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Washington Examiner Editorial: Obama's EPA stifles new energy gains
March 24, 2010

Posted by: David Lungren David_Lungren@epw.senate.gov

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Washington Examiner: Editorial

Obama's EPA stifles new energy gains

March 19, 2010

Link to Editorial

It would be simpler if President Obama leveled with energy industry officials and the American people and admitted he's doing everything in his power to suffocate this country's ability to find and develop critically needed new energy supplies. But instead of being honest about it, Obama hides behind misleading rhetoric about the wonders of "green" energy, even as his minions erect a multitude of new bureaucratic roadblocks to the development of the oil and natural gas resources needed to keep American homes heated, factories humming, and laptops processing. These new resources could also create millions of new jobs, generate trillions of dollars in tax revenues, and spark economic expansion in rural areas like western Pennsylvania and upstate New York that have known only decline for generations.

Last week, it was Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announcing that no new permits will be issued for outer continental shelf development until 2014 at the earliest. Salazar has also used bureaucratic obfuscation to delay new energy development on Western lands. There are billions of recoverable barrels of oil and trillions of cubic feet of natural gas in those areas, enough to put the United States well on the way to complete energy independence. Obama is instead spending billions of tax dollars on renewable energy resources that can't possibly supply even a fourth of this nation's critical energy needs for many decades to come.

This week, it's Lisa Jackson, Obama's Environmental Protection Agency head, putting another pillow over the face of the energy industry: A "comprehensive research study to investigate the potential adverse impact that hydraulic fracturing may have on water quality and public health." Her agency will spend $1.9 million on the first year of the study and unspecified amounts in the years thereafter. Hydraulic fracturing is when water and minute amounts of nontoxic chemicals are injected deep underground into rock formations to free previously unreachable stores of oil and gas. The technology opens up immense natural gas resources like the Marcellus Shale area of economically blighted rural regions of western Pennsylvania, New York, Maryland and West Virginia.

Jackson forgot to mention "concerns" about hydraulic fracturing come only from environmental groups seeking to stop all uses of fossil fuels like oil, coal, and natural gas. Jackson's announcement followed the Washington premiere of the anti-fossil fuel "GasLand" propagandamentary produced by some of these same groups. Two more facts Jackson didn't mention: Never in the 60-year history of hydraulic fracturing has it been linked to a single proven public health threat to water quality; and the EPA has already studied hydraulic fracturing, most recently in 2004, when it found no threat. Clearly, this new study is about stopping fossil fuel development, not protecting public health.

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