On Tuesday night, September 10, the House Rules Committee met to consider three House Bills that are either new or amendments of earlier bills which will restrict oil and gas drilling. These issues were conceived of during both the second Bush administration and the Obama Administration to impede oil drilling. Some were moratoriums on drilling with dates when the moratoriums might be lifted. The intent of the reconsideration of House Bills 205, 1941 and 1146 is to make drilling moratoriums permanent. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer pledged that the chamber will vote on the bills this week.

House Bill 205 is titled the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2006. It placed a moratorium on leasing areas to drill in certain areas of the Gulf of Mexico. Amendments have now been offered by Representative Francis Rooney to the bill which would ban Offshore Drilling in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico. Another Amendment has been offered by Representative Kathy Castor to ban all drilling off the coast of Florida. Knowing the areas well I can tell drilling in these lease areas are not in sight of the shore line and do not risk oil spills washing up on these shores. Much has been learned from the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf in 2010 that is unlikely to ever happen again.

House Bill 1941 is a new bill which would amend the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to prohibit the Secretary of the Interior from including any leasing program on either the Atlantic or Pacific Ocean shelves The new Act will be cited as the Coastal and Marine Economies Protection Act.

House Bill 1146 amends Public Law 115-97 known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act which opened up the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve (ANWR) to oil drilling after decades of regulations against such activities. ANWR is a 19 million acre area of Alaska filled with beautiful forests. However the areas believed to have huge quantities of oil are in a small area known as Tundra, without vegetation of wildlife. This charade was maintained for decades until George Bush pulled the curtain away from the fraud. Now the Democratic Congress desires to turn us back a century when inexpensive readily available energy did not exist as today. If the climate change delusion eventually is exposed the Congress has this back up plan. Seal off as much of the nation’s abundant reserves of oil and gas as possible.

For decades liberal politicians and zealous environmentalists pushed for the end of fossil fuels with the belief that, in reality, oil as a resource was over. It was thought that “Peak Oil” had arrived: the year that we would use more oil than we would discover as new reserves was upon us. From that point on we were to be on our way to exhausting all our reserves and would have to shift our energy away from oil.

Atomic energy at one point appeared to be the answer, and still could be were it not for the ability of anti-nuke folks to scare the public away from the world’s most prolific and safe energy source. Thus focus changed to so-called renewable energy such as wind and solar, regardless of its cost and lack of dependability.

When peak oil never arrived because technology advanced our ability to find, extract and refine oil, it had no impact on changing progressive minds away from wind and solar. When horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing came along making the United States the richest fossil fuel country in the world, the enemies of fossil fuel switched their focus to the climate change delusion claiming that carbon dioxide emissions were to end life as we know it. While that scenario is beginning to weaken as absolutely no predictions of catastrophic climate change from carbon dioxide emissions have come to pass, panic is setting in within the Democratically controlled Congress and they have chosen a potentially new path to reducing the nation’s use of fossil fuels. That path is to prevent further exploration of oil and gas off the shores of the United

States or in the Arctic National Wildlife Preserve (where hardly a plant or animal resides).

Let us hope they don’t succeed in ending America’s energy renaissance.

Author

  • Jay Lehr is a Senior Policy Analyst with the International Climate Science Coalition. He has authored more than 1,000 magazine and journal articles and 36 books.