Michele Bachmann's promise to lower the pump price of fuel to $2 per gallon is generating a fair amount of controversy. Leaving the conservative presidential candidate's specific promise to one side, can we at least agree on how not to run a federal energy policy? First, from the San Jose Mercury News:
A controversial proposal to build a massive underground pipeline to carry 700,000 barrels of crude oil per day from the oil sands of Alberta, Canada, to refineries in Texas has become the environmental issue of the summer, pitting developers and labor unions desperate for construction jobs against environmentalists and Native American tribes who fear the pipeline will spell environmental disaster.
So now it's controversial to transport oil from our close ally to the North to Texas refineries able to supply US energy needs, adding thousands of jobs in the process. And, of course, the Obama State Department is blocking the permit needed to start construction of this international project. I guess State prefers Saudi Arabian to Canadian crude.
Meanwhile, the Obama Interior department is blocking Exxon Mobil's effort to develop an enormous discovery in the Gulf. The Wall Street Journal reports:
Exxon Mobil Corp. is fighting with the U.S. government to keep control of one of its biggest oil discoveries ever, in a showdown where billions of dollars hang in the balance for both sides.
The massive Gulf of Mexico discovery contains an estimated one billion barrels of recoverable oil, the company says. The Interior Department, which regulates offshore drilling, says Exxon's leases have expired and the company hasn't met the requirements for an extension. Exxon has sued to retain the leases.
Maybe it's just something about Texas that rubs Obama administration appointees the wrong way.
No energy update can be complete without the latest from the Business Destruction Agency (formerly: EPA). The Washington Times reports that BDA is proposing to ratchet down acceptable ozone concentrations to the background level occurring naturally in such pristine locales as Yellowstone National Park. Gee, if everyone everywhere is always in violation of federal ozone standards, then just about every economic activity becomes impossible without some sort of government waiver.
Think of all the waiver-writing jobs this will create.