Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Oil Company Executives Speak Out Against Permit Moratorium

In a deliberate and coordinated way, the Obama administration is in process of killing off the offshore oil and natural gas industry in our nation's waters. This is obvious to everyone associated with the industry and the company executives are speaking up.

All of the executives said that permit delays that are affecting rigs now will translate to industry-wide slowdowns.

“Each of our companies have pretty varying business models, but what starts at the rig . . . will soon have a negative impact on the entire industry and the region and the country as a whole,” said Jim Noe, a senior vice president for Hercules Offshore and the leader of an industry group lobbying for speedier permit processing. “We are just now experiencing the early phases of what we will be experiencing for years to come.”

Since last year’s oil spill, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement has approved 37 permits for new shallow-water wells and four new deep-water wells.

Bureau director Michael Bromwich has stressed that the agency is working to clarify requirements for offshore drillers and is working as expeditiously as possible to vet permit applications.

But the executives said they are seeing a slowdown in the government’s issuance of permits for all sorts of work, including development permits to hook up pipelines.

It is not just those actively involved in the oil drilling process and the owners of drilling rigs that are hurt by our lack of national energy policy. It is also those that build drilling rigs, those that install production platforms, all of the support operations, transportation operators - helicopter and marine operators that transport drilling and production personnel from land to the drilling rigs offshore - and so on. It is a wide and continual motion ripple effect. Do not let anyone try to say that this deliberate slow down in drilling permits is anything but enactment of far left ideology and taking a crisis - the Deepwater Horizon explosion- and using it to kill off fossil fuel in favor of 'green' energy.

This country is decades away from viable amounts of energy production from alternative sources and certainly no where near capable of producing enough 'green' energy to keep our need satisfied. To continue to paint the oil and gas energy sector as bad and greedy and anything other than a necessary provider of fuel for our economic growth is wrong. I believe it is evil.

It is obvious that the political gamble is that Team Obama can satisfy far left environmentalists and keep them in Obama's re-election camp for 2012. Those in the energy industry know it is bare knuckle politics: Johnson predicted that permitting will not rise to historic levels until October 2012, just a month before the presidential elections. “I truly believe a lot of it is political” and it will take “a lot of outcry” about rising gas prices for things to change, Johnson said. Permitting might not return to normal levels until “there’s a level of pain and awareness” about how important the offshore business is, he said.

Even if permits were issued today, oil and natural gas exploration and drilling would take months to get back up to normal. This is not an industry that can start and stop on a whim. It is the plan of Interior Secretary Salazar and this staff to allow the price of gas at the pump to rise. They truly believe Americans will stop driving and be forced to change personal habits.

America needs all methods of energy production at our disposal. There is need for it all.

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