Sunday, February 6, 2011

Shell: No Beaufort Sea drilling in Arctic for 2011 - EPA The Problem

I think Lisa Murkowski had it right when she said "We talk a lot about the economy, but rarely do our actions match our rhetoric."

On Feb 3rd a District Court Judge in New Orleans ruled that the Obama Administration was in contempt for ignoring a previous ruling opening up the Gulf for more drilling. Obama says he is for drilling but uses his henchmen in the EPA to stall and stall and stall.

Because of the short drilling season in Alaska, the purposeful delays by the EPA have effectively shut down exploration of one of our greatest natural resource basins.

Not only is there a loss of well paying jobs but also a furtherance of our dependence on foreign oil. Obama and the EPA have an agenda, and that agenda is not in the best interests of the American people.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) -- Shell Alaska has dropped plans to drill in the Arctic waters of the Beaufort Sea this year and will concentrate on obtaining permits for the 2012 season, company Vice President Pete Slaiby said Thursday.

The recent remand of air permits issued by the Environmental Protection Agency was the final driver behind the decision, Slaiby said at a news conference.

Alaska receives upward of 90 percent of its general fund revenue from the petroleum industry, and top state officials reacted strongly to the decision. U.S. Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, blamed the Obama administration and the EPA.

"Their foot dragging means the loss of another exploration season in Alaska, the loss of nearly 800 direct jobs and many more indirect jobs," Begich said. "That doesn't count the millions of dollars in contracting that won't happen either at a time when our economy needs the investment."

Shell's primary drilling ship has been moved to prospects off New Zealand and the company will look for other ways to use support vessels. The backup drilling ship will remain in Dutch Harbor, a port in the Aleutian Islands, Slaiby said.

Alaska officials have been unwavering in their support for drilling. The trans-Alaska pipeline operates at about one-third capacity, and state officials have looked to offshore sources to keep it viable. Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell said it was unfathomable that a company could buy federal leases but not get onto them within five years.

"It's also unfathomable that they cannot get an air permit after five years when they can get one in the Gulf of Mexico within months," he said.

Republican U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski said actions taken by the Obama administration will result in higher gasoline prices and a loss of jobs and revenue.

"We talk a lot about the economy, but rarely do our actions match our rhetoric," she said. "That's unfortunate."

Read full AP article here.

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