Friday, February 27, 2009

Drill, Baby, Drill!

I received another email newsletter from Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (now with a fresh new look on her web site) entitled "Easy Job and Energy Creation".

Earlier this month, I signed a very important letter with my colleagues urging President Obama not to lock up oil and gas resources in the OCS for environmentally safe energy exploration.


This week, the House Natural Resources Committee is conducting oversight hearings related to the OCS. During these hearings, I will be questioning individuals who have encountered challenges with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) from energy development.

I have long believed that we must do everything we can to end our dependence on foreign sources of energy. In order to do so we must explore for American energy. The Federal Government has issued oil and gas leases all throughout the country. Unfortunately, every lease properly issued has been tied up in our judicial system with frivolous lawsuits. We will not be able to effectively explore for American energy until these issues are resolved by the courts. For this reason, I have co-sponsored legislation limiting how and where energy related claims (Primarily using NEPA) can be adjudicated by our judicial system which will expedite the process.

What our good Congresswoman--and the AEA report--doesn't tell us is that the companies that extract the oil from our shores and our public lands are under no obligation to sell that oil in America.

The American Energy Alliance is essentially a front group. And they're known to treat some politicians very poorly.

The lawsuits against various oil and gas leases are hardly frivolous, unless you care more for making money than you do about nature, the environment, toxins in your water and pollutants in your air. There was very little in the news about the vast oil slicks created when hurricanes slammed the oil wells in the Gulf of Mexico.

I read through the AEA report--again, I'm not an expert so please read for yourself--and I found it interesting that the report uses an "average inflation-adjusted price of oil" of $110.64 per barrel. Right now oil is running about $45 per barrel which is a 60% decrease in price. The report is difficult to follow since it spits out numbers on pages 8 and 9 that don't match up to the numbers in the tables being referenced. One oddity I found was the map showing where mortgages are 90+ days delinquent and how that corresponds to the areas where the off-shore drilling could take place as a means of showing who would benefit from the jobs created.

And the best part is at the very end:

In closing, a caveat. The present analysis is only meant to be a starting point for discussing the economic effects of unavailable OCS resources rather than an exact estimate of the economic effects of OCS Planning Area development and operation.

An exact estimate? Are these people for real?

The gentlewoman from Washington is correct in her newsletter's subject line. It is easy--easy to work from behind a facade of looking out for the people while disregarding their best interests. And signing very important letters.

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