Obama Administration American Energy Roadblocks Part 1: Offshore Drilling
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October 23, 2012 -
President Obama and his Administration have spent nearly the past four years putting the brakes on new offshore American energy production and job creation. When President Obama was sworn into office in January 2009, nearly all of our offshore areas were newly open to American energy production. This was the result of public outrage in the summer of 2008 over $4 gasoline prices that resulted in the federal government lifting two moratoria that blocked energy production off of both the Atlantic and Pacific Coasts. Today, American families and small businesses are still experiencing the pain of higher gasoline prices, yet no progress has been made to expand production of our offshore resources. President Obama has effectively re-imposed the moratorium, blocking access to American oil and natural gas resources, preventing the creation of tens of thousands of American jobs and continuing our reliance on foreign oil.
In the first weeks of the Obama Administration, the Interior Department took an offshore lease plan underway to conduct lease sales in new areas previously under moratorium and put it on hold for six-months, and then tossed that draft plan out entirely and started over. It took them over three and half years to get a new plan in place.
Along the way, the Obama Administration delayed and canceled multiple lease sales - conducting only 11 out of the 21 originally scheduled sales in the previous 2007-2012 lease plan.
This includes cancelling the Virginia lease sale, the first sale proposed in the Atlantic in nearly 30 years, originally scheduled for 2011. Now, directly because of President Obama, the earliest this lease sale could happen is 2017. Despite the strong bipartisan support for the Virginia lease sale, President Obama has ensured Virginians won’t be able to produce energy while he is in office, or in the next President’s first term.
According to a study, the Virginia lease sale would create 2,000 jobs and produce 750 million barrels of oil and 6.65 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.
After three and a half years of delay, the Obama Administration released an offshore drilling plan that opens no new areas for drilling. The plan:
Keeps 85 percent of our offshore areas closed to new American energy production. The Atlantic Coast, the Pacific Coast and parts of the Arctic are all kept under lock and key.
Includes only 15 lease sales, which according to the Congressional Research Service gives President Obama the distinction of offering the lowest number of lease sales ever in a five-year plan since the program began - meaning President Obama rates worse than even Jimmy Carter.
Offshore Areas Available for Drilling
when President Obama
Took Office (January 2009)
Offshore Areas Blocked for Drilling
under President Obama's
Final 2012-2017 Plan
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