December 2, 2010

Kish: New Obama OffshoreBan will “kill production, kill revenue, kill jobs and kill consumer hopes foraffordable fuel and a sane energy policy.”Washington Times (12/3) editorializes, “Virginia has becomethe latest victim of the Obama administration’s war against the domesticdrilling industry. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced yesterday thatwaters off Virginia and in the eastern Gulf of Mexico will remain closed todrilling through 2017 despite the commonwealth’s strong desire for oil and gasproduction. The moratorium will cost the Old Dominion jobs and tax revenuewhile further undermining America’s domestic energy industry. New drilling offVirginia might have helped make up that gap, at least in the long-term. Thefederal Minerals Management Service estimated that as much as 750 millionbarrels of oil and 6.65 trillion cubic feet of natural gas lie off Virginia’scoast. Mr. Obama and Mr. Salazar, doing the bidding of environmental radicals,are keeping those mineral riches off limits. In October, the Southeast EnergyAlliance estimated the commonwealth would gain 1,900 jobs and a $365 millionannual boost to its economy from drilling that’s now denied. If Virginia wereallowed the same percentage of proceeds as Gulf states, state government couldgarner up to $250 million annually. Those jobs and earnings are now off thetable for at least seven years. Dan Kish, policy chief for the industry-backed Institutefor Energy Research and former chief of staff for the House Natural ResourcesCommittee, uses even harsher words. "These guys have declared war onconventional fuels … and on the American public, frankly," he told TheWashington Times. The Obama administration has forsworn the idea of"drill, baby, drill" for that of "kill, baby, kill" – killproduction, kill revenue, kill jobs and kill consumer hopes for affordable fueland a sane energy policy.”


Did the E&C Rs Forgetthe Roll-Over Vote on the Blowout Prevention Act? You Know, the Bill that WouldPut Every Oil and Gas Well Under Federal Jurisdiction, Including Those onPrivate and State Lands? E&C Republicans (12/1) write for Politico, “With a newcongressional session comes a recycling of the old proposal to raid thejurisdiction of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. This seems a bizarremoment to advance the idea that a group, which didn’t stand up to the BarackObama-Nancy Pelosi axis on its radical energy and environmental initiatives,should now take over the work of the committee that did. Remember cap andtrade? What was supposed to be an unstoppable, greased-pig markup on the Obamaadministration’s signature cap-and-trade bill was turned into a fight by the 23determined Republicans on Energy and Commerce. Four long days and nights spentin Room 2123 of the Rayburn building found Republicans sharply disputingDemocrats and their theories about global warming and the U.S. economy. Dealswere offered and rejected, while 300 Republican amendments piled up on theclerk’s desk and majority members were forced into extended debate on 47 of them.”Flashback: Texas Railroad Commission comes out swinging against HR 5626.


Headline Says it All:“Unleashing U.S. Energy Resources Could Spark Economic Recovery,” if theGovernment Leased Some Land, Issued a Few Permits. Ben Lieberman (12/2) writes for the Washington Examiner, “Among the many suggestions for deficitreduction in the recently released Fiscal Commission report is a 15cents-per-gallon increase in the federal gasoline tax. There is a better way.If raising energy-related revenues is the goal, why not fill federal coffers ina manner that actually reduces the price at the pump? Washington can accomplishthis by allowing more oil drilling. The federal government controls alloffshore areas beyond three miles from the coast, as well as vast expanses ofenergy-rich western lands. Unfortunately, only a fraction of these areas havebeen opened to energy leasing, due to legislative and regulatory restrictions.For example, a 2008 Department of the Interior report concluded that only 8percent of the estimated 31 billion barrels of oil beneath federal lands isfully available for leasing, while 30 percent is subject to significantrestrictions and 62 percent is entirely off-limits. America’ offshore areashold even greater potential but are also constrained. No other energy-producingnation on Earth has limited its own energy producing potential to this extent.Even with these restrictions, revenues from new energy leases reached $10billion dollars in 2008.”


The Great Green Revitalization?Not So Fast, Says Michigan Town That Was Home to a Refrigerator Plant of 4,000Workers, and now 320 Sun-Catcher Makers.Wall Street Journal (11/29) reports, “When a fast-growing makerof solar equipment broke ground here in 2006 on the first two of what it saidwould eventually be six giant new factories, it seemed the sun was finallyshining on this town’s battered economy. Just months earlier, Sweden’sElectrolux AB had shut its Greenville refrigerator plant, nearly snuffing outwhat had been the town’s marquee industry for more than a century. Countingjobs lost at local Electrolux suppliers and two other smaller factories, thiswestern Michigan town of 8,000 lost some 4,000 jobs almost overnight, andunemployment in Montcalm County soared to nearly 16%. Kenneth Snow, the town’smayor, says attracting the solar plants was a turning point at a dark moment. Butsolar hasn’t taken up the slack many thought it would. The two plants werebuilt, and now employ 320 people between them. The company—United SolarOvonic, known as Uni-Solar, a unit of Energy Conversion Devices Inc. of AuburnHills, Mich.—has indefinitely shelved plans for additional factories inGreenville.”


39% of Massachusetts HeatsTheir Home with Oil, 44% with Nat Gas, Got That? Markey Calls for RecordHeating Assistance Subsidies, Yet Opposes Production of those Fuels. MakeSense?Rep. Markey (12/1) press release, “Representative EdwardJ. Markey (D-Mass.) today led a letter, cosigned by 62 of his colleagues in theHouse of Representatives, calling for funding the Low-Income Home HeatingAssistance Program (LIHEAP) through September 30, 2011 at least at the FY2010levels of $5.1 billion – the highest funding level in the history of theprogram. “During these tough economic times, record numbers of Americanfamilies turn to this program so they don’t have to turn off their thermostats.Cutting funding for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program this winterwould lead to millions of families being turned away and a dramatic reductionin benefits. This holiday season, we can’t let this important program take afunding holiday from helping people to stay warm. I will continue to fight toensure that Massachusetts families are not left out in the cold this winter asCongress debates funding for home energy assistance later this month.”


“Forty years ago today, theU.S. Environmental Protection Agency opened its doors,” and Waged Battle onAmerican Manufacturing and Energy Production. EPA Admin. Lisa Jackson (12/2) writes for the Wall Street Journal, “Forty years ago today, the U.S.Environmental Protection Agency opened its doors, beginning a history ofimprovements to our health and environment. We reach this milestone exactly onemonth after the midterm elections strengthened the influence of groups andindividuals who threaten to roll back the EPA’s efforts. Last month’s electionswere not a vote for dirtier air or more pollution in our water. No one was sentto Congress with a mandate to increase health threats to our children… Special interests have spent millionsof dollars making the case that we must choose the economy or the environment,attacking everything from removing lead in gasoline to cleaning up acid rain.They have consistently exaggerated the cost and scope of EPA actions, and in 40years their predictions have not come true. These attacks are aimed at the EPA,but their impacts are felt by all Americans. Pollutants like mercury, smog andsoot are neurotoxins and killers that cause developmental problems and asthmain kids, and heart attacks in adults. We will not strengthen our economy byexposing our communities and our workers to more pollution. In thesepolitically charged times, we urge Congress and the American people to focus onresults from common-sense policies, not inaccurate doomsday speculations. Thatis how we can confront our nation’s economic and environmental challenges andlay a foundation for the next 40 years and beyond.





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