Obama Administration Places Three-Year Moratorium on Offshore Drilling

As the rest of the nation buzzed about matters of health care reform and political gamesmanship, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar quietly explained to reporters last week that the United States government will delay any new lease plan for oil drilling on the Outer Continental Shelf until at least 2012.  This is a significant change from the 2010-2015 OCS lease plan left by the Bush administration and, at what essentially equates to a three-year ban on offshore drilling, an unfortunate extension of what was already an unfortunate six-month delay.

Furthermore, even if a new OCS lease plan is released by the administration in 2012, not a single offshore lease will be sold during Barack Obama’s first [and hopefully only] term in the Oval Office.  So much for the president’s promises to incorporate at least a reasonable amount of offshore oil and gas drilling as part of a comprehensive strategy for energy independence.  So much for this administration’s feigned concern about the scourge of joblessness in America.

Washington State Congressman Doc Hastings, ranking member of the House Natural Resources Committee, released the following statement today:

Secretary Salazar has finally confirmed what had long been feared – that the Obama Administration has no intention of opening up new areas for offshore drilling during his four years in office.  In 2008, in a bipartisan agreement, the decades-long ban on offshore drilling was lifted [and] opened 500 million additional acres for new energy production. This area contains an estimated 14 billion barrels of oil and 55 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. The American people expected the Administration to seize this incredible opportunity, not keep the ban in place for years down the road. This is now the “Obama Moratorium” on offshore drilling and the responsibility for this delay lies squarely at his feet.

Despite public comments that favored a new leasing plan by a 2-to-1 margin, the Administration has decided to disregard the overwhelming opinion of the American people who support opening additional areas to drilling. By extending this drilling ban to 2012, the Administration is single-handedly preventing new job creation, billions in new government revenue and increased energy security.

And he’s right.  According to Rasmussen, a whopping 68 percent of Americans support offshore drilling for oil and natural gas. True energy independence is the key to everything in this nation — it’s the key to national security, as we would no longer be beholden to nations which do not have American interests at heart; it’s the key to economic security, as we are sitting on enough resources to not only provide for ourselves but, counting oil shale and coal and our capacity for nuclear energy, also enough to serve as a distributor of energy across the world; it’s the key to job growth, as opening up the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge for drilling alone would create close to 300,000 new jobs.

But don’t listen to me.  According to a recent report from the American Energy Alliance, permanently lifting the moratorium on Outer Continental Shelf drilling would facilitate the creation of hundreds of thousands of new jobs, and result in billions of dollars in new wages and tax revenues.  From the report:

By the present estimates, increased production is likely to contribute an additional 0.5 percent of GDP in immediate new economic activity each year and will ultimately contribute more than 2 percent of GDP each year for thirty or more years of production. That magnitude of economic growth is expected to contribute federal and state and local tax revenue from production equivalent to approximately $350 per person over the age of eighteen per year over a similar time horizon. The total incremental contribution of increased OCS Planning Area production to GDP is more than $8 trillion (in current dollars), and total tax benefits amount to some $2.2 trillion. Total royalty revenues amount to over $400 billion.

Importantly, those benefits would be realized without any increase in direct government spending. Rather, increased OCS output would refill national, state, and local government coffers—currently depleted by the real estate and credit crises—without additional government outlays. The effects of such a stimulus are particularly attractive in the face of a severe economic downturn.

It’s the same thing I’ve been saying here at America’s Right from the very first day the president discussed the possibility of a so-called “stimulus” package more than a year ago — true stimulus, true economic growth does not come from government spending. Sure, government spending might artificially prop up GDP numbers for the sake of some positive headlines from the mainstream press, but true stimulus comes only from the facilitation of private-sector growth by fostering competition, by allowing access to resources, and by taking the leash off of the greatest economic powerhouse in the world and allowing this nation to do what it does best: grow, and blow past the rest of the world as though it is standing still.

Congressman Hastings is absolutely right to lay responsibility and blame for the delay in OCS lease planning at the feet of Barack Obama and his administration.  As with any policy and decision coming from the Democratic Party leadership, the best thing we can do is ensure that they own it.  Remember back in 2008 when America was faced with $4-per-gallon gasoline at the pumps?  Remember what it was that began to bring the price down?  That’s right — it was George W. Bush repealing a moratorium on offshore drilling put into place by his father.  Showing the rest of the oil-producing world that we were serious about beginning to take control of our own energy destiny was enough to start the price of oil in a downward slide — imagine if we actually began to travel the road toward true energy independence.

There’s a reason that gasoline is as cheap as it is in Riyadh.  Instead of looking for ways to make the American people more dependent upon the American federal government and the American federal government more dependent upon other regimes across the globe, this administration needs to focus on energy independence and what it would bring — jobs, growth, prosperity, security and stability.  Those things, however, run afoul of the agenda espoused by the American political left.  If it didn’t, Ken Salazar would have been singing a different tune last week.



  1. P I T I F U L says:

    This is fun, watching my country commit suicide.
    We need some GED’s running things.

  2. scp says:

    Where’s the “Don’t like” button? Say good-bye to the economy. We are SO SO SOOoooo screwed.

  3. Lilly says:

    He did say that he would be comfortable with gas being $8 per gallon, just not an instant increase but gradual. When you live in a big city, they don’t buy much gas if they even own a car at all.

  4. Malcolm says:

    Wow. All I can say is… what an idiot. Incredibly, amazingly, stupid. It’s like they want the depression to last forever and to say goodbye to any sort of energy independence.

  5. Gail B. says:

    Obama DOESN’T WANT America to come out of this economic disaster. He is TRYING his damnedest to bankrupt the country, make EVERYBODY dependent upon government, and turn this country into a Communist nation–because that’s what he has been taught all his life.

    SC’s Joe Wilson had it right: “You lie!”

  6. Pam in Rural Kansas says:

    Lily…….I live in a rural area. I drive 20 miles at least one way to get anything from town, groceries, to supplies, to clothes, everything. 40 miles round trip, and I am at least 1 hour(60 miles)or more to a major city to do any other shopping. $8 gallon of gas and I will be only making one trip a month and will be buying less. I will grow my own and make my own if this happens. This president has no idea what he is doing to anyone who does not live in a big city. If you thought your groceries and your things you buy are high now, JUST WAIT. Higher fuel prices puts the farmer in a bad spot, he does not get enough for his products the way it is, and this will make things skyrocket from fuel to fertilizer to hauling….everything. he(O) is trying to bankrupt this country. It is a sad state of affairs. GOD HELP US ALL

  7. All hail the Messiah, Obama, Obama says:

    He’s Lenin, us patriots are stallin.

  8. Patrick Henry says:

    Gail, if Wilson had cojones, he would have stood up to say it, then walked out.
    I M H O
    When your country is being slaughtered, some disrespect is due.

  9. laura says:

    i look thur the oil rigg and see a wonderful sunrise or sunset, no more oil riggs in the gulf of mexico, to me its like wanting to put up a mall in the grand canyon…that would bring in jobs also…

  10. Jeff Schreiber says:


    I understand your concern, but you need to do some research. Oil platforms now just don’t facilitate extraction from straight below — it can extract from dozens of miles in each direction. Furthermore, the platform foundations have become a paradise for fish and marine life; there’s a Newsweek article about it somewhere. Plus, the platforms cannot be seen from the beach, anyway.

    It’s easy to get emotional about it, Laura. But consider how lovely it would be to create jobs fir hundreds of thousands of people–families–who don’t otherwise have one. Food on the table. Clothes on kids’ backs. Lower food costs and costs at the pump. It’s easy to look at the sunset, but isn’t it better to look at a sunrise … for everyone?

  11. whats_up says:


    Lets keep in mind that the Bush plan was a draft and never implemented. Having said that I disagree with this decision. Now it may come out later this month that Salazar has decided to open up some of the Federal Waters, after all according to the article you posted he hasnt made his final decision yet.

  12. Has anyone even noticed the rise in gas prices the last several weeks/months? It’s about 40 cents. Where’s the outcry from the left? Oh that’s right; it’s only when there’s a guy with an “R” next to his name do people freak out.

    I’m tired of watching this guy drive our country into the ground. I’m tired of paying nearly $3/gal at the pump when we’re sitting on vast supplies of oil. And if Obama thinks he can get away with $5/gal like he promised, he’s living in a fool’s paradise. If he thinks folks are mad now (re health care, unemployment, govt takeover, etc), just wait.

  13. Pam in Rural Kansas says:

    The thing that bothers me the most are the wind turbines that have ruined the beautiful view of the Flint Hills in eastern Kansas. They do NOT supply any energy for my state, but for California. Green is not a good thing wither.

  14. Boston Blackie says:

    I agree with you totally, Gail-
    This is the same crew that is underwriting the state owned oil company to the tune of billions for offshore drilling in Brazil!?! In addition, they are closing their eyes to Cuba’s offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico(with the help of China). As Jeff mentioned, those drills can extract oil from dozens of miles in every direction, including towards OUR shores. And don’t for a minute think they are not.

  15. Old Bob says:

    Not only would more domestic oil provide jobs and enhance national security, but the billions of dollars that are flowing out of the U.S. economy to build Islamic empires of gold in the mid-East would stay in the U.S. economy.

    The question is, what do you treasure more? The lovely sunset (and no one loves walking on the beach at sunset along the beach on the Gulf shore of Florida more than I) or the economic means of survival for the working families of the nation. Actually, I think that in this case, we can have both, in spite of how the Kennedys felt about wind turbines in the waters off Cape Cod notwithstanding.

    We’re addicted to/dependent on oil for the foreseeable future. Nothing will change that. It’s just a matter of where it comes from and who benefits from sucking that liquid gold out of the earth. Personally, if I really cared about the environment, I would prefer to bring it ashore via pipelines than fill the shipping lanes with tankers from the mid-East.

    Old Bob

  16. Bobby K says:

    Jeff, it just goes to show how they are. Gas prices dropped at the pumps just because they said we could drill offshore. if gas goes up again, the WH can say we are in a crisis and must do something to stop it, and they will start the cap and tax again, saying we need to go green. I work in the Oil & Gas industry and all this don’t drill stuff is going to cause prices to go up again. so then GM and Dodge can push their new electric cars…He is digging us in a deep hole.

  17. Anonymous says:

    This sums it up regarding everything which might be solved with American innovation, healthcare included…… we are lambs to the slaughter people.


  18. poptoy says:

    More proof that he is trying to destroy this country. What an ASS.

  19. Mary Ruth Petersen says:

    Now, the Usurper-in-chief is pretending to care about illegal immigration so he can get a NATIONAL I.D. CARD on each of us. He has also outlawed all fishing. Next, he’ll go after our guns. I would say that he is insane, but then I think the American people are sitting idly by allowing this to happen.

  20. Gail B. says:

    Old Bob–

    I was just thinking about you today! Thanks for leaving a comment. I’ve missed you, as we all have.

  21. MainStreet says:

    He “speeketh” with a forked tongue. He does not want carbon jobs, he doesn’t want energy independence, he doesn’t want our balance of payments corrected and he could care less about the deficit. With one stroke of his pen, and no cost to the taxpayer, by opening up areas for drilling, he could make a huge step forward in correcting all of these problems. Obama will not be satisfied until the USA is a third world country.

  22. Jeff Schreiber says:

    Mary Ruth,

    Let’s be clear — he has not outlawed all fishing. He is, however, pushing for tighter restrictions which would hinder commercial fishing. I actually wrote about this waaaaay back on October 10, in a story about a friend of mine who started his own charter fishing business. Here’s the link: http://americasright.com/?p=1216

    The takeaway lesson is that, if we’re going to make arguments against this president, let’s be sure they’re the right ones.


  23. Old Bob says:

    Thanks, Gail.

    I don’t say much, but I’m always here, looking for your comments.

    Old Bob

  24. Paul Revere says:

    featherdust ye muskets

  25. Lucy Fur says:

    12:42, that forked tongue goes with those horns, tail and pitchfork of his.

  26. Brian says:

    Hi all,
    This isn’t 100% applicable to offshore driling, but I had a realization about CO2 emission rankings that I have been thinking about. Essentially, ranking countries by their total CO2 ouput, or by their CO2 per capita, is ridiculous.
    If you tell the President to cut CO2 per capita, he has 3 choices. Encourage efficiency and innovation, shrink the economy, or grow the population. Two of those three, well, don’t help us. People tend to “like” this version of ranking, because the US is very near the bottom of the list.

    Reducing total CO2 emissions is a little bit better, because it doesn’t reward insane population growth, but you still have the option of simply sending industry to another country to improve your ranking.

    However, if you consider that most fuel is burned in order to do something productive, then why not look at the CO2 / GDP ratio? Nobody likes this one because it’s not easy to improve your rank – you actually need to become more efficient and reduce waste, outsourcing industry or increasing your population doesn’t help you here! When ranked in this way the US is a respectable 32nd or so out of ~ 200 (excluding countries with a GDP < .1% of the US, which can swing all over the charts because the numbers are so small) – right next to Canada and Australia. Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, Ireland, are at the top of the chart – you know, countries one might expect to be there. Has anyone actually looked at the CO2 per capita charts? I would not want to live in any of the top 50 (Burundi, Afganistan…)! If being at the top of the chart is meaningless, why should we listen to "Copenhagen" when they tell us we need to improve our rank? CO2 per capita is very nearly a junk statistic. Any article that uses it should probably be dismissed.

  27. Sue says:

    I bet the people who voted Obama for president are really proud now. Honestly, our economy is going to shit while the politicians pocket, hide whatever they can in their own lined pockets. Until we have someone who is truly fighting for our country, our economy and our soldiers, we will remain in the slump and it won’t surprise me if it continues to get worse. People are still losing jobs, unemployed yet trying to stay afloat in this confused country. It’s pathetic and even more pathetic when you have to prepare yourself and your loved ones for the worst ahead of us here in the U.S. of A.

  28. Sissy says:

    I am so angry with this president, and truly, truly, frightened for our country! God, how I wish he would commit an undeniably impeachable offense, so we could, hopefully, get rid of him before it’s too late! I see no other way, as he’s hell-bent on destroying the best country in the world.

  29. whats_up says:

    Its a shame that we have people rooting for bad things to happen to our President just because you disagree with his politics, is this really what America has come to?

  30. Bye liberty says:

    His politics are killing us 3:24. Get real.

  31. whats_up says:

    Wow, killing us, not hardly. Many people agree with his politics. When the Republicans were in power I saw this from my friends on the left, they wished horrible injury or death on the President. I called them out for it as well. Americans used to pride themselves on putting for their political ideas and then voting and every four years we vote for the President. We dont wish injury, scandal or death on him. That is not an American value.

  32. Anonymous says:

    And 7:11, who wished him harm? I just wish him gone. He’s free to step down, ala Nixon, at anytime…. he’s obviously not up for the job.

  33. David Copperhead says:

    Hiding your entire life is not an American value either.

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