October 14, 2010

With Offshore Moratorium Gone,But Not Really, IER’s Kish Coins New Term: Permitorium. Washington Examiner (10/14) editorializes, “Sen. Mary Landrieu waseither being diplomatic or disingenuous when she used "good start" todescribe Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s lifting of the federal government’sdrilling moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico. More to the point was her insistencethat lifting the ban means nothing in the absence of "an action plan toget the entire industry in the Gulf of Mexico back to work. This means that theadministration must continue to accelerate the granting of permits in shallowand deep water, and provide greater certainty about the rules and regulationsindustry must meet." Salazar’s edict did not apply to shallow waterdrilling, but, as Dan Kish of the Institutefor Energy Research pointed out, Interior still approved only a tenth asmany of these after the ban was instituted as it did before. And it’s not justin the Gulf of Mexico where Interior’s bureaucratic lethargy under Salazar hasdramatically slowed oil and gas exploration and production activity. Approvalof bids for all U.S. off-shore exploration was slowed so much by Salazar thatroyalty payments to the federal government plummeted from $10 billion in 2008to less than $1 billion last year.”

Report: China 4th in Global Energy Investment; Only a Matterof Time Before Their Number One, In this Category, Too.Reuters (10/14) reports,“The world’s second-largest oil user was ranked No. 4 in energy policiesrelating to fossil fuels and renewable energy sectors, after the UnitedStates, France and Germany, and sixth in the nuclear sector, EC Harris said inits first research report on National Policies and Incentives for Investors inthe Energy Sector. "It’s quite fragmented still in China in terms ofnational policies. There is huge scale available there and there is hugeinterest for western technology and western companies to invest," PaulStapleton, head of Energy of EC Harris, told Reuters. "The slowlegislative process in China and the ability of Western companies to findsuitable partners and work successfully there so that they see quick returnperhaps drop China a little bit in the ranking," he said. "However,in terms of market scale the opportunity is immense." The rankings werebased on key factors including government policies and incentives, businessenvironment, forecast of economic growth and electricity consumption.”

Salazar Holds Press Conference on Moratorium, Gets a Few Headlines; NextDay, Pyle Calls his Bluff. Thomas J. Pyle writes (10/13) for the WashingtonExaminer, “Extracting natural resources is an inherently risky business,witnessed across the globe from the San Jose mining disaster in Chile, to thered toxic sludge spill in southwest Hungary. Closer to home, the politicalfallout from the BP Deepwater Horizon spill continues to loom large for theworkers and communities that rely on the viability of the Gulf Coast. Butunlike in America, the political leaders in those countries seem to take ameasured approach in their response. In Hungary, for example, the governmentarrested the factory boss who thought his faulty aluminum factory reservoirwall containing the toxic sludge “wasn’t worth repairing. Hungarian PrimeMinister Victor Orban quickly noted the culpability of the rogue actor,ensuring clean-up costs would fall squarely where it belonged. In the U.S., however, federal policymakers havetaken a different approach, spreading the costs of the Gulf spill to the manyinnocent bystanders of the BP blowout, including companies, communities andindividuals in directly affected and ancillary sectors who continue to bepenalized by the moratorium through lost jobs and income. Recent reportssuggest as many as 20,000 jobs may have been lost by the offshore drillingmoratorium.”

New Poll: Folks Support RenewableEnergy, But Don’t Want to Pay for it. Can’t Say We Blame ‘Em. TheHill (10/14) reports, “There is strong support for usingwind farms and other sources of renewable energy in the U.S. and the largestEuropean countries but little appetite for paying much for it, according to anew poll. People in those countries are also divided over whether it’s a goodidea to rely more on nuclear power, according to the Financial Times/Harrissurvey. At least three-quarters of those polled are in favor of building morewind farms in their countries — including 87 percent in the U.S. Thesupport in Europe ranged from 90 percent in Spain to 77 percent in France.There is also majority support — ranging from 77 percent in Italy to 60percent in the U.S. — for using government subsidies to fund biofuels. Asmany as 34 percent of people in Spain and as few as 13 percent in Britain“strongly” favor the subsidies approach.” Critics, though, are quick to arguethat the standard would penalize some states in the South and elsewhere thathave less renewable energy resources. There is also a push particularly byRepublcans for the mandate to include more nuclear and hydroelectric power andcoal produced using carbon capture and storage technology.”

Nick Joe Tells Local Paper that “Coalis Number One,” Also Compares Climate Change to Santa Clause, Both are Real. TheRegister-Herald (10/14) reports, “The coal industry is our foundation, hasbeen, is and always will be. Coal is number one. While it’s our foundation anda solid foundation, that does not mean it should be our ceiling. So,diversification we have been doing. I’ve used that, my seniority, to diversifyour economy. Starting my first year, when we preserved the New River and madeit a national river. That created the whitewater rafting industry. We builtupon the New River by making it the backbone for the largest federallyprotected rivers east of the Mississippi. “Climate change — to deny itexists, to just put your head in the sand and, ‘oh no, it doesn’t exist, whatare you talking about,’ is about like standing on the floor of Macy’s duringthe month of December and claiming Santa Claus doesn’t exist. Come on, getreal. There are responsible coal operators who work with us and continue towork with us, not only on climate change, but safety is another example.”

ThePolitical and Environmental Elites, Also Known and the Oil Spill CommissionHold Meeting in DC, Chastise Industry. Surprised? New Orleans Times-Picayune (10/14) reports, “TheNational Oil Spill Commission’s report on the BP disaster began to take shapein public view Wednesday, offering a critical perspective of an oil industryand a nation that was not prepared for the tragedy that hit the Gulf of Mexico,and a government agency that was no match for the industry it was supposed toregulate. "The record is replete with unrealistic risk assessments, abelief really that a major blowout like this could not happen," saidWilliam Reilly, EPA administrator in the first Bush administration, whoco-chairs the commission, named by President Barack Obama to examine the causesand lessons of the April 20 blowout of the well being drilled by the DeepwaterHorizon. "That was a widespread belief not just in industry, I think, butthroughout society, wholly inadequate preparations for containment and alsoresponse when it did happen; and a regulatory agency staffed by people who wereunder-trained, under-financed, overworked, overmatched and outgunned,"Reilly said.

Bonus Clip — Politico Morning Energy: Former White House ‘Green JobsCzar’ Van Jones is accusing anti-immigrant groups of using phony environmentalarguments to drive their political agenda. “There is a green-washing of hatethat is going on in our country,” Jones told reporters yesterday. He and hiscolleagues at the Center for American Progress released a report asserting thatimmigrants tend to live “greener” lifestyles than native-born Americans. Click here to view thereport.

Speak Your Mind


Anonymous says:
Your email has been received. Thank you for signing up.