NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


July 16, 2009

Although the President regularly expresses verbal support for a comprehensive energy plan, his Administration has demonstrated that no matter how many Americans are out of work, it will continue to take steps to proactively discourage certain types of economic development -- including the creation of natural gas jobs, oil drilling jobs and nuclear jobs, says Doc Hastings, a congressman from central Washington.

Exactly a year ago, President Bush issued an executive order lifting the ban on offshore oil and natural gas drilling on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) and opened the door for new energy production and the creation of millions of new energy jobs in our country.   But today -- July 14, 2009 -- a defacto ban remains in place only because the Obama Administration has actively blocked the new five-year leasing program which would open areas for offshore exploration and development, says Hastings.

The Obama Administration's decision has prevented:

  • Americans from enjoying 1.2 million new, well-paying jobs annually across the country and $70 billion in additional wages each year.
  • And the federal government from receiving over $2.2 trillion in total tax receipts -- revenue that would go a long way towards addressing the historic $1.8 trillion deficit that reportedly keeps the President awake at night.

In addition to obstructing the creation of future American energy jobs, the Obama Administration is also eliminating current energy jobs.  On February 4th, the Interior Department withdrew areas offered for 77 oil and gas leases in Utah that thousands of Utah citizens were depending on for employment.

Environmentalists may cheer the Obama Administration's obstructionism as a victory against "Big Oil" but the truth is that fewer drilling leases equal lost jobs, higher unemployment, a higher national deficit, and increased dependence on foreign oil, says Hastings.

Source: Doc Hastings, "Obama Blocks New Energy Exploration,", July 14, 2009.

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