Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Democrats' Energy Charade

WSJ.com reported The bad news is that Democrats will try again before the November elections. We can expect more legislation that claims to increase production, but in reality offers a framework of heavy regulation, litigation and union rules that could prevent new energy supplies from getting to market.
Because that is what Democrats want: heavy regulation, litigation and union rules. They don't care ambout how much people have to pay for gas.
And we can expect legislation that would likely hamper current oil and gas exploration.

Consider the details of Drill. It would not have opened new lands to energy exploration. Instead, it would have increased the number of lease sales in the National Petroleum Reserve -- the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge's (ANWR's) sister territory on Alaska's North Slope -- from one lease sale every two years to one every year. The problem here came in the fine print. The bill would have mandated that leasing be done in an undefined, "environmentally responsible" way. We know from experience that such ambiguous language leads to lawsuits and delays.
Lawsuits they love, because that makes lawyers ore money, and they don't care how much people have to pay for gas.
Further, the bill authorized the construction of new pipelines, but would have mandated that they be built in an "environmentally responsible manner" using labor agreements that earmarked all the work for labor union members.

The Democrats' focus on the National Petroleum Reserve is also striking. While it contains comparable known reserves to ANWR -- 10.6 billion barrels compared to an estimated 10.4 billion barrels in the wildlife refuge -- its fields are spread over 23 million acres. The portion of ANWR territory that should be opened to exploration covers a mere 2,000 acres.
Which makes it much easier to drill in an environmentally safe way.
The National Petroleum Reserve's fields are a little over 250 miles from the current pipeline infrastructure, while ANWR is only 75 miles away. To top it off, currently there is no production in the National Petroleum Reserve because of ongoing litigation.

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