American Elephants

Jobs Are Not an Important Consideration to This President! by The Elephant's Child

The United States Department of Agriculture has delayed shale gas drilling in Ohio for up to six months, as a bow to environmentalists. They cancelled a mineral lease auction for Wayne National Forest (WNF). The move, reported the Washington Examiner, was taken in deference to environmentalists, on the pretext of studying the effects of hydraulic fracturing. (Hydraulic fracturing has been studied extensively and found safe, for many years).

Doc Hastings (R-WA) Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, said “The President’s plan is to simply say ‘no’ to new energy production,”   to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar during a hearing pertaining to hydraulic fracturing.  “It’s a plan that is sending American jobs overseas, forfeiting new revenue, and denying access to American energy that would lessen our dependence on hostile Middle Eastern oil.”

The study will take up to six months to complete, and will probably somehow be extended until “after the election,” which seems to be the current program.  It doesn’t matter how safe the project is, how much studied, how thoroughly cleared — it can always be studied a little more, just to be sure.  Ohio is a crucial swing state.  The huge Utica oil shale deposit now has over one million acres under lease is likely to see some positive results in crude oil production, which would mean more jobs and more prosperity.  Environmental concerns are loud and public. Does energizing his environmental base outweigh ordinary Ohio voters?

One would not think that shutting down the Keystone XL pipeline and a potential 20,000 construction jobs would attract Ohio voters. The Wayne National Forest shutdown may affect only a few dozen up to 200 jobs according to the USDA, or the Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program says that drilling in the Utica shale, which is affected by the suspension of the mineral lease would produce up to 204,500 jobs by 2015.

Lucian Pugliaresi, president of the Energy Policy Research Foundation, says in the Wall Street Journal, that we are:

in the early stages of sustained and large increases in domestic crude oil output from the same hydraulic fracturing technology that brought us the shale gas revolution. New crude supplies, combined with the current surge in natural gas production, offer the promise of a renaissance in long-moribund petrochemical processing and petroleum refining industries.The capital now sitting on the sidelines is ready to come off the bench and fund profitable projects.  But it will not be deployed if there’s a political risk that cannot be contained. (emphasis added)

Another example of the administration’s insistence that regulation plays no part whatsoever in job losses, flatly denied by events.

President Obama is determined to force Americans into his personal vision of an economy running on clean renewable energy. The most advanced solar panel  cannot compensate for the nature of solar energy itself. It is diffuse.  There is no sun at night, which comes very early this time of year, and when the skies are cloudy or even when clouds drift across the sun no solar energy.  That is the nature of the sun.  Wind is intermittent. It comes in puffs, gales, breezes, and no matter how tall, no matter how huge the arms or how easily they turn, they cannot overcome the nature of wind.

President Obama’s goal of moving us to a clean green economy seem dubious at best, and pointless at the practical level.  Attempting this when the economy is in the tank and so very many people are unemployed is both foolish and cruel.

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