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Common Defense &Junk Science Richard Falknor on 02 Apr 2010 10:04 am

Flash Points 5: “Drilling for Votes” | Dar Al-Hijrah’s Invitees

“It also appears President Obama is caught in a contradiction: the President is, on the one hand, pushing forward with global warming policies to make fossil fuels more expensive, while on the other hand, he’s talking about drilling for more fossil fuels offshore.  How does the President square these two policies?” —
U. S. Senator James Inhofe

Wednesday the Obama Administration announced a “A Comprehensive Plan for Energy Security” – –

“And as part of that strategy, in addition to developing oil and gas resources in new areas, the Administration is moving forward on many fronts to boost domestic energy production, diversify America’s energy portfolio and promote clean energy innovation:

  • Landmark Car and Truck Fuel Standards: On April 1st, EPA and DOT will sign a joint final rule establishing greenhouse gas emission standards and corporate average fuel economy standards for light-duty vehicles for model years 2012-2016. This measure is expected to save 1.8 billion barrels of oil over the life of the program.”

National Review on Line (NRO) promptly posted some informed conservative insights on the president’s energy approach:

Ben Lieberman of Heritage: “Exploring for New Supplies of Votes“:

” . . . [A]llowing new leasing in selected offshore areas is no guarantee that actual drilling will occur. Administrative delays and environmental-group lawsuits still could delay production for years, or prevent it entirely. Bills like the No Cost Stimulus Act seek to streamline the red tape, but if the president doesn’t do the same, his proposal for more drilling will amount to little more than an empty promise. The fact that several of the areas in his announcement, including the Atlantic coast, could already be leased right now were it not for foot-dragging by the Obama Department of the Interior suggests the administration’s heart isn’t exactly in expanded offshore oil and gas production.” (Underscoring Forum’s.)

Governor Sarah Palin: “Stall, Baby, Stall”:

“I’ve got to call it like I see it: The administration’s sudden interest in offshore drilling is little more than political posturing designed to gain support for job-killing energy legislation soon to come down the pike.  I’m confident that GOP senators will not take the bait.” (Underscoring Forum’s.)

Utah Senator Bob Bennett: ‘They’re not serious about this’

“While the administration may act like it is moving to the political center on energy, Bennett says that ‘tucked away in the language of its policy are countless actions that make it all the more difficult’ for exploration. ‘Just look at what’s happening in Utah,’ he says. ‘I’m trying to push Secretary Salazar in our direction. He keeps telling us that the administration is interested in natural gas, yet there is always some regulatory or legal hang-up that’s cited to keep anything from moving forward. They’re not serious about this. They want to implement onerous regulations. Same goes for coastal exploration.'”

Will Yeatman quoted in Iain Murray’s:  “OCS Sleight of Hand”

“And while all the talking heads are chattering about Obama’s supposed pragmatism, the EPA will release today its final rule to allow California to regulate greenhouse gases from automobiles under the Clean Air Act. That’s the real story, because once a ‘pollutant’ (remember, we are talking about carbon dioxide, the stuff we exhale) is regulated under the Clean Air Act, it becomes subject to further and further regulation. The President will have the power (the obligation, according to well funded environmental lawyers) to regulate anything larger than a mansion — your small business, your office complex, your apartment building. Get ready for the green police.” (Underscoring Forum’s.)

But said the governor of Virginia – –

“I thank the President and Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar for ensuring Virginia will be the first state on the East Coast to explore for and produce energy offshore. The President’s decision to allow energy exploration off Virginia’s coast will mean thousands of new jobs, hundreds of millions in new state revenue and tens of billions of dollars in economic impact for the Commonwealth. It will also help our nation take a further step towards energy independence. Environmentally-safe offshore energy exploration and production is good for Virginia workers, the Virginia economy and national security. Just this session the General Assembly passed, with bipartisan support, legislation I requested to authorize offshore oil and gas exploration and drilling and to allocate 80% of revenues to transportation and 20% to green energy research and development.”

Tempering governor Bob McDonnell’s optimism, the Department of the Interior’s website stated – –

“Q6: Does the Administration’s announcement regarding the current 5-year program mean that the area off Virginia in the Mid-Atlantic OCS planning area will be opened for oil and gas development?

Not necessarily.  Offering the sale off of Virginia is only the first step in an orderly process that includes environmental reviews and analyses, regulatory compliance, exploration, testing and other considerations.  The announcement does not guarantee that that area will be leased, evaluated, explored and developed for oil and gas.  Secretary Salazar has said that the lease sale will depend on whether there is interest from industry, whether development can be done in an environmentally responsible manner, and whether development can be shown to not compromise critical military training in the Atlantic.” (Underscoring Forum’s.)

Maybe JunkScience-buster Steve Milloy should get the last word with his “The President’s Oil Drilling Bait-N-Switch”

“Last December, the Obama administration actually granted Shell Oil leases to drill three exploratory wells in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea. But claiming a shoddy approval process, the leases are being challenged by green groups in the enviro-friendly 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Without wondering whether the Obama administration set Shell up for frustration, my money is on the greens in that venue. The lesson here is that the greens oppose, and will use every tactic possible on the local, state and federal level to prevent, offshore drilling, regardless of what emanates from the Oval Office.” (Underscoring Forum’s.)

While some members of the Virginia political class may be taking comfort in a possible false dawn of off-shore drilling, Marylanders should remember all their legislators who voted here and here for the Clean Cars Act of 2007which allowed linking Maryland’s air-quality requirements to those of California, and which ensured that model 2011 cars sold in Maryland will be more expensive.

* * * * *

Saturday some Virginia politicians apparently want to lend their name to the Dar Al-Hijrah crowd.

National-security sentinel Frank Gaffney asked Tuesday in his post on BigGovernment “Will DNC Chair Tim Kaine and Congressmen Connolly and Moran Attend the Dar Al-Hijrah Fundraiser?”  – –

“On Saturday, April 3, the terrorist-linked Islamic Center Dar Al Hijrah in the Washington DC suburbs will hold their annual fundraising banquet.  The original flyer headlined  that seven elected officials were “invited”: former Virginia Governor Tim Kaine, now Chair of the Democratic National Committee, Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA), Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA), Sen. James Webb (D-VA), Fairfax Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Sharon Bulova, Fairfax Supervisor Penny Gross, and Virginia State Delegate Kaye Kory. We thought that those elected officials would not want their names associated [with] Dar Al-Hijrah, long-known as an al-Qaeda linked Islamic center, on which we had posted at Biggovernment.com on February 14. So on February 17, we mailed and faxed a letter to each of the seven elected officials, alerting them to the invitation using their names, and asking them if they would remove their names as invitees. Within a few days, Senator James Webb and State Delegate Kaye Kory’s names were removed from the invitation.” (Underscoring Forum’s.)

Faithful readers will recall our related posts Controversial Imam To Open VA General Assembly Session and  “Getting” Jihad: Real Meat in A Non-Celebrity CPAC Panel.

Meanwhile, the Virginia Anti-Shariah Task Force (VAST)’s Jim Lafferty emailed the Forum – –

"A coalition of citizen groups including VAST, Act for America 
and the Center for Security Policy in Washington, DC have organized 
Virginians to oppose the spread of radical Islam in Virginia.  A protest 
will be held at 5 p.m.,Saturday at the Fairview Park Marriott, 
3111 Fairview Park Drive, Falls Church, VA 22042."

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