Friday, June 17, 2011

Permits Issued for AK Oil Drilling, Road Building Blocked

Last May, Obama promised to open more areas to oil drilling off the Alaskan north coast by American oil companies. For years, the area has been off limits over environmental concerns and American companies have yet to begin operations in those newly opened fields of the National Petroleum Reserve even though the Italian oil company, Eni, began drilling in January 2011 and spilled 60 gallons of crude only 10 days after start of operations.

U.S. operations, reports The New York Times, have yet to get underway after obtaining all the necessary drilling permits. According to Mike Pool, deputy director of the Bureau of Land Management, "I think we have everything in place and we have demonstrated that over time. We currently have all the regulations and the authorities we need." So what's holding them up?

House Natural Resources Chairman Doc Hastings (R-Wash) explained after a trip to NPR-A with Gov. Sean Parnell(R-AK), "Producing oil and natural gas in the NPR-A is pointless if there's no way to get it out of there. The real problem is the federal government's blocking and delaying of permits for necessary roads, bridges and pipelines needed to transport the energy out of the NPR-A."

Like the old Ford Motor Company joke that you can have your car in any color as long as it's black, the Obama administration is telling US oil companies they can drill all the oil they want, but they can't build roads to get to the oil fields. There's always a catch.

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.


Anonymous said...

It is really very simple. As long as we aren;t producing our own oil, we have a reason to buy Brazilian oil from Ssoros. Don

Indigo Red said...

One point that's been missed in the Brazilian oil debate because of the Brazilian coastal oil discovery is that while American oil drillers were shut down in the Gulf of Mexico, Brazil was licensed to drill the Gulf in the same very fields forbidden to domestic suppliers. China, Nigeria, and Vietnam are also drilling in the Gulf alongside Mexican companies. Obviously this has nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with environmental concerns as opposed to shuttering the American oil industry.