Already this year Democrats have scrapped oil and gas leases in Utah, permanently banned drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), and nixed offshore drilling.
In fact, for decades Democrats have blocked efforts to responsibly develop this nation’s energy resources, transforming vast areas of opportunity into “The No Zone.”
This year as democrats continue their attacks on American energy producers and the economy, China has been gobbling up reserves in Canada and the Gulf of Mexico.
the Institute for Energy Research reported this news, via Energy Tomorrow blog:
Not only is China investing in places like Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Nigeria, Venezuela, and Argentina, but it is in the U.S.’s backyard, looking towards usurping the U.S. supply of Canadian oil sands. China is a good customer for Canada, as Canada fears that the U.S. may introduce a low carbon fuel standard[ii] or other legislation that would restrict our purchases of oil sands from Canada[iii]. China is also looking at a possible purchase of leases in the Gulf of Mexico where Devon Energy is looking to sell its U.S. leases.[iv] The sale of these offshore leases requires the approval of the Mineral Management Service in the U.S. Department of Interior. China is willing and able to be at the forefront of any misstep other countries make to gain a foothold and secure oil and gas supplies, and the U.S. seems to be giving it elbow room.
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China is also investing in oil and natural gas pipelines to ensure access to its investments and to divert some of its oil imports from the Middle East away from the Straits of Malacca. Oil pipelines are being built from Russia, Kazakhstan, and the coast of Myanmar. [v] A natural gas pipeline from Turkmenistan should be operating in the near future, and several liquefied natural gas terminals are either operating or are expected to be operating shortly.[vi]
While the Bush Administration initiated steps to bring on new leases of oil and gas, both offshore in the Gulf of Mexico and on public lands that are endowed with billions of barrels of shale oil, the Obama Administration has slowed the progress by extending the comment periods and providing other obstacles. Examples include:
- ** On February 4th, shortly after his Senate confirmation, Interior Secretary Salazar rescinded 77 oil and gas leases in Utah that could cost American taxpayers millions in lost lease bids, production royalties, new jobs, and the energy needed to offset rising imports of oil and gas.[xv]
** On February 10th, Secretary Salazar delayed for 6 months the development of the new 5-year leasing program for offshore drilling that would have set the framework for accessing newly available areas.[xvi]
** On February 25th, Secretary Salazar canceled a new round of commercial-scale oil shale research, demonstration, and development leases in Colorado, Wyoming and Utah.[xvii]
** On February 26th, President Obama introduced a budget that contains page after page of taxes on oil and gas totaling more than $31 billion that will reduce our domestic energy production.[xviii]
** On March 30th, President Obama signed the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act into law, prohibiting energy production on over 3 million acres of federal land.[xix]
** On October 8th, after rescinding 77 Utah oil and gas leases in February, Salazar announces he will lease 17 of them.[xx]
** On October 20th, after canceling a new round of commercial-scale oil shale research, demonstration, and development leases last February, Salazar issued a new oil shale leasing program that decreases lease acreage by 87 percent, demands unrealistic timelines for investment into cutting edge research, and leaves royalty rates at the whim of the Secretary or in new regulations. [xxi]
Issues with the U.S. Renewable Strategy
The Obama Administration prefers that priority be given to offshore wind farms and wind and solar installations onshore.[xxii] (That currently produce less than 1% of US electricity consumption.) They tout that these sources of “green energy” will provide needed jobs in the U.S. However, studies[xxiii] have shown that highly-subsidized renewable energy cost consumers and taxpayers more than the alternative fossil technologies[xxiv], that their component parts are largely made in foreign countries, that the jobs are mainly for the actual site construction and thus are temporary, and that the economy would be spurred more by investments made elsewhere.
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Further, most green technologies are dependent on the wind blowing or the sun shining, and thus provide a lower amount of usable energy than their fossil or nuclear counterparts. Hence, many more wind farms or solar installations will be needed to provide the same amount of energy as their fossil and nuclear counterparts. And, they will also require more land area.[xxv]
What China Knows and the U.S. Doesn’t Know
All sources are needed to ensure energy will be available for future economic growth and to reduce dependence on foreign imports. Trading foreign imports of oil for component parts of wind and solar technologies does not reach any goals to which the U.S. is aspiring. To reach reductions of greenhouse gas emissions required by H.R. 2454, or other similar legislation, either nuclear power or biomass generating technologies will be needed[xxvi], which provide greater amounts of energy than wind or solar power. That’s precisely the reason that China is investing in oil and gas resources abroad and in building power plants from hydrocarbon, nuclear, and renewable sources of energy without legal and government delays