Steven Hayward at Power Line posted an article today about the decision by the Obama administration to delay the leasing of shale gas fields in Ohio. This is an attempt by the administration to win back the environmentalists who are not happy after President Obama decided not to change the current ozone rules. Evidently when Lisa P. Jackson, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, was appointed she expected to rewrite those rules quickly–now she is being told that she will have to wait until 2013 if President Obama is reelected. That is something to keep in mind–rewriting the rules in the manner that Ms. Jackson would rewrite them would cripple America’s economy and greatly decrease our domestic energy supply.
The article at Power Line reports:
If you want to get a little more of an idea of the federal permitting problem, have a look at the embedded video on this Energy Information Administration squib about the Bakken field in North Dakota and Montana. As you will see from the animation, the bulk of activity in the early years occurred in Montana, on some old federal leases, but in recent years those fields have started to tail off while North Dakota has boomed into the fourth largest oil-producing state in the country. Most of the activity in North Dakota is occurring on private or state land (ditto for gas production in Pennsylvania), while new exploration and production in Montana has atrophied because of the fields there are mostly on federal land, and new areas are not being opened up.
America has the ability to meet its own domestic energy needs in an environmentally safe way. Right now government interference is preventing America from doing that. However, the tide may be changing.
The article at Power Line also reports:
Mr. Brune [the current executive director] (of the Sierra Club) acknowledged that paid membership had declined by about 100,000 in recent years, to just more than 600,000, but attributed it to financial hardship caused by the recession.
It is important to protect the environment. It is also important to understand that civilization as we know it and a clean environment can co-exist. The next presidential election will determine whether civilization as we know it will continue to exist.