Tag Archives: Obama

Obama’s Offshore Drilling Plan

Southern states see a bonanza, environmentalists see mixed signals from Obama on climate change as moratorium ends after almost three decades.

By Naveena Sadasivam, InsideClimate News

Graphic credit: Paul Horn/InsideClimate News

The Obama administration announced plans Tuesday to open up parts of the Arctic and waters off the mid- and south Atlantic coasts to drilling. The contentious new plan, unveiled by the Interior Department, proposes 14 potential leases between 2017 and 2022 in parts of the Arctic, Gulf of Mexico and off the coasts of Virginia, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. The leases open up drilling on nearly 80 percent of undiscovered, potentially recoverable resources off the nation’s outer continental shelf.

Drilling remains off-limits off the Pacific coast, where political opposition to offshore oil and gas exploration has long been fierce. Some areas of the Beaufort and Chukchi seas off the Alaskan coast—which the administration deemed “simply too special to develop”—have also been banned from leasing.

Here’s a map of the areas that were previously open to drilling and the new areas proposed for leasing. Click to enlarge.

Continue reading Obama’s Offshore Drilling Plan

Obama Opens Up New Areas of Atlantic Coast to Offshore Drilling

offshore_oil_platform-thumb-250x187Think Progress reports that President Obama has proposed oil and gas drilling along the east coast:

On Tuesday, the Obama administration released a proposal to sell offshore oil and gas leases in new areas of federally owned waters, including regions along the Atlantic Coast from Virginia to Georgia. The announcement is part of the Department of Interior’s latest five-year plan, which includes federal leases from 2017 to 2022.

The proposal is a draft that could be significantly altered or narrowed after upcoming months of public hearings and input, however it does not require congressional approval. The entire draft includes 14 potential lease sales in eight different areas, mostly in the Gulf of Mexico, but also three off the coast of Alaska and the portion along Virginia, North and South Carolina and Georgia.

The proposed opening of federal waters for drilling comes just days after the Obama administration announced plans to protect more than 12 million acres in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), which would prohibit oil and gas drilling. If the White House’s proposal does get upheld by Congress, ANWR’s designation as a wilderness area would be the largest such designation since the passage of the Wilderness Act in 1964. Continue reading Obama Opens Up New Areas of Atlantic Coast to Offshore Drilling

Obama Administration’s Plan to Regulate Methane Offers Yet Another False Solution

Poster Boy/Flickr
Poster Boy/Flickr

President Obama will announce a plan to cut methane emissions from America’s oil and gas industry during his State of the Union Address.

The plan would direct the Environmental Protection Agency to cut methane emissions by up to 45% from 2012 levels by 2025.

But, according to the Guardian, “it was not clear whether the new rules would apply to existing oil and gas installations, in addition to future sources of carbon pollution, which could weaken their effectiveness in fighting climate change.” Continue reading Obama Administration’s Plan to Regulate Methane Offers Yet Another False Solution

Keystone XL Opponents Undaunted After Tough Week in Congress and Court

Reject_Now
By John Zangas

On Saturday, January 10, groups opposed to the Keystone XL pipeline rallied at the White House to urge the administration to stop it after the new Republican-led Congress made getting the pipeline built its first issue of business.

On Thursday, the Senate Energy Committee passed a bill to expedite the construction of the northern leg of the KXL. On Friday, the House passed its version of the bill. The full Senate will begin debating the bill on Monday.

Also on Friday, the Nebraska State Supreme Court ruled against three landowners in the Keystone XL’s path, and upheld the constitutionality of a law which they had challenged.

TransCanada, the company that wants to build the pipeline, has been locked in a struggle for five years with indigenous groups, environmentalists and landowners from seven states, including Nebraska and South Dakota. TransCanada has already built the southern leg of the pipeline. Continue reading Keystone XL Opponents Undaunted After Tough Week in Congress and Court

We Won Keystone XL Fight in Lame Duck Senate. What Happens When GOP Congress Approves It?

Native American march in Washington, DC to oppose the Keystone XL pipeline, photo by Resa Sunshine
Native Americans march in Washington, DC to oppose the Keystone XL pipeline, photo by Resa Sunshine

By Anne Meador

On November 18, the Senate effort to approve construction of the Keystone XL pipeline fell one vote short of the necessary supermajority. As the last votes were counted and Senator Mary Landrieu’s hopes of proving her undying fealty to Big Oil were dashed, a lone voice from the gallery burst out in song.

The Lakota singer proclaimed a warrior’s victory. At the same time, his wail lamented the craven, soulless spectacle of a body enthusiastic to build a “continent-spanning death-funnel.”

Outside the Chamber, in contrast to the noble song, cue the Imperial March played on a kazoo. Senator Mitch McConnell greeted the press, eager to say that Keystone XL will be “early on the agenda” of the next Congress.

A bill to approve construction of the Keystone XL pipeline is likely to pass both the House and Senate during the next session, bypassing the president’s authority to approve cross-border pipelines.  President Obama has made hints that he would veto it. But if Obama were to sign such a bill, or if Republican Senator Hoeven attaches Keystone to a bill he would find hard to veto, what would happen next? Continue reading We Won Keystone XL Fight in Lame Duck Senate. What Happens When GOP Congress Approves It?