The Obama administration continued war against oil drilling as the Shell Oil company threw its hands up in the air and scraped efforts to drill for oil this summer in the Arctic Ocean off the northern coast of Alaska. The reason? EPA regulations.
The needed air permits were approved, but after a challenge by an environmental group, the board changed it’s mind. Here’s the “fun” part. The reason the EPA refused to grant the permit was the appeal board’s suggestion that the Arctic drill would somehow be hazardous for the people who live in the area. This is a very remote section of Alaska, the town of Kaktovik is the nearest community to the drilling site, its 70 miles away, occupies one square mile and has a population of 245. There is very little chance for Kaktovik to be affected by the drilling.
Shell has spent five years and nearly $4 billion dollars on plans to explore for oil in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas. The leases alone cost $2.2 billion. Shell Vice President Pete Slaiby says obtaining similar air permits for a drilling operation in the Gulf of Mexico would take about 45 days. He’s especially frustrated over the appeal board’s suggestion that the Arctic drill would somehow be hazardous for the people who live in the area. “We think the issues were really not major,” Slaiby said, “and clearly not impactful for the communities we work in.”
The EPA’s appeals board ruled that Shell had not taken into consideration emissions from an ice-breaking vessel when calculating overall greenhouse gas emissions from the project. Environmental groups were thrilled by the ruling.
“What the modeling showed was in communities like Kaktovik, Shell’s drilling would increase air pollution levels close to air quality standards,” said Eric Grafe, Earthjustice’s lead attorney on the case. Earthjustice was joined by Center for Biological Diversity and the Alaska Wilderness League in challenging the air permits.
The site is believed to hold 27 billion barrels of oil
For perspective, that represents two and a half times more oil than has flowed down the Trans Alaska pipeline throughout its 30-year history. That pipeline is getting dangerously low on oil. At 660,000 barrels a day, it’s carrying only one-third its capacity.
Production on the North Slope of Alaska is declining at a rate of about 7 percent a year. If the volume gets much lower, pipeline officials say they will have to shut it down. Alaska officials are blasting the Environmental Protection Agency.
The appeals board which ruled against Shell has been loaded by President Obama to get these kind of results. The board has four members all are Democrats and one Kathie Stein was an activist attorney for the Environmental Defense Fund.
Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski wants the EPA stripped of its power,
“EPA has demonstrated that they’re not competent to handle the process,” “So if they’re not competent to handle it, they need to get out of the way.”
But the Senator is wrong, the EPA is very competent, they are just doing the bidding of President Obama who is doing all that he can to prevent the United States from drilling for its own resources. This administration does not have an energy policy, it has an environmental policy, whose purpose is to stop the growth of the American economy and redistribute American income to third world nations.
We keep hearing how President Obama is promoting the exploitation of our own energy resources, this is just one more example of the emptiness of his words. This is most anti-drilling President in history. As the gas prices continue on their upwards trip toward $5.00/gallon, remember who is a big factor in the price increase, the Obama administration. And his limiting of oil drilling is not in the best interests of the United States.