In President Obama’s Saturday radio address to the country, we learn that the President has decided that we really do need to decrease our dependence on foreign oil. Thus, we will now drill for oil here.
The President said,
the measures ‘make good sense’ and will help reduce U.S. consumption of imported oil in the long term.
Pardon my sarcasm, but would these be the same “measures” that he has blocked over the past year? Well, yes, they are.
It seems that we are now in campaign mode, and people are not exactly happy with the price of gas, so, here is what the President is proposing.
First, the administration will extend all leases in the Gulf by one year. Since the BP oil spill there has been a “temporary moratorium” on drilling and most drilling in the Gulf has been prohibited. So, any company that held a lease (most leases have a ten year term) has lost one year of the lease term, and thus, one year of drilling.
[l]ease sales in the western and central Gulf of Mexico that were postponed last year will be held by the middle of next year…
It is anyone’s guess why the sales can’t take place now, as opposed to a year from now, but, at least, it is progress.
On the Alaska front, where we have enormous oil deposits,
[t]o further expedite drilling off the Alaskan coast, where such plans by Shell Oil Co. have been delayed by an air pollution permit, Obama said he would create an interagency task force to coordinate the necessary approvals. He also will hold annual lease sales in the vast National Petroleum Reserve on Alaska’s North Slope.
As a former government employee, I am always suspicious of any “interagency task force” coordinating anything, but, we’ll see. Notice, though, the use of the word “coordinating”, not “expediting”.
The President does acknowledge, however, that his measures,
won’t help to immediately bring down gasoline prices…
No surprise there, but, what is a surprise is that the House has recently passed three bills addressing these issues, and the President vowed to veto them all, assuming , of course, that Harry Reid (D.Nv.) allowed anyone of them to reach the Senate floor.
What a difference an election “year” makes.