“Drill Baby, Drill” (Is a Load of Crap)

This report Friday from the Colorado Independent’s David O. Williams shouldn’t slip away unmentioned:

U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Colo., in June introduced the Facilitating American Security Through Energy Resources Act (FASTER), and Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., introduced the American Energy and Western Jobs Act in May. Both bills look to streamline the regulatory process for oil and gas companies drilling on U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands.

Despite a study by the Interior Department showing half of all onshore federal leases are not currently being utilized by the oil and gas industry, the GOP drumbeat has been steady – more leasing means more drilling means more jobs and lower prices at the pump.

And besides, industry and friendly lawmakers point out, leases are broad swaths that have to be explored, oil and gas has to be found and permits then need to be issued in a timely fashion in order for drilling to actually occur.

Now comes a new study from the Wilderness Society showing that the oil and gas industry is sitting on thousands of actual permits that are not in production – the vast majority of them in the Rocky Mountain West…

“Drill Baby, Drill” goes the mantra from Republicans and backers in the energy industry, but what’s really at stake here is future profits, and future control of domestic energy production. Despite the blame put on regulatory authorities for a “lack” of domestic production, the industry simply doesn’t have the capacity to develop all of the leases already in their possession–including huge new leases granted under the Bush administration that nobody expects to be developed for years. The “stockpiling” of unused leases and drilling permits by energy companies serves their financial interests, but it belies political claims that the industry isn’t being “allowed to drill.” The price of gasoline to consumers, the issue that’s supposed to be driving all of this “Drill Baby, Drill” angst, won’t be helped in the least by speeding up a regulatory process that has by all appearances already outpaced the industry’s ability to develop the resources.

Like we said, it’s not about the price of gas.

9 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. BlueCat says:

    but people have been trying to get this message across for years. Drilling is not being stopped by anyone but the drillers themselves.  What a surprise. Corporate liars and theirlackies.

  2. WestDem says:

    Actually, it absolutely is.  First part of the month: “Damn, gas is up 10 cents a gallon”.  Middle of month “Whoo hoo, it went down three cents”.  Rinse, repeat.

    We are being manipulated.  For fun, profit and political gain.  We all know that the party in charge will be blamed for the high price of gas, and if the next Prez is a Repub, even with no policy change, prices will stabilize and R will get credit.

    Repeat as necessary as the economic gulf widens.  Oh, by the way on a related topic, if I ever hear “Job-killing-tax-increases” again, I may barf.  When was the last tax hike? 1998? what has unemployment done since then? Hello? anybody out there thinking for themselves?

  3. ArapaGOP says:

    Yes, that’s why the heads of every oil company in America regularly go before Congress to plead for access to American energy reserves. Because they’re playing a giant con game. Hell, they don’t actually drill for oil at all! Maybe oil is just what they call the magic fairy dust that powers your VW bus.

    You really live in your own little world, don’t you?

    • Republican 36 says:

      I once worked in the oil & gas business for one of the “majors” in the field of exploration and production. As stated above, the industry is sitting on literally thousands of already granted permits that they could begin drilling tomorrow if the rigs were available to drill but they aren’t. No one, and certainly not the government (local, state or federal), is holding them back.

      Second, even if we opened up all of our continental shelf areas plus Alaska and other areas in the continental United States we simply don’t have the reserves, even with the new hroizontal drilling techniques, to self sustain our consumption of oil. The United States consumes around 21 million barrels of oil each day. If we relied solely on our known reserves for our daily consumption our fields would be depledt in about five years. We simply don’t have the reserves to supply our oil needs and thats why blindly asserting if we just drill everywhere is such a nonstarter. Even if we did that, it won’t come close to making us energy independent. The oil and gas companies want access so they can make money which is fine. Thats what corporations are supposed to do but the idea that this will some how make the Untied States energy independent is a false political argument to gain access. It isn’t part of real energy independence.

    • ClubTwitty says:

      Actually count me among those noting your cluelessness.  Companies like to control supplies and claim reserves.  It helps them keep prices high by being able to pace drilling as they see fit. And large reserves look good in shareholder reports. Anyone who claims that companies will drill to intentionally glut supply and decrease profit is  either a liar or fool.  So, which is it?

    • ardy39 says:

      since I hear tell that ignorance is bliss.

      Sales of oil produced in Colorado have increased by 22% in Colorado since 2007 (when 25.2 million barrels were sold) to 2010 (when 30.8 million barrels were sold).

      What has this done for energy “independence” in the USA? Colorado now produces enough oil each year to provide for 38.6 hours of US consumption (up from just covering 29.25 hours of US consumption in 2007). Whoo hoo!

      [Observant readers will note that this 22% increase in Colorado oil sales has taken place since Ritter’s “job killing” new rules were adopted and implemented by the COGCC. So not only did the rules NOT kill the O&G industry, we experienced an extra 9.25 hours of energy independence last year!!!]

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