The Obama administration announced today that it is going to allow exploration for oil off the Atlantic Coast, but no drilling until at least 2017.
SO NOW, the White House is going to tout the big move – the gutsy move – the president made. But no oil comes up out of the ground for at least five years, until after his – planned – second term is up.
The oil guys all say this is political posturing, since there’s no guarantee there will even be drilling after the government gets a better idea of how much oil is down there. What’s more, this comes after President Obama nixed the planned 2011 start of lease-granting for drilling off the Virginia coast.
Which makes this whole exercise a little bit like burning down a forest and then patting yourself on the back for planting trees.
The governor of Virgnia is none to happy about it, though he graciously expressed gratitude for the crumb he was thrown.
From a statement by Republican Virginia Gov. Bob McConnell:
It is encouraging that Secretary Salazar visited Virginia today to announce a small step forward in the development of our offshore energy resources. Unfortunately this small step forward follows many previous steps back.
Virginia was poised to become the first state on the east coast to produce oil and natural gas offshore. This breakthrough would have led to the creation of thousands of new jobs in our state, generated significant new revenues for state and local governments, and led to more domestic energy production. Instead, this Administration cancelled Virginia’s scheduled lease sale for 2011
While we continue to be incredibly disappointed by last year’s decision, I do want to thank the Obama Administration for their announcement today. This is an opportunity to move forward from a bad decision.
The humorous thing about this is that the White House is so insistent it suspended the Keystone pipeline out of deference to the wishes of the Nebraska lawmakers. But the Virginia governor clearly isn’t feeling the same degree of love.
Said Jay Carney in December:
Because of the opposition in part of Republicans and the Republican governor in Nebraska, there was a decision made in that review process to look for an alternate route, and that has necessarily expanded the duration of the process, the review process, because you can’t approve something before you have something to review, as I understand it, not being a scientist.
I wonder why the White House isn’t showing such deference to the wishes of the 26 states suing to get rid of Obamacare?