Obama Bows To GOP Demands, Expands Domestic Oil And Gas Drilling

Unable to face criticisms that he has “blocked American-made energy” production in the past, President Obama announced that he will take steps to accelerate oil and gas drilling on public lands in Alaska and on the East Coast.

The President made the annoucement Saturday during his weekly radio address at a time when most Americans are facing astronomical prices at the gas pump.

The decision marks a significant reversal of the administration’s current policy, which protects the delicate arctic ecosystems in Alaska from unsafe offshore drilling and puts the entire Atlantic seaboard off limits to drilling until at least 2018.

The president said the administration will begin to hold annual auctions for oil and gas leases in the Alaska National Petroleum Reserve, a 23-million-acre tract on the North Slope of Alaska (NYT).

Despite Republican claims that current restrictions on offshore drilling were to blame for high fuel prices and denied Americans lucrative jobs, the policies proposed would not have an immediate effect on supply or prices, nor would they quickly open any new areas to drilling.

The President also announced that the government will provide incentives for oil companies to more quickly exploit leases they already hold.

This flies in the face of legislation currently under review in the Senate that would finally put an end to the massive subsidies awarded to the oil and gas industries in a time when they are making record profits.

In response to the announcement, Brendan Buck, a spokesman for Speaker John A. Boehner, said the President’s new policy should “pave the way for legislation, like the bills the House passed in the past two weeks, to reduce the damage from the restrictions he imposed in the past.”

Although the President claims that he supports only “environmentally-safe” drilling, it’s been shown time and time again that any acceleration in the leasing process only encourages oil and gas companies to cut corners.

In light of the former Minerals Management Service’s past record of taking favors from industry lobbyists and failing to execute thorough environmental impact assessments, the chances of more oil spills increases dramatically — only this time they’ll be in freezing waters where we don’t know how to clean them up.

Although it breaks my heart to see Mr. Obama ‘play Switzerland’ in the face of polarizing issues like energy policy; break promises of more robust environmental policy that convinced so many to vote for him in the first place; and refuse to make good on claims that he supports investment in clean energy ecomony, there is a silver lining…

If we just hurry up and drill, we’ll get to the end of oil (there’s only a finite amount you know) even quicker. The faster it’s gone, the faster we’ll be able to identify our petroleum addiction for what it is — a destructive, all consuming dependency. Maybe when it’s gone, we’ll finally realize what we’ve known for years — renewable energy is the only way to the future.

But by then it may be too late, and we’ll long for the days when $5 gas was our most pressing problem.

Related Reading:

DOI Concluded Massive Spill ‘Unlikely’ In The Gulf: Will They Make The Same Mistake In Alaska?

Boehner: Oil Should Pay Fair Share But Not Pay Taxes Or Lose Subsidies

The BP Drilling Disaster Timeline: One Year Later

Gulf Oil Spill Attributed To Oil Industry’s Lack Of ‘A Safety Culture’

Image Credit: sandiegonewsroom.com

133 comments

Xil L.
Xil L.4 years ago

Time for the money to change pockets! How many (and who) really benefit from this industry and the weapons industry, would be interesting to see some figures and faces and see just how important these two industies really are when it comes to work opportunies and income source compared to other ethical industries and to get an idea just what percentage of the population is really making a living in these fields. How can those risking jobb loss from a decreased productivity by these industries be relocated and educated to other less harmful sectors so that the employment exuse can no longer be used to protect the chairmen running this show? How can they be forced to convert their activities and factories into sustainable ones?

It seems the only other chance to break free for the average american is to buy his/her own solar power, electrical car and to skip imports and buy local.

Robyn B.
Robyn B.5 years ago

Can you believe that everybody laughed at Jimmy Carter when he said we need to wean ourselves from our oil dependency? That was around 30 years ago! Imagine where we would be now if we had all listened instead of laughed.

Duncan O'neil
Duncan O'neil5 years ago

That's insulting to Bush!

Original Message:
-----------------
Hello,

Edith left a comment on the following article:


Obama Bows To GOP Demands, Expands Domestic Oil And Gas Drilling
I am deeply disappointed at this reversal on the part of the president. My friends are calling him Bush-light.

Duncan O'neil
Duncan O'neil5 years ago

Why not?
Should domestic offshore drilling be expanded?
89% no!
2% leaning no
2% leaning yes
7% yes!

Duncan O'neil
Duncan O'neil5 years ago

WHY?

Original Message:
-----------------
Hello,

Linda left a comment on the following article:


Obama Bows To GOP Demands, Expands Domestic Oil And Gas Drilling
This is another sad day in enviromental history.

Geoffrey Y.
Geoffrey Y.5 years ago

Hello not all oil companies are bad! It does not mean drill is preferred. BP lowered the safty procedures were well examed.. it is unique to BP and some greedy oil companies. However, there are many samll/mid size companies are doing well with enviornment value in their execution. Ban all, or miss leading "message" is not good the public. Obama administration undterstood the "gridlock" situation. He is become a more mature democrtic in my opinion. Again, don't get me wrong. we need both parties in this nation.

Karen F.
karen Friedmn5 years ago

It shows who really runs our country, its the oil and gas companies along with the like of the Koch brothers.

Pamela V.
Pamela V.5 years ago

I hope that Ant m. gets to swim in the next oil spill!

Lisa H.
Lisa H.5 years ago

And yes, George, our Antie M is a Tbagger, sent here from hell to taunt the liberals. He already suffers, simply from being such an ass!

Lisa H.
Lisa H.5 years ago

I am a lifelong Democrat, but I've had about enough of Obama the Sellout! I will NOT vote for him in 2014, no matter how awful the alternatives are! The man sucked us in with talk of CHANGE. Honestly, I didn't think he meant he would CHANGE into a Bush!!!