National Ocean Industries Association to actingMMS chief Bob Abbey calls for issuing "guidance" to offshore oil-and-gasdrillers "as soon as possible" outlining new safety measures needed forcompanies to receive approval of drilling permits and exploration plans. "Suchguidance should be timely, measurable and achievable," states the letter fromRandall Luthi, the group’s president. The Obama administration has placed newlimits on drilling as it explores safeguards needed in the wake of the BP oilspill. Drilling in waters less than 500 feet deep is allowed with newsafeguards, but the extent to which new shallow-water wells may proceed – andhow quickly – has become a source of confusion. The letter notes that MMS hasrecently pulled back some shallow-water permits, and alleges this "sends asignal" that a ban is in place on both shallow-water and deepwater wells.


LovedOnes of Men Lost Onboard the Deepwater Horizon Educate Members of Congress onImportance of Responsible Offshore Exploration.Wall Street Journal (6/7) reports, "Thewidows of two Deepwater Horizon crew members voiced their support forcontinuing to drill offshore at a congressional hearing Monday even as theysaid they want more safety enforcement. "I fully support offshore drillingand I always will," said Natalie Roshto, of Liberty, Miss., whose husbandShane was killed in the blast that unleashed one of the worst environmentaldisasters the region has seen. Mrs. Roshto added that offshore drilling provides a valuable commodityto the nation. Shutting down drilling "wouldn’t do these men anyjustice," she said. President Barack Obama has ordered a six-monthmoratorium on deepwater drilling so that it can be studied. Courtney Kemp, ofJonesville, La., whose husband Ron Wyatt Kemp also died in the explosion,called for oil companies to suffer "harsh punishment" if they breaksafety laws, but asked Congress to recognize "how important offshoredrilling is."  She added thatdrilling is "a way for families to make a living." U.S. Rep. SteveScalise, a Louisiana Republican, said that the ban would create an economicdisaster for the region, and that "you don’t hold an entire industryaccountable for the sins of one."


WeKnew Begich Would Show His True Colors Eventually – But We Never Thought HeWould to Stab His Alaska Colleague in the Back on Endangerment. E&E News (6/8, subs. req’d) reports, "Sen. Mark Begich(D-Alaska) probably won’t support his fellow Alaskan, Republican Sen. LisaMurkowski, in her bid to hamstring U.S. EPA climate rules, he said yesterday.Begich said he is "strongly considering" voting against Murkowski’sresolution to block EPA from issuing climate regulations because the EPA threatkeeps pressure on the Senate to pass a climate bill. "We need acomprehensive energy plan and if this keeps the fire under these guys to getsomething major done, I’m all for it," Begich said. The Senate is slated tovote Thursday on Murkowski’s resolution, which would essentially veto EPA’sfinding that greenhouse gases endanger public health and welfare. The"endangerment" finding gives EPA the authority to issue rules to curbemissions under the Clean Air Act. Murkowski and her Senate supporters want toblock EPA before the agency formally begins to regulate greenhouse gases fromcars and industrial facilities next January. "The danger if Murkowski wereto become law is that there isn’t the immediate incentive to put a price oncarbon," said Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.).


Meanwhile,As One AK Senator Signals Support for EPA Carbon Police, Lisa Jackson JoinsMost Radical Enviro Groups in Smearing Other AK Senator as a Tool of Big Oil.E&E News (6/7, subs. req’d) reports, "The Obamaadministration’s top environmental official and advocacy groups are using theGulf of Mexico oil spill to boost opposition to a Republican-led effort toblock U.S. EPA climate rules. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson wrote in aHuffington Post op-ed today that in the wake of the spill, it is"surprising to learn" that the Senate will vote Thursday "onlegislation that will take us back to the same old failed policies and increaseAmerica’s oil dependence by billions of barrels." The Senate is slated tovote Thursday on a resolution from Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) that wouldundo EPA’s "endangerment" finding for greenhouse gases, a determinationthat paves the way for agency climate rules (E&E Daily, June 7)."Senator Lisa Murkowski, with strong support from big oil companies andtheir lobbyists, has proposed a resolution that would drastically weaken ournation’s historic effort to increase fuel savings, save consumers money and cutoil consumption from American cars and trucks," Jackson wrote.


Rememberthe Kerry-Lieberman Bill? The Senate Doesn’t Either – Moves to Shelve thatEffort in Favor of an "Energy"-Only Approach (Sans Actual Production) Before August.Politico (6/7) reports, "Thedemand for a totally new bill also puts an existing climate proposal introducedby Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) in jeopardy, a signthat Democratic leaders are skeptical that Lieberman and Kerry have the votesfor their bill.  Sen. Chuck Schumer(D-N.Y.) said early Monday morning he believed the Kerry-Lieberman bill wouldbe offered as an amendment to an energy bill once it reaches the Senate floor,but Senate sources insist that no decisions have been made.  And Sen. Jeff Bingaman, the chairman ofthe Energy committee, is awaiting action on an energy bill he’s sponsored. Boththe Bingaman and Kerry-Lieberman proposals include provisions for off-shoredrilling, which will have to be re-evaluated in wake of the Gulf oil spill.Sen. Lindsey Graham-once a co-sponsor on the Kerry-Lieberman climate bill-lamentedMonday that the White House and congressional response to the oil spill crisisis taking the potential legislation further away from accomplishing its goalenergy independence. Reid has asked for his committee chairmen to submit theirproposals by July 4, and he’d like to have a vote before the August recess ifhe can find 60 votes.


ConfusedWhy AWEA’s Spending $1 Million a Quarter Lobbying on Grid Issues? Read ThisArticle; Understand the Lengths It Will Go to Ensure YOU Pay for Its Members’Transmission.E&E News (6/8, subs. req’d) reports, "Some of the largestutilities are battling renewable power companies, environmentalists andtransmission system developers on the issue. Their positions are miles — andpotentially billions of dollars — apart. Green groups want infrastructurecosts shared by essentially every electricity user who could access therenewable power. Utilities argue that only those customers that specificallyseek renewable power should foot the bill. Both sides have hired lobbyists withimportant political ties, launched websites detailing their positions and arelobbying lawmakers and their constituents. "You have to have a way to getthe power from where the resource is to generate it to where the demandis," said Karen Palmer, Darius Gaskins senior fellow at Resources for theFuture, who noted that wind farms often are in more remote areas. In addition,Palmer said, existing lines often lack capacity to carry more power. TheAmerican Wind Energy Association spent more than $1 million on influence effortsin the first quarter. Like the power companies, it lobbied on a number ofissues, but transmission upgrades were a top priority.


FormerIPCC Head Doesn’t See Pact on Carbon Criminalization over Next 10 Years – ButHe Does See Some Pretty Kick-Ass Destinations for Climate Conferences Coming Up. AFP(6/7) reports, "The world community may need another 10 years to agree oncarbon cuts deep enough to roll back global warming, the UN’s point man forclimate change warned on Monday. "I don’t see the process deliveringadequate mitigation targets in the next decade," Yvo de Boer, executivesecretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), said in awebcast from Bonn. "Over the longer term, I think we will get this issueunder control. Having said that, I do believe that it’s a longer journey,"de Boer said. De Boer spoke on the sidelines of a 12-day round of negotiationsfor a post-2012 treaty to curb "greenhouse" gases blamed fordisrupting Earth’s climate system. The pact was supposed to have been sealed ata summit in Copenhagen last December, but the negotiations failed. De Boer,stepping down at the end of this month, said that Copenhagen had yielded someprogress. And developing countries also saw the need to "make a seriouscontribution" by reining in their own expected growth in carbon pollution,he added.

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