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A Year of Obama’s No-Energy Policies: Higher Prices, Less American Production, Increased Dependence on Foreign Sources, Fewer U.S. Jobs

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 1, 2010 - In light of yesterday’s disingenuous announcement by the Obama Administration on future Outer Continental Shelf oil and gas production, it is important to remember the history of anti-energy policies displayed by this Administration since nearly day one. The following is a timeline of the major announcements and energy policy backslides of the Obama Administration:

February 4th Withdrew areas offered for 77 oil and gas leases in Utah that could cost American taxpayers millions in lost lease bids, production royalties, new jobs and the energy needed to offset rising imports of oil and gas.
February 10th Delayed for six months the development of the new 5-year leasing program for offshore drilling that would have created new jobs, produced more American-made energy, and made us less dependent on foreign oil.
February 25th Delayed the new round of oil shale research, demonstration, and development (RD&D) leases that would help advance American technology and create high-tech jobs in Colorado, Wyoming and Utah.
February 26th Introduced a budget that contains page after page of taxes on oil and gas totaling more than $31 billion and included a cap-and-trade national energy tax that could cost the average American family over $3,100 a year.
March 30th Signed the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act into law. This $10 billion, 1200-page bill prohibited energy production on over 3 million acres of federal land, costing American jobs.
April 17th Listed carbon dioxide as a hazardous pollutant, opening the door for the regulation of all CO2 emissions under the Clean Air Act.
April 27th The Environmental Protection Agency ordered the cancellation of a permit for a Navajo Nation power plant that Navajo leadership called the most important development project the tribe has ever undertaken. This decision prevents the Navajo nation from creating new jobs and reducing its 42 percent unemployment rate.
June 29th The Interior Department established new solar reserve areas under the premise of prioritizing solar development, but the actual result was the closing of all but two percent of federal lands from renewable energy development. This was done without public comment. The Department left open only 670,000 acres of the nearly 30 million acres of land with solar potential.
July 20th Blocked new uranium mining for two years on one million acres of land in Arizona.
August 24th Withdrew 23,757 acres of oil and gas leases in the Bridger Teton National Forest in Wyoming.
September 17th Secretary Salazar stated that the Administration may not complete a new Outer Continental Shelf lease plan until 2012.
October 8th Issued a final report on the Utah oil and gas leases, offering only 17 of the 77 leases. In November, the Institute for Energy Research found that the Administration has leased less acreage than any other on record.
October 20th Announced a new round of oil shale RD&D Leases which include job killing variable terms, royalty rates, and lease sizes.
January 4th The Interior Department declared that the Nantucket Sound is eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places, striking a severe blow to the possibility that the Cape Wind Project – the first offshore wind farm – will ever become a reality.
January 6th Implemented numerous new hurdles to the leasing and development of new oil and natural gas on onshore federal lands.
January 26th MMS announced it will delay the Virginia offshore lease sale scheduled for November 2011.
January 28th Announced the results of the most recent round of oil shale RD&D leases which resulted in an 85% reduction in industry interest under the terms proposed by the Department.
February 1st Released the FY 2011 budget that includes nearly $40 billion in direct tax and fee increases on the American oil, natural gas and coal industries. The budget also shows declining revenue for new offshore leases, proving that the Administration has no intention of opening up new areas for offshore drilling.
February 17th Department of Energy notified Congress that it would reprogram $115 million Congress appropriated to continue the Yucca Mountain licensing process, and instead use it to terminate the only national repository for spent nuclear fuel under current law.
March 3rd Department of Energy filed a motion to permanently abandon Yucca Mountain – the nation’s repository for high-level spent nuclear fuel under current law – jeopardizing the future of nuclear energy.
March 12th Withdrew 61 oil and gas leases in Montana as part of a settlement over climate change.
March 18th Withdrew 4,400 acres in Monongahela National Forest from an oil and gas lease sale.
March 26th EPA pulled an existing federal permit for a coal mine in Western Virginia.
March 31st Ignoring statutory law, the Bureau Of Land Management agreed to settle a lawsuit out of court regarding the use of an “extraordinary circumstances” provision when using “categorical exclusions” for new oil and gas leases as defined by Section 390 in the Energy Policy Act (EPAct) of 2005.
March 31st

Announced a new OCS plan that closes the vast majority of the OCS from future energy production and established a new “Obama Moratorium” on offshore drilling.

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Contact: Jill Strait or Spencer Pederson (202) 226-2311

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