Archive for November, 2013

Energy boom off limits when it is government land

One of the bright spots in the economy is the lower costs of energy due to advances in oil and gas extraction (fracking).

President Obama is usually quite pleased to credit the upsurge in oil-and-gas production and the downswing in oil imports that has been happening throughout his presidency as the direct result of his administration’s policies, and they would prefer that you not investigate the matter too closely and just trust that his support of renewables and biofuels and what have you combined with his prudent, keen sense of know-how for creating just enough traditional energy jobs is the source of the economic growth supporting his otherwise stagnant economic recovery.

If you were to investigate more thoroughly, however, you would quickly notice that the types of energy booms resulting in jobs and prosperity that we’re seeing in North Dakota, Texas, and etcetera are largely due to the auspices of oil-and-gas companies operating on state and private lands. The Obama administration will loudly and gladly direct your attention to the projects for fast-tracking giant wind and solar projects on public lands (the first of which took place last week and was a complete flop), but they are conspicuously less vocal about the ways in which they’re deliberately slowing down oil-and-gas permitting on public lands.

Erika Johnsen on Fed govt: No, Nevada, you cannot have oil-and-gas prosperity citing the Las-Vegas Review Journal about Nevada oil exploration.

The federal government owns and controls most of Nevada, and while they will occasionally auction of some mineral rights and approve some drilling permits, they have steadily blocked the type of large-scale development we’re seeing elsewhere in the country. Unfortunately for Nevadans and Americans in general, that energy development could provide, according to one study’s estimates, more than 21,000 jobs and $100 million in revenue for Nevada

The disputes between federal agencies goes way back in Nevada. Ranchers and grazing lands are one issue, water is another. Resources are there but they are being withheld from public use due to ideological concerns and fears that may not be well founded. The fecklessness of the government was well illustrated in the recent budget brouhaha and that stimulated talk about moving these lands from the federal to the state governments.

Another issue in this is the administration trying to grab credit for private behavior rather than its own efforts to shut it down and strangle it. An economy that is alive despite government rather than because of it is difficult to rationalize honestly.

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