An editorial in Investor’s Business Daily (8/11) contains the following passage:
In 2005, (Barack Obama) voted to kill legislation that would have measured our offshore (oil and gas) reserves.
That effort failed and a preliminary inventory report was produced in February 2006.
But those estimates of what lay beneath the 1.76 billion-acre continental shelf were based on old data obtained from surveys using old exploratory technology.
The Interior Department report stated: “Resource estimates are highly dependent on the current knowledge base, which has not been updated in 20 to 40 years for areas under congressional moratorium . . .”
The reason is that while requiring regular inventory assessments Congress provides no funding to conduct new surveys.
Now Obama is sponsoring S.115, which he calls the “Oil SENSE Act,” which would repeal the 2005 Energy Policy Act’s authorization of these inventories.
His bill would prohibit the expanded use of 3-D seismic techniques to search for and measure undersea oil deposits.
This seemed so unbelievable, even give what I knew about Obama’s ideas on energy, that I had to check for myself to see if it was true.
Here is the actual text of S.115, of which Obama is the sponsor. Note section 101 (a)(b), which repeals 42 USC 15912. The legislation proposed for repeal is comprehensive inventory of OCS oil and natural gas resources, which provides for the government to use advanced seismic technologies to product a report on recoverable offshore resources, and to update this report at least every 5 years. It also requires the Secretary to “identify and explain how legislative, regulatory, and administrative programs or processes restrict or impede the development of identified resources and the extent that they affect domestic supply, such as moratoria, lease terms and conditions, operational stipulations and requirements, approval delays by the Federal Government and coastal States, and local zoning restrictions for onshore processing facilities and pipeline landings.”
(To be precise, S.115 does not “ban” the use of 3-D seismic technologies; it does, however, withdraw the mandate and authorization for the government to use these (and other) technologies in order to conduct a comprehensive inventory of resources.)
One can only conclude that Mr Obama:
a)Does not want Americans to know what oil resources lie off our coasts, and
b)Also does not want Americans to know what administrative and political obstacles are inhibiting the use of these resources
I do not think it is likely that members of the Democratic Party leadership are being paid off by oil sheiks and other OPEC members. But is difficult to see how their energy policies would be any different if they were being paid off by such parties.