Environmental Protection Agency blocks oil drilling in Alaska

Gas Prices under Obama and Bush
Gas Prices under Obama and Bush

John Hawkins of Right Wing News and Doug Ross of Director Blue have started a new conservative news site called Trending Right.

Trending Right shows the most linked conservative stories on Twitter for EACH HOUR.

If you guys want to suggest me as a source for their feed (I don’t see any real conservative/Christian blogs there now) then that would be great. Just send Doug an e-mail. The link to e-mail is at the bottom of their page.

I went there just now, and found this popular story from the Heritage Foundation right away. Apparently, the Environmental Protection Agency is blocking oil drilling in Alaska. This must be part of the reason why gas prices have more than doubled since Obama took office.


There are an estimated 27 billion barrels of oil waiting to be tapped in the Arctic Ocean, off the coast of Alaska. But after spending five years and nearly $4 billion, Shell Oil Company has been forced to abandon its efforts to drill for oil in the region.

With gas at $4 per gallon and higher, one might think that more oil would be a good thing. So what’s the road block? The Environmental Protection Agency. Fox News reports that the EPA is withholding necessary air permits because of a one square mile village of 245 people, 70 miles from the off-shore drilling site. From Fox News’ Dan Springer:

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.

Who at the EPA made the decision? Springer writes:

The Environmental Appeals Board has four members: Edward Reich, Charles Sheehan, Kathie Stein and Anna Wolgast. All are registered Democrats and Kathie Stein was an activist attorney for the Environmental Defense Fund. Members are appointed by the EPA administrator.

[…]Aside for the EPA’s decision on Shell, the Obama administration has imposed a months-long moratorium on deepwater offshore drilling that curtailed domestic production and sent some seven drilling rigs elsewhere.

That story was liked by 2208 people on Facebook! Something tells me that my blogging has just gotten a lot easier.

3 thoughts on “Environmental Protection Agency blocks oil drilling in Alaska”

  1. I’m interested in how not drilling in the US is causing prices to increase. I would agree that it would lessen our dependence on foreign oil and produce good paying jobs, but it would not decrease prices. Since you’ve bought on to the far right’s message hook, line, and sinker, let me illuminate you.

    I forget the exact figures, but I believe the global economy consumes around 89 – 90 million barrels of oil a day. If we increase our oil output because we’ve found some new sources, OPEC will decrease their output, effectively keeping oil prices steady. We currently produce just shy of 10 million a day (I believe the US is currently third behind Saudi arabia and the Soviet Union).

    But even if we find easy oil (and I will return to that phrase), experts believe it would be close to 10 years before we could fully exploit that and make any real impact (again, most likely to be offset by changes in output by OPEC).

    Add on top of this that speculators are hedging against inflation by buying oil (commodities market) – so there’s some artificial inflation as well as super hot economies in India and China increasingly buying up any extra supplies.

    The fact that oil is increasing during one presidents stint doesn’t mean that he’s the cause. You’re ignoring the speculation on the commodities market (something the president couldn’t fully change since it is a global market and not controled by the U.S.A) and of growing economies – we can’t stop China or India from increasing their consumption.

    As for drilling in the arctic, I’m of a very mixed opinion. I think the Gulf catastrophe points to a very big issue – it’s not as safe or clean as many claim nor is it easy to manage. Now add in some of the worst weather and conditions on earth and you’re just inviting disaster (now if we take a lesson from the Russians who have drilled up there and have used nuclear devices to stop massive leaks before they got to the magnitude of the BP Gulf spill, it would be doable, but I doubt the bleeding hearts here in America would go for that).

    In closing, you’re woefully ignorant of many of the issues driving the price of gas (at least from the sounds of this post).


    1. I did forget to return the concept of easy oil. Keeping the discussion simple, our economy has become dependent on easy oil – the type you find in the mid-east – you stick a pipe far enough down in the ground/sand and oil just comes gushing out. It’s kept extraction easy and costs low.

      We’re not finding any more easy oil spots. Canada has huge reserves, so it’s unlikely we will run out of gas anytime soon. But, in order for Canada to economically extract the oil, it has to remain north of $4 (it requires a lot of natural gas to burn the oil off of the sands it’s trapped in). It’s also exceptionaly messy and produces a lot of waste by-products (as well as consuming copious amounts of natural gas).

      Another not-so-easy (but getting easier) has been the shale extractions (actually one of the main reasons that the US has greatly improved is numbers to those of the 70’s after decades of decline) – but that too is not without serious drawbacks. It ruins the water columns in the areas where it’s done and it forces the residents to either leave/abandon their homes or to permanently (in terms of human life spans) have (drinking?) water delivered. I have the question mark since I know you can’t drink it, but I don’t know if it’s unsafe to shower in…though a chemical shower doesn’t seem all that refreshing. Google “fraqing for oil” or some similar variant. Pennsylvania has a lot of material to study up on.

      So we have plenty of oil sources but it’s looking like the days of cheap oil are quickly disappearing.


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