Quantcast

Obama Administration Energy Blueprint: Paying Companies to Drill

Energy

Natural Resources Defense Council

By Amy Mall

Last week the Obama Administration issued a new energy blueprint. There are some excellent elements in the White House proposal, including doubling renewable electricity generation by 2020, cutting energy waste and supporting energy efficiency.

But there are also dirty and depressing energy proposals in the plan. Among them: "monetary incentives to get oil and gas leases into production." We haven't seen details on this yet, and need to learn more, but the oil and gas industry doesn't need more giveaways from the taxpayers.

In FY 2012, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) leased more than 1.75 million acres of federal oil and gas resources. That is in one year alone. So far in FY 2013, it has already has seven more lease sales across the country. This administration is already moving full speed ahead with dirty oil and gas leasing.

As I recently blogged, the BLM's own internal investigation found that the agency is unable to properly inspect oil and gas activities or enforce its own rules on the current leased areas. This investigation found a lack of enforcement, inadequate inspections and overall low-quality environmental review as office struggle to keep up with exploration and production activity.

And as my colleagues have blogged, while BLM is going to be proposing new rules for fracking under federal leases, the rules may be much too weak to protect America's drinking water. As the largest manager of oil and gas resources in the U.S., the BLM needs to do better.

A new energy plan is needed, but the focus should be on efficiency and renewables so we can have a clean energy future, with clean air and clean water. America doesn't want the oil and gas industry's dirty energy future. The administration plan also includes an electronic, streamlined oil and gas permitting system; modernization is welcome, but any streamlining of permitting should not shortcut the necessary environmental review.

If you'd like to know where all this new oil and gas leasing is taking place, our intern Cathy Lu made a great map to show how many acres were leased in each state in FY 2012 alone:

Visit EcoWatch’s ENERGY and FRACKING pages for more related news on this topic.

——–

Tell the Bureau of Land Management to establish strong rules for fracking on public lands.

 

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

This study found evidence of illegal hammerhead fins in 46 out of 46 sampling events in Hong Kong. NOAA / Teachers at Sea Program

By Jason Bittel

Authorities in Hong Kong intercepted some questionable cargo three years ago — a rather large shipment of shark fins that had originated in Panama. Shark fins are a hot commodity among some Asian communities for their use in soup, and most species are legally consumed in Hong Kong, but certain species are banned from international trade due to their extinction risk. And wouldn't you know it: this confiscated shipment contained nearly a ton of illegal hammerhead fins.

Read More Show Less
A video shows a woman rescuing a koala from Australia's wildfires. VOA News / YouTube screenshot

More than 350 koalas may have died in the wildfires raging near the Australian town of Port Macquarie in New South Wales, but one got a chance at survival after a woman risked her life to carry him to safety.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Heat waves emanate from the exhaust pipe of a city transit bus as it passes an American flag hung on the Los Angeles County Hall of Justice on April 25, 2013. David McNew / Getty Images

Air pollution rules aren't doing enough to protect Americans, finds a major new study that examined the cause of death for 4.5 million veterans, as The Guardian reported.

Read More Show Less
Coldplay playing at Stade de France in Paris in July 2017. Raph_PH / Wikipedia / CC BY 2.0

Coldplay is releasing a new album on Friday, but the release will not be followed by a world tour.

Read More Show Less
Ash dieback is seen infecting a European ash (Fraxinus excelsior) in Bottomcraig, Scotland, UK on Aug. 10, 2016. nz_willowherb / Flickr

Scientists have discovered a genetic basis to resistance against ash tree dieback, a devastating fungal infection that is predicted to kill over half of the ash trees in the region, and it could open up new possibilities to save the species.

Read More Show Less