Tuesday, April 13, 2010

President Obama - New Wildcatter or Bait 'n Switcher?


On the last day of March, President Obama went to Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland to stand in front of an F-18 jet fighter called the Green Hornet, which is scheduled to fly powered by biofuel later this year, and announce he was recommending lifting offshore drilling curbs. The symbolism of pushing for more offshore drilling while highlighting biofuel for military jets was not lost on all observers. The announcement, when fully dissected, showed the administration made concessions in areas where they were destined to lose court cases, but they may actually be slowing down future offshore drilling. Yes, President Obama says he wants to open the East Coast waters from Delaware south to central Florida for offshore exploration, but ultimately it all depends on Congress signing on to the plan.

The administration made concessions in areas where they were destined to lose court cases, but they may actually be slowing down future offshore drilling. The staging symbolism was highlighted by the president's comments. In talking about his decision to open new coastal regions to offshore exploration, he said, "The bottom line is this: given our energy needs, in order to sustain economic growth we are going to need to harness traditional sources of fuel even as we ramp up production of new sources of renewable, homegrown energy."

In reality, the offshore drilling announcement was designed to win a few Republican senate votes for the potential energy bill being drafted by Senators John Kerry (D-MA), Lindsay Graham (R-SC) and Joseph Lieberman (I-CT). The legislation they are writing is designed to attack carbon emissions through cap-and-trade on a sector by sector basis rather than economy wide. That means the utility industry will have one set of regulations implemented on a certain date while refiners would have a slightly different set of regulations and a different date and manufacturers would have yet another set of regulations and implementation date.....Read the entire article.





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