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The Administration’s Anti-Energy Record: Chapter and Verse

President Obama has undergone something of a deathbed conversion: facing an uphill re-election battle and with gasoline at $4 a gallon, Obama suddenly has proclaimed himself a devotee of Sarah Palin’s energy policy–drill, baby, drill. As always, Obama is counting on ignorance. The American Petroleum Institute shines a light on the administration’s actual policies. To begin with, production is up on private lands, but down on public lands, due to the Obama administration’s efforts to suppress energy production. Think about it: if the Obama administration just remained neutral, production on federal lands presumably would increase at the same rate as production on non-federal lands, prices at the pump would be cheaper, and there would be many thousands more high-paying jobs:

What really count here are the many administrative actions that take place under the radar screen. Barack Obama has appointed hard leftists to head substantially all of the federal agencies, and they have proceeded to make hard-left decisions. The API provides this time line that shows how Obama and his henchmen have made all of us poorer by depressing domestic energy production:

2009
* Administration cancels leases on 77 parcels of land in Utah (February).
* Administration delays new offshore leasing plan by adding another half year to comment period (February).
* Administration proposes billions in new taxes on oil and gas industry in FY 2010 budget proposal (February).
* Following protests by environmentalists, BLM suspends sale of 31 drilling tracts in Utah that had already been purchased (June).
* Administration revisits Utah leases, continuing suspension or permanently withdrawing most (October).
* Administration announces new round of oil shale research and development leases in Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah with significantly reduced lease acreage and unattainable lease terms (October).
* Administration shortens lease terms for upcoming Central Gulf of Mexico lease sale (November).

2010
* Administration proposes additional regulatory hurdles for development on federal lands (January).
* Administration proposes billions in new taxes on oil and gas industry in FY 2011 budget proposal (February).
* Administration cancels the remaining Alaska lease sales in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas offshore and withdraws Bristol Bay from the program (March).
* Administration cancels the Virginia offshore lease sale, despite bipartisan support from Virginia’s governor and congressional delegation (May).

2011
* Administration proposes billions in new taxes on oil and gas industry in FY 2012 budget proposal (February).
* Administration releases a draft forest management plan that proposes a ban on horizontal drilling in the George Washington National Forest (April).
* Administration issues an ANPR regarding new regulations for gas gathering lines that would substantially impact development of the Marcellus Shale (August).
* Administration proposes one-size-fits-all new source performance standards that, lacking a phase-in period to manufacture the control equipment, may significantly hamper oil and gas operations (August).
* Administration again proposes billions in new taxes on the oil and gas industry (September).
* Administration issues new 2012-2017 five-year plan that fails to open any new offshore areas to oil and gas development (November).
* Administration releases final study plan on potential impacts on groundwater from hydraulic fracturing that fails to address concerns regarding the transparency and scientific validity of the study’s approach (November).
* Administration raises the minimum bid amount for offshore lease blocks in water depths of 400 meters and greater from $37.50 per acre to $100 per acre (December).
* Administration produces a draft report outlining the findings of its groundwater investigation in Pavillion, Wyoming and receives extensive criticism for questionable scientific methodology (December).
* Administration cancels a planned auction of public lands in the Wayne National Forest to review scientific information regarding horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing (December).

2012
* Administration rejects permit for Keystone XL pipeline (January).
* Administration begins testing water wells in Dimock, Pennsylvania despite having no new information to justify reversing previous statements that laboratory data did not indicate that water quality presented an immediate health threat (February).
* Administration recommends removing from leasing availability over 1.8 million acres of oil shale and tar sands energy resources in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming (February).

Scott has been doing a series of posts on the administrative state, which finds no basis in the Constitution but generally runs our lives these days. A week ago I was talking with a Republican Congressman from Minnesota who described an encounter with President Obama, in which he tried to explain to Obama that FDA regulations are devastating the medical device industry, of which Minnesota is a major center. After the Congressman had explained the problem, Obama put his hand on his shoulder and said, “There isn’t really much I can do about that. The FDA is an independent agency, you know.”

The Congressman described this as an instance of Obama’s “cluelessness,” but I think he gave the president too much credit. Obama knew perfectly well what the consequences of staffing the federal alphabet-soup agencies with hard-line left-wingers would be. He tries, now, to distance himself from the terrible consequences of his own appointees’ actions, but he is fully responsible for them. The Obama administration has gone out of its way to make you poorer. Anyone who votes to re-elect the president deserves another four years of misery.

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