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tex-wyo-dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 12:34 PM
Original message
Republicans take aim at energy restrictions
Republicans take aim at energy restrictions

By WHITNEY ROYSTER
Star-Tribune environmental reporter
with wire reports Friday, September 30, 2005

Hoping to ride the wave of concern resulting from Gulf Coast hurricanes, U.S. Rep. Barbara Cubin and other congressional Republicans are trying again to loosen some restrictions on oil and gas development.

The proposals didn't make it in the recently approved energy bill, but supporters say Hurricanes Katrina and Rita -- which hit some energy suppliers on the Gulf Coast -- show the need to eliminate some environmental restrictions if the domestic energy supply is rattled.

<snip>

Peter Aengst with the Wilderness Society called the bill "a wish-list for industry."

"The main concern is that we have a system of checks and balances where we allow oil and gas development, but don't let it go to such an extreme that it trashes other values," such as air quality, water quality, habitat and wildlife, he said. "This bill basically would put in place measures that would fundamentally take away (those) checks and balances."

<more>

http://www.casperstartribune.net/articles/2005/09/30/ne...


New Energy Bill Would Grease the Skids for Unfettered Oil and Gas Drilling on Public Lands

September 27, 2005 (Washington, DC) - The new House Resources Committee Republican energy bill scheduled for committee action on Wednesday would not only authorize Arctic Refuge oil and gas leasing and drilling and end the 25-year bipartisan congressional moratorium on Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) leasing, but would also codify a number of extreme proposals that could lead to essentially unregulated drilling on Bureau of Land Management lands. The bill would also cut the public out of drilling decisions on public lands, by prohibiting administrative appeals or judicial review for any BLM leasing decisions. The bill is scheduled to be marked up on Wednesday, September 28 in the House Resources Committee.

"This absurd new bill won't do anything for the people who need help right now. It would only ensure more damage to our public lands and that local citizens and governments couldn't do a thing about it," said Dave Alberswerth of The Wilderness Society. "At a time when natural disasters are showing us how important it is to be more careful where we put drill rigs and pipelines, it seems beyond crass that the oil and gas industry and its backers are trying to take advantage in a way that will increase their profits."

Proponents of offshore and Arctic Refuge drilling point to high prices at the pump as a reason to remove current protections against drilling. But a new report from the Department of Energy predicts that the impact on gas prices of drilling the Arctic Refuge would only amount to about one penny per gallon twenty years from now, when drilling would be at or near peak production. The Arctic Refuge drilling provisions contained in this legislation and in the Resources Committee's pending reconciliation language also include sweeping exemptions from environmental laws and regulations.

The bill also would prohibit any administrative or judicial review of BLM leasing decisions, despite the fact that the production of gas from on-shore sources is at an all-time high and heading toward another record year. The bill would make all BLM leasing decisions final, prohibiting lawsuits and protests, even where leases are offered in proposed wilderness areas, critical wildlife migration corridors, and recreational sites. The current appeal provisions serve as important "checks and balances" - especially in this time of BLM processing record nominations by industry and issuing record numbers. For example, landowners, outfitters, and even the Governor of Wyoming have all used the appeal provisions during the last few years to stop damaging lease proposals from the BLM. The bill would also legalize the use of industry-paid consultants to help the BLM issue drilling permits.

http://www.wilderness.org/NewsRoom/Release/20050927.cfm
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Coastie for Truth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 12:51 PM
Response to Original message
1. American Petroleum Institute - Most Powerful Lobby in DC
Check out this DU append DU: Help Harry Reid Fight The Oil Tycoons with a link to the Give Em Hell Harry Web Site.

The American Petroleum Institute is a powerful, well oiled, well financed lobby, which bills itself as An Effective Voice for the Industry with a "tax breaks for more drilling - drill everywhere" Energy Strategy. a "Kiss the Saudi Royal Family's Butt" Foreign Policy Stance. a pro drilling Tax Policy and a Grass Roots Base

    I am a PhD level engineer in the alternative, renewable and green energy industry, I have resigned my "Senior Membership" in the American Institute of Chemical Engineers because of their close ties to "Big Oil" and their failue to address alternative, renewable and green energy, and I have an energy issues blog -- Thinkers Underground


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kainah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 12:52 PM
Response to Original message
2. Hey Tex-Wyo-Dem!
Thanks for the link to the Star Tribune and a taste of Whitney Royster. I live in Laramie but came east last week to visit my sister and go to the demonstration in DC. I'll be here for a few weeks so my only CST will be on-line.

Cubin actually spoke on the floor of the House yesterday during the Endangered Species Act debate. What a shock! The woman so rarely is seen. Of course, her reasons for speaking were to defend the corporate interests. Anyway, all we need is looser restrictions on the oil and gas industry in Wyoming. Maybe someone should ask Cubin to read all of the scoping notices and EAs coming out of the BLM offices and then she'll understand how much drilling is going on out there.
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tex-wyo-dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 02:36 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Hey kainah!
Edited on Fri Sep-30-05 02:40 PM by tex-wyo-dem
I went to school in Laramie and grew up in Wheatland. Miss Laramie, especially the summers there (live in Dallas now, so you can understand why). Wished I could have join y'all in DC...

In any case, Cubin is nothing more than a RW mouthpiece and doesn't appear to care or appreciate just what the energy industry is trying to do to Wyoming and the rest of the Rockies -- basically drill with impunity and turn it all into another west Texas...this pains me to no end :(
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Bridget Burke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 02:40 PM
Response to Original message
4. So, they didn't ignore Katrina
Bush & Co may have given scant attention to disaster preparation & recovery--until the normally placid media began screaming.

But their energy guys were hard at work from the minute Katrina came into the Gulf. Thinking of ways to make it work for them.
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tex-wyo-dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 02:47 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Bingo!
They're turning this national disaster around and using it as an excuse to weaken environmental standards in order to address our foreign energy dependance...the framing is "national security."

Up until now, many parts of the Rockies had effectively been off limits to most energy exploration and drilling...this is no longer true. The BLM, which manages millions of acres of federal land in the west, was tasked back in 2001-2002 to process thousands of drilling leases that had been in limbo for years due to environmental concerns. The result is thousands of natural gas and oil wells being drilled in formally pristine mountain valleys as we speak.

http://www.uppergreen.org/
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