While We Were Distracted By SCOTUS Decision Obama Finalized Drilling Plan, Restored Old Moratorium

While we were all distracted by the Supreme Court’s Obamacare ruling, the Obama administration released its final plan for allowing drilling and exploration for oil. I’m sure they planned it that way, otherwise they would have released it on a Friday afternoon when they typically dump bad news on the public. The Institute for Energy Research’s Senior Vice President Dan Kish released a statement responding the to news.

“President Obama’s offshore charade continues today with the formal announcement of the 2012-2017 leasing plan for the outer continental shelf. With this plan, the administration reinstitutes the 27 year moratorium that was lifted in 2008, and turns its back on potentially enormous energy resources that could provide jobs and energy security for America. For more than three years, the Obama administration has consistently reversed bipartisan efforts to open America’s vast offshore resources for energy development.

“The president has cancelled lease sales, delayed others, and imposed a unilateral executive embargo on the oil resources that our most promising public lands could provide. With 98 percent of the U.S. offshore currently unleased for energy exploration, Secretary Salazar has finalized this plan to continue the administration’s war against affordable energy. In the end, Americans will pay more for the energy they need.

“While President Obama and Interior Secretary Salazar claim an ‘all of the above’ energy strategy, today’s announced plan continues to give the American people access to a mere fraction of the offshore resources they own. If not for this president and his policies, Americans could access more than 200 years of oil supply under our feet and off our shores.

“Millions of Americans are still looking for jobs. The Gulf Coast economy has yet to recover from President Obama’s moratorium on offshore drilling. President Obama has signaled today that he has no regard for our energy future, nor the jobs that a sensible, long-term plan for offshore development would create.”

I suppose it could be worse, I mean, he could have leased those areas to China and Venezuela. I guess he’s saving that for a second term.

Update: House Energy Committee Chairman Fred Upton released the following statement:

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) issued the following statement on President Obama’s 2012-2017 offshore leasing plan that will block 85 percent of America’s offshore areas from production.

“The U.S. is home to some of the largest energy reserves in the world, yet today the Obama administration announced it will lock away the vast majority of these resources for another five years. This plan essentially reinstates the offshore drilling ban that was lifted in 2008. The president’s plan is a step backwards, opening no new areas for energy leasing and only further delaying domestic production projects. While the president claims to support ‘all of the above,’ his policies seem more accurately described as advancing ‘nothing from below.’

“While we have seen some respite from rising gasoline prices, Americans are still paying almost double at the pump what they were when President Obama was inaugurated, and we are still just one natural disaster or foreign crisis away from a major supply disruption that could send prices soaring. To stabilize prices, we need a visionary, long-term supply solution. Earlier this month, the House passed a proposal with bipartisan support to remove the president’s barriers to American energy production and job creation. Today’s announcement underscores the urgent need for these commonsense reforms.”

Update: Linked by WyBlog – thanks!