According to a Foundry Report: Federal leasing of oil and gas exploration in the western United States has dropped significantly in the past two years. According to data compiled by the Western Energy Alliance
- Bureau of Land Management (BLM) offices in Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming issued 531 leases in fiscal year (FY) 2010, a 79% drop from the 2,499 leases in FY2005
- Since FY2005, BLM has offered 60% fewer parcels and 70% fewer acres;
- Leasing revenue dropped 46%, from $189.6 million in FY2005 to $101.6 million in 2010
Is the reason that they have closed off this land and the revenue from it strictly environmental? It is surely not what one would expect of a government that wants to cut our reliance on foreign oil, is it? How much else have we lost in jobs because of this policy? For an administration that has said numerous times in the last two years that it is "focusing like a laser on the economy", this seems like a very large oversight. Could it be that they are really this blind?
And then you have the "Coal Industry". West Virginia is the second largest coal producer in the US. You would think that saving jobs would be the first thought in this economy, that is on a fragile edge. The other day when the EPA revoked the permit of ARCH Coal's Spruce Mine No. 1, WVa's Sen. Joe Manchin(D), said "According to the EPA, it doesn't matter if you did everything right, if you followed all the rules." "Why? They just change the rules."
The Wall Street Journal said in a recent editorial "The EPA is abusing environmental law to achieve policy goals that the democratic process rejected, while also engineering a transfer of wealth from the 25 states in the Midwest and South that get more than 50% of their electricity from coal."
I think we make a mistake if we just consider this as transfer of wealth though. The northern states are not gaining from this, and as we have seen the western states are losing a great deal in jobs, and income from the closing off of resources. So what is the real reason that they are closing off most of the access to energy in this country?
Does anyone seriously believe that this is a environmentally sound program? Will denying farmers access to the best farmland protect the environment? If we are forced to import more and more oil and gas from other countries, it doesn't really protect the environment, it just transfers the damage to somewhere else and increases the cost to the American People.
Electric cars need energy, it has to come from somewhere. Hybrid cars need electricity and they need ethanol. Where will we get the ethanol if we are not allowed to farm the land. And according to a new EPA proposal to take land that is within 500 feet of a waterway, off limits to farming, Chet Didier (in an interview on the Fox Business Channel), our ability to produce ethanol will be extremely limited, along with our ability to produce food.
So if the environment isn't the real reason they are doing everything they are doing, what is? Why lower the standard of living and increase the cost for everyone in this country? At what point does the loss of security, income, and stability, reach a tipping point?
The Republican Majority in the house is developing plans to overturn EPA rules and you can read more about it by clicking on the link below. But we have to keep the pressure on them and we need to find out why the Obama administration is trying to destroy this country and what we can do to hold them accountable. We also have to find a way to keep this from happening again.
We have come close to losing our country, and we are still very close to doing so, and we must learn from this. If we don't learn, there will be no hope for our future and the future of our children and grandchildren, at least not in the country that we know.
EPA Posts Frack Rules Without Explanation - Oil and Gas Industry Cries Foul - NYTimes.com