Friday, February 6, 2009
Obama's Energy Policy in Action
Sen. Ken Salazar (D-Colo.) is Obama’s choice to head the Department of the Interior, the agency that handles energy leasing on federal lands and most offshore areas. As a senator, Salazar has opposed much of this leasing, based on overblown environmental fears. It looks like “drill, baby, drill” isn’t going to survive to adulthood.
In addition to opposing domestic drilling for conventional oil, Salazar was also responsible for legislation blocking the development of oil shale. America has vast amounts of this oil-containing rock, mostly beneath federal lands in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming. The process of efficiently extracting this oil is still being improved; oil shale is a long-term project with uncertain prospects at this time. But if successful, it could provide literally hundreds of billions of barrels, exceeding the reserves in Saudi Arabia and providing enough oil to supply the United States for many decades.
As secretary of the interior, Salazar will have even more chances to stop cold any progress on oil shale, and with it our best hope for a dramatic increase in domestic oil production. So much for energy independence.