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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Not-So-Happy Energy Anniversary

Anniversaries can be funny things. Some carry true meaning; others not so much. And there are times when anniversaries provide a reminder of unfulfilled promise.

That last case applies to the one-year anniversary today that was noted by Mark Tapscott, editorial page editor of The Washington Examiner. Tapscott wrote:

Tuesday is the one-year anniversary of President Bush lifting the executive branch ban on oil and natural gas exploration and production from the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) off the U.S. coastline…

Not much has happened in the year since Bush acted, thanks to the Obama administration's Interior Secretary, Ken Salazar, the President's allies in the environmental movement, and congressional Democrats like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi who appear determined to stop all energy production in the U.S. that doesn't involve windmills or solar panels…

Salazar is slow-walking the OCS process, a federal panel has put the existing OCS/western lands bidding on hold pending court challenges, and the Obama White House is pushing the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade anti-global warming bill that will further suffocate domestic energy exploration, production and innovation.

Tapscott’s entire piece should be read. It is depressing and right on target.

The Bush administration certainly can be faulted for waiting so long to take this important step last year. But the Obama administration and current Congress, as Tapscott correctly noted, are explicitly hostile to fossil fuel energy exploration and development, and our economy is paying and will pay for the foreseeable future a heavy price for such blind ideology.

Raymond J. Keating
Chief Economist
Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council

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