June 09, 2008

End the Oil Shale Moratorium!

Toying with the energy companies, in Fortune magazine:

Salazar's efforts [U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar, D-Colo.] have essentially pulled the rug out from under Shell (RDSA) and other oil companies which have invested many, many millions into oil shale research since the passage of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which established the original framework for commercial leasing of oil shale lands. (Last year, oil shale represented Shell's single biggest R&D expenditure.)

Salazar says he's simply trying to slow things down in order to ensure environmental considerations don't get trampled in the rush to turn western Colorado into a new Prudhoe Bay. But, ironically, his bid to extend the moratorium comes at a time when his fellow Senate Democrats have been blasting Big Oil for not reinvesting enough of their profits into developing new sources of energy.

It's hard not to see all the obstructionism regarding energy development as a sort of Marie Antoinette approach to fuel transitioning: we should force conservation, force biofuels, force diesel. And we should do it on the backs of the poor and the middle class.

After all, if someone can't afford a Prius: well, fuck 'em. And, by the way: those who are suffering from the dictatorships and authoritarian governments propped up by American fuel dollars? Fuck them, too.


Fortune: Why do you consider developing oil shale such a high priority?

Sen. Hatch: We have as much oil in oil shale in Utah, Wyoming and Colorado as the rest of the world's oil combined. Liberals and environmentalists can talk all they want about wind, solar and geothermal - all of which I'm for - but last time I checked, planes, trains, trucks, ships and cars don't run on electricity. 98% of transportation fuel right now is oil. Ethanol is the only real alternative, and we're seeing that ethanol has major limitations.

It's pathetic. Environmentalists are very happy having us dependent on foreign oil. They're unhappy with us developing our own. What they forget to say is that shipping fuel all the way from the middle east has a big greenhouse gas footprint too.

Fortune: Any hope of changing Sen. Salazar's mind? After all, he says he's not opposed to oil shale production in principle.

Sen. Allard: His mind seems pretty set. His argument is, if we delay this, it gives us an opportunity to phase it in gradually. But he's got it turned around. We need the rules and regulations in place first. When the oil companies go to bid on their leases, they need have some idea what their royalties might be and what their remediation requirements might be [for restoring the land at spent drilling sites].

Fortune: Have you talked to Shell about this?

Sen. Allard: We have, and they've indicated a great deal of frustration. They've put it this way: Look, we can't continue to invest millions and millions of dollars in this kind of research without seeing some light at the end of the tunnel.

Fortune: Sen. Salazar insists he just wants to take things more slowly.

Sen. Hatch: Sen. Salazar and the Colorado governor [Democrat Bill Ritter] say they don't want it to happen too fast. Well, the existing law that I sponsored [which became part of the 2005 energy act] makes it abundantly clear that each governor gets to decide how quickly developments should move forward in their respective states. [Salazar and Ritter] know that. What they're really doing is making sure that the governor of Utah and the governor of Wyoming never get to make that decision for themselves.

No blood for oil. No sweat and tears, either.

Via Insty.

Posted by Attila Girl at June 9, 2008 09:38 AM | TrackBack

Fuck them, too.

At least there's something our government can do reliably over a long period of time: dork us in our squeekhole, whether we want it or not.

Posted by: I R A Darth Aggie at June 9, 2008 12:35 PM

"Like a rock."

Posted by: Attila Girl at June 9, 2008 02:28 PM

I hope McCain has the stones to bring up the Democrats' obstructionism when he starts talking about why oil prices are so high and why we are forced to pay them.

If what Hatch says is true, we should be able to be 100% independent from foreign oil. Doesn't make the problem go away entirely (our trading partners will still be affected) but it stops it from killing our economy.

Posted by: jvon at June 9, 2008 04:35 PM

Bush's fault (TM).

Posted by: Sissy Willis at June 9, 2008 04:44 PM

I just sent an email to Salazar telling him I didn't want to ever hear how the democrats were for the poor or downtrodden. It's obvious democrats don't give a hoot about the busboy earning $5.00 an hour having to spend $5.00 a gallon for gas.

What a bunch of sick bastards.

generically speaking

Posted by: johnnygeneric at June 9, 2008 05:08 PM

jvon comments:

I hope McCain has the stones to bring up the Democrats' obstructionism when he starts talking about why oil prices are so high and why we are forced to pay them.

A visit to www.johnmccain.com didn't reassure me. Quite the opposite. Others' perceptions may differ, of course.

Unfortunately it makes no difference to the Washington establishment's lifestyle whether a gallon of gas costs twenty cents or twenty dollars.

Posted by: gs at June 9, 2008 05:15 PM

I just double checked the Constitution. I don't see anything in it that says the federal government is given the power to regulate the development of resources inside any given state. Since any power not specifically given to the feds is reserved to the States or the People, I'd say the feds are clearly violating the Constitution. Too bad there isn't a state government with the balls to tell the Feds to bugger off.


Posted by: Ogre at June 9, 2008 05:21 PM


It is my understanding that most of the oil shale is on federal land, not private or state property, hence the ability of Congress to meddle.

Posted by: Dogwood at June 9, 2008 05:38 PM

Typically, when something like oil is in interstate commerce, the fed gets to regulate it even before it crosses the border. That isn't how I read my constitution, but it is how the Supreme Court, when under pressure from FDR's court packing plan, ruled.

Posted by: Don Meaker at June 9, 2008 05:50 PM

No Blood For Oil or No Drilling For Oil?

I think there are choices to be made: secure the supply lines from the Middle East or use our own oil.

My guess? Salazar just got a promise from the Saudis.

Posted by: M. Simon at June 9, 2008 06:02 PM

As a Coloradan -- there are no words, none, to describe the vileness that is Ken Salazar or Bill Ritter.

Unfortunately, having been californicated, we have to endure these asses.


Posted by: Portia at June 9, 2008 07:08 PM

Could set up a billboard on the major freeways in Colorado saying " When gas reached $4:00 a gallon which Senator said, "I just want to slow things down in order to ensure environmental considerations don't get trampled in the rush to turn western Colorado into a new Prudhoe Bay"?
KEN SALAZAR - Saudi Arabia's man in Washington.

Posted by: papertiger at June 9, 2008 07:24 PM

I generally agree that if you don't confront the bastards, then they will feel free to do whatever they suppose best serves their interests. I also sent a message to Sen. Salazar. If we don't speak up, then we will be ignored.

I don't agree that "federal land" is owned by the federal government. It belongs to the people, and it's time for us to take it back, even if that means kicking most of the beltway politicians out of office. Any notion that some guys in Washington have priority concerning the disposition of federal land is obscene on the face of it. This is no time for nitpicking ideologies.

Posted by: Pink Pig at June 9, 2008 10:20 PM

The discussion had to do with establishing state vs. Federal jurisdiction only--not with implying that any legislator has ownership over same.

If you want to get mad, consider the fact that drilling in ANWR has for the most part been prevented by legislators from the Northeast, most of whom have never even been to Alaska. (And if they have, they haven't been up to the area in question--in case you haven't noticed, Alaska is on the large size; not Texas-large. LARGE.)

Posted by: Attila Girl at June 10, 2008 12:00 AM

I'm not surprized politicians want to go slow on new oil development, they are willing to wait decades for an alternative fuel. Where is Guy Fawkes when you need him?

Posted by: william at June 10, 2008 06:10 AM

the dems are not for the downtrodden and poor. they are for the radical environmentalists -- they would all have us drive rock cars from the flintstones. thats another reason we have this energy crisis.

joy terrific post.

Posted by: zoey at June 10, 2008 07:54 AM

The concept is very simple. Liberals vote large public expenditures for environmental projects. These monies are transfered to groups that then contribute large amounts and spend larger amounts to elect lefties. It's sort of like public financing, but only for one side and without any accountability.

Posted by: Ken Hahn at June 10, 2008 10:03 AM

Joy, great companion piece to the post I just put up. When the dhimmis start getting 1,000's of emails and faxes and the phone lines melt, maybe they'll get the mesage. Unfortunately, as long as Nancy Lugosi and Maxine (this liberal will socialize..er...um..take over the oil companies) Waters are in charge, don't expect any major changes.
BTW You're linked back to UCV. Good on ya, Lady!!!

Posted by: concretebob at June 10, 2008 10:40 AM

Forget Guy Fawkes, where is Charlotte Corday (more specifically, Marie-Anne Charlotte Corday d'Armont)??? Pity more people don't know who she was. Pity more women don't honor one of their greatest heroes. Pity women let the Left to continually crap on her, ala Gore Vidal's comparison with Monica Lewinsky. Even when her head was separated from her body, she was able to show these louts the might of her righteous indignation.

Posted by: Darrell at June 10, 2008 12:08 PM

No blood for oil. How about no more oil for food?

Posted by: Mimi at June 11, 2008 05:19 PM

I think it's okay as long as it's olive oil--monosaturated fats are actually quite healthy.

Posted by: Attila Girl at June 11, 2008 06:52 PM

How can you discuss massive oil shale development without once considering the carbon footprint of the new industry nor the impact on Colorado River Basin water that is already in long term deficit? The oil shale resource may be massive but is incredibilely dilute - much more so than the tar sands in Alberta and look at the environmental havoc their utilization is causing. Salazar is right!

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