Obamas's Oil Drilling Ban Threatens National Security

April 1, 2016

Time.com

This was written by Donald Loren, a retired U.S. Navy Rear Admiral, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, and National Liasison for Vets4Energy.

We can't afford to say ‘no' to U.S. energy.

The Obama administration recently reversed its 2015 plan to open up waters off the coasts of Virginia, the Carolinas and Georgia to oil drilling. Officials claim the new decision to ban oil drilling will protect national security. It will do the opposite.

The administration, under constant pressure from environmentalists, has long had an ambivalent view of offshore oil exploration. Plans to open up this part of the Atlantic Ocean for drilling have been on the drawing board for years. This recent decision leaves them in the wastebasket.

Last year, the administration’s opposition appeared to have softened. In January 2015, the White House released a statement proposing to auction drilling rights in up to 104 million acres of the mid- and South-Atlantic in 2021. At the time, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell noted: “This plan takes a balanced approach to oil and gas development. … It protects areas that are just too special to develop.”

Now, 14 months later, the administration has reversed course. What makes this time unique is the administration’s reliance on the supposed concerns of the Department of Defense as the reason not to drill.

According to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management report announcing the administration’s reversal, the “DoD recommends that significant acreage of the mid- and South-Atlantic Program Area not be made available for placement of oil and gas structures due to conflicts with DoD activities.” Such activities include Navy port facilities on the East Coast and its reliance on nemighbouring waters for the conduct of training exercises.

Yet the Pentagon has no problem opening almost all of these waters to leases for drilling. Its 2015 assessment deemed no more than 5% of the area a “No Oil and Gas Activity” zone. It also crossed off another 5% as a “No Permanent Surface Structure” zone—no offshore rigs.

Read entire article at time.com.

 

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