Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Obama Judge Rules Against Obama Energy Obstruction Agenda

The rule of law has won out in this one. Obama says he is for the development of our energy resources, but the actions of his Department heads speak the opposite. This court, at least, did not let him get away with it.

On Friday, a US District Judge, appointed by Obama, decided that the administration wasn’t playing fair.

In October 2010, the Western Energy Alliance (WEA), representing more than 400 independent natural gas and oil producers in the western states, filed a law suit against the federal government to force action on oil and gas leases that companies had already paid for. The leases had been purchased at Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lease sales. But because of environmental protests and uncertainty over endangered species, the BLM has a backlog of leases needing additional examination.

The Energy Policy Act of 2005 encouraged domestic energy development by allowing wells drilled from a site that had been used within the last five years, and already had a full environmental analysis, to proceed without repeating the expensive, time consuming, and redundant studies. Additionally, in areas with extensive energy development—and therefore environmental impacts have been fully evaluated, permits could be expedited. Extraction and jobs could happen more quickly—helping America’s debt.

In May/June 2010, in response to an environmentalist lawsuit, the BLM/Forest Service (FS) adopted new rules for interpreting the Energy Policy Act. The rules were aimed at slowing down development by increasing environmental oversight of drilling on federal lands.

U.S. District Judge Nancy Freudenthal ruled that the BLM and FS had failed to follow the correct procedures when they issued a memorandum and letter, respectively, changing the application of the 2005 Energy Policy Act. She threw out the 2010 rewrite of Section 390 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and reinstated expedited oil and gas drilling.

Earlier this year, U.S. District Judge, Martin Feldman ruled that the Obama administration was acting in contempt, stating that regulators acted with “determined disregard” by lifting the offshore ban and then reinstituting a series of policy changes that restricted offshore drilling.

Read full article here.

No comments:

Post a Comment