It’s Bush’s fault, or rather the Cheney Energy Task force

Fracking as a technique to extract oil and gas has created economic boom times in North Dakota and other states where there is private land for oil exploration. This boom is traced back to Cheney’s Energy Success.

“The Cheney Energy Task Force (proper name: National Energy Policy Development Group) consisted of the vice president; the heads of the Office of Management and Budget, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency; the secretaries of state, the Treasury, the interior, agriculture, commerce, transportation, and energy; and others. Their mission was simply to develop “a national energy policy designed to help bring together business, government, local communities and citizens to promote dependable, affordable, and environmentally sound energy for the future.” After meeting with about 300 groups and individuals, including representatives from the energy industry and environmental activists, the Task Force published its 169-page National Energy Policy report in the spring of 2001.”

This effort was subject to legal attacks by the left as it was perceived to be a collusion of ‘big oil’ and a secret conspiracy about corruption. Those legal attacks went all the way to the SCOTUS but failed. As usual, failure in the courts did not dent the fantasies.

“On cue, Paul Krugman accused the administration of following “a doctrine that makes the United States a sort of elected dictatorship: a system in which the president, once in office, can do whatever he likes, and isn’t obliged to consult or inform either Congress or the public.””

One of the most important outcomes of the task force is that most regulation was kept at the state level and the EPA was curtailed in its influence on the development of the modern technologies in petrochemical extraction. Despite current administration claims for responsibility, it is private lands and private companies where the recent boom in production has occurred. Limitations on licensing and the regulation on government lands as well as restrictions on offshore drilling have caused a reduction in oil production in those areas.

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