Tag Archives: Gulf oil

How Many Foreign Governments are Drilling for Oil, Gas in the U.S. ?

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar says he has no idea how many foreigners are extracting American gas and oil, while answering questions at a House Committee on Natural Resources hearing held on Nov. 16, 2011.

During the hearing, Rep. David Rivera (R-FL) told Salazar that his staff has asked two divisions of Salazar’s Interior Dept., the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, (BOEM) for a list of foreign energy companies that own leases in the U.S.

Continuing a pattern of Obama administration appointees blatantly ignoring Congressional requests for information, Salazar and company refused or were unable to supply the information. The Secretary of the Interior of the United States of America appeared quite uninformed during this hearing on such things as how many foreign governments are drilling for oil and gas on American lands and offshore in American waters. The following are part of the hearing’s question and answer session with Mr. Salazar:

Rep Rivera: “It’s my understanding, in order for a foreign government owned company to operate in the U.S. and bid on leases in the U.S., they must first be incorporated in the United States. Is that correct?

Ken Salazar: : “I don’t know the answer that question.”

RIVERA: “OK. Well, recently, my staff contacted the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and the Bureau of Land Management to try to get a list of all foreign government-owned companies that have leases in the United States. And they were surprised to learn that the government doesn’t keep a database of what companies are foreign government-owned. The foreign government-owned companies are just mixed in with the regular privately owned companies. So I believe it’ll be useful to at least be able to track these companies and what government owns them. Could you help me with that, get that information? “

SALAZAR: We will. And let me ask, for the record, Abbey or Beaudreau have any information on that question?

(UNKNOWN): It is correct that, in order to obtain a federal OCS lease, a company needs to be registered in the United States through the relevant State Department.

So federal energy leases must be registered with the State Dept., yet no one seems capable of telling Rep. Rivera how many foreign governments and companies are drilling for oil and gas in the U.S. They are either totally incompetent, or simply refusing to tell Americans the truth, take your pick there. Then the issues of Spain’s drilling for oil in Cuban waters 70 miles off of our coast came up.

Rep Rivera: A few months ago, I believe in June, you were in Spain and spoke to Repsol officials regarding their proposed drilling plans in Cuban waters. Is that correct, Mr. Secretary?

Salazar: That is correct.

Rivera: And in that meeting or any other meeting you’ve had with Repsol officials, did you — a topic come up or reiterate United States policy on doing business with state sponsors of terrorism or have any discussions to discourage their actions in Cuba?

Salazar: ( As he attempts to dodge the question) You know, our focus, Congressman Rivera, has been to make sure that we do everything within the legal boundaries that we can operate in to protect the environment and the people of the United States.

Rivera: So I would — I would that to mean more of a cooperative effort to make sure and protect the people of the United States, which is important, to make sure and do every possible measure to do that. But you’re telling me nothing was ever done by you to discourage their participation in collaborating with a state sponsor of terrorism in those offshore oil-drilling efforts. ( emphasis mine)

Salazar: We do not have authority over other countries on what they do with respect to their…
(CROSSTALK)
Rivera: I understand. I know you can’t stop them, but do you ever try to discourage?
Salazar: Our program, Congressman Rivera, has to been to make sure that we do everything we can within our legal power.
Rivera: OK. Well, let’s talk about the…
Salazar: … environment of the United States. ( still trying to deflect the real question asked)
Rivera: Let’s talk about the legal power. In terms of in terms of the — did you ever up bring up having the Bureau of Industry and Security also be allowed to inspect the rate (ph) to ensure that the Export Administration Act and the Export Administration Regulations 10 percent de minimum U.S. content rule were being respected, speaking of legal authority? Had that issue ever come up?
Salazar: You know, Congressman Rivera, this is an issue where the State Department and other agencies have the lead. And we are participating because of our expertise. But I do know whether those conversations took place, and I don’t have an answer to your question.
Rivera: OK, well, recently colleagues of mine here, along with Chairman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen sent a letter to the president regarding this issue. Mr. Chairman, with your permission, I’d like to ask that that letter be submitted for the record.
Chairman Hastings: Without objection, it’ll be part of the record.
Rivera: Thank you.
I think it’s of great concern by the lack of effort in this administration — administration-wide, whether it be your agency, State Department or anyone else, that no effort has been made to previous a state sponsor of terrorism to drill approximately 60-70 miles off of Florida’s coast and providing economic aid and comfort to the dying Castro dictatorship.
And I hope that, in the future, the administration will do everything to make sure that companies comply with sanctions that apply to businesses that do cooperate with sponsors of state terrorism, by perhaps, in your — in your agency, withdrawing leases on federal lands and waters.
That could be a start to certainly send a signal that that — that this type of activity is certainly frowned upon, collaborating with terrorist regimes.
Finally, Mr. Chairman, I’d like to draw attention with my colleagues, to legislation I have introduced with Congresswoman Ros- Lehtinen and Congressman Diaz-Balart and Representative Sires, the Foreign Oil Spill Liability Act, that would apply the same oil pollution act responsibilities and liabilities and Clean Water Act penalties that a domestic responsibility party would face to a foreign responsible party for a spill that pollutes U.S. waters and beaches.
The penalty, the liabilities would be triple. Currently, the burden is much lower on foreign spillers, forcing the American taxpayer to cover the cleanup costs, and members can contact my office if they wish more information on that legislation.
That’s all I have. Thank you, Mr. Secretary

Mr Salazar implemented a moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico( upon Obama’s orders) which stopped drilling and exploration  in June of 2010. Many rigs pulled out of the Gulf, possibly never to return. At the same time the Obama administration gave Brazil 2 billion taxpayer dollars to further their own oil drilling.  Ken Salazar went on another taxpayer funded junket to Spain to give his approval for Respol to drill 70 miles off the coast of America for a state sponsor of terrorism, Fidel Castro’s Cuba.

Thank you Rep. Rivera for demanding the truth about just how many foreign governments and corporations are now drilling for oil and gas in America and her territorial waters. It is nothing short of ludicrous that the Secretary of the Interior supposedly does not know this information, or just refuses to comply with congressional requests for the data. We the people have the right to know just who is being allowed to extract our own oil and gas, and why foreign governments and corporations are now taking precedence over American companies in our very own energy sector. China has the monopoly on the solar panel industry and now it seems like our government wants to allow foreigners to attain a larger share of the world’s oil and gas reserves, including those right here in America. ( The price of gasoline has risen another 20% since last week, just in time for the heavy travel season of Thanksgiving and Christmas/New Years.)
2012 just can’t get here fast enough!
Footnote: For a complete list of foreign companies drilling in just the Gulf region alone, see this fact-sheet, from virginia.edu. Major oil Companies Operating in the Gulf Region.

House Speaker Unveils New American Energy Initiative

Speaker Boehner: Facts Simply Don’t Match Obama Administration Statements on American Energy*

In watching the president’s recent speech last week, several glaring mis-statements should have been obvious to even the most naive Americans in the audience. In what appears to be a response to those statements, Speaker Boehner has come out with a new American Energy Initiative that sounds  good from first glance, but has one glaring problem. In his opening statement we see what that is at the root of the problem that will keep this initiative mired in ineffectiveness,  while possibly exposing Obama’s agenda :

“Rising gas prices are a major burden for American families and small businesses already dealing with a tough economy.  While the Obama Administration claims to be committed to American energy production, the facts and its own actions say otherwise.  Yesterday, the new House majority announced the American Energy Initiative, an ongoing effort to stop Washington policies that are driving up gas prices and expand American energy production.  To address rising gas prices, reduce our dependence on foreign energy, and help create American jobs, we invite President Obama to join us in turning this plan into action.” (emphasis mine)

     While it is commendable to invite the president to join in this initiative, I find myself wondering just what makes Speaker Boehner think the president will do the exact opposite of his past patterns of pushing green energy schemes, no matter the cost to the American taxpayer? Inherent within the Socialist ideology of wealth redistribution comes the fact that Obama wants to crush our domestic  oil industry in order to pursue green energy fantasies that haveproven to be a colossal, expensive failure throughout Europe and other countries. It has also shown to be largely wasteful here in America, in the failed venture of a company making solar panels in California, that threw away $500 million tax dollars… for nothing! ( it went out of business, after that  green fantasy wealth redistribution scam failed, yet still succeeded in dishing out $500 million taxpayers to someone)

The green energy scheme is proven to be a complete failure in a motorcitytimes.com** article that states:

The tiny island of Eigg off the coast of Scotland made a big push for ‘green energy’ recently. They designed their system to provide 95% of the electrical needs for the 87 residents of their island. This should be fairly straightforward, since the residents of the island are not big users of electricity to start with. They only received regular electrical service in February 2008.

The new ‘green energy’ system the residents of Eigg installed was designed to provide a meager 5kW (max.) of power per household.

Right now, however, their award-winning and highly complex eco-energy system, which allows each household access to a maximum of 5kW of energy at a time (enough to power a washing machine, a small heater or a kettle, but not all at once), is lying largely idle.

So the wind turbines are still and silent. The hydro turbines in the rivers and dams are quiet. And toasted teacakes and hot tea are off the menu at the Eigg Tearooms.

So what on earth’s going on? Have the Eigg eco-innovators been victims of some act of jealous vandalism? Has their award- winning electricity system blown a fuse?

Er, no. It turns out that when the good people of Eigg put their faith in strong winds and pounding rain to provide all their electricity needs, they overlooked one possibility – a spell of lovely weather.

Go figure, no rain or wind and the solar panels are not cutting it. Of course this is not a big deal to the residents of Eigg, but imagine how chaotic this would be in a large US City.

We’ve never taken electricity for granted,’ says Maggie, 61, has lived on Eigg for 34 years and has a daughter and granddaughter living nearby.

‘Until a couple of years ago, I was supplied by a tiny hydroelectric generator that produced a maximum of 1kW of power. Which powered my lights, TV and computer, but not a washing machine, electric kettle, toaster or anything like that. And I was one of the lucky ones.’

A few of her neighbours had no running water and others relied on their own generator which had to be turned on every morning by hand.

‘So if you got up for a pee in the middle of the night, you had to take a torch with you or fumble about in the dark,’ she adds.

‘And the noise was terrible. If you walked round in the evening, you’d hear a terrible thumping of generators.

If green energy can’t reliably provide power for 87 residents (who are not big consumers of electricity) how do supporters of ‘green energy’ propose we are going to power large US cities using windmills and solar panels?

Speaker Boehner has the right idea about the necessity of  increasing our domestic oil and gas production to offset the dependency of foreign oil in America today, and one other notable person weighed in on this ridiculous situation recently. Former President Bill Clinton said Friday that delays in offshore oil and gas drilling permits are “ridiculous” at a time when the economy is still rebuilding, according to attendees at the IHS CERAWeek conference.

     President also made other statements in his speech last week that a common sense American must call out right here and now. Obama claims that “people across America are driving cars that get 50 miles per gallon of gasoline.”  There is no such car, period. While the Toyota Prius boasts of a possible 50 mpg highway, this is due to the combination of gas and electric usage.*** That is NOT a true 50 mpg. The president’s statement is misleading, to say the least. Next up in 2011 best gas mileage cars is a Honda, followed by a Ford Fusion Hybrid, and Ford is not owned by our government or their Union pals either. The fusion gets 41 mpg highway. The government motors humongous failure the Chevy Volt didn’t even make the list, probably due to the fact that as of last month that lovely government experiment and taxpayer funded boondoggle was failing to be able to deliver on the meager orders for the Volt they had already received. Missed that little fact didn’t you Mister President?

     Obama also mislead the people on our domestic oil and gas production statistics today. Contrary to his statements that we are producing more oil and gas than ever before , two facts still loom: First, he has used the accident in the gulf to set oil exploration back a decade through exploration permit denials and over-regulation. Long term this will crush the oil industry and make us more dependant on foreign oil than ever before. Secondly, the facts on our oil production being more than ever today are a reflection on past administration’s policies, not Obama’s. To see what Obama has really done in in the short-term, please see these charts from freerepublic.com**** By 2012 we are projected to lose 450,000 barrels of oil production a day from Obama’s drilling moratorium just from the drilling moratorium in the gulf.

    I see this new energy initiative in a different light than what it appears on the surface to be here. I believe Speaker Boehner is simply proving the point that the president has no inclination of increasing our domestic oil and gas production because that simply does not fit his wealth redistribution scheme. Obama can’t force his will on big oil and gas companies, can’t dictate whom they will hire, and can’t dictate how they will run their operations. They are a part of our capitalistic society that Obama and the left deem evil on a constant basis. If Obama and company can crush the oil and gas industry through green energy schemes run by the government, they can then take over the entire industry. To do that they must destroy the big oil and gas companies, period. When President Obama refuses to join in with Boehner’s American Energy Initiative and contribute towards ramping up our domestic energy production immediately, it will prove fatal for the Obama reelection campaign in 2012, as it will expose Obama’s leftist ideology of the big government takeover of our energy sector through his green energy schemes, while citizens are paying $4,$5 and even $6 dollars a gallon for gasoline.

Obama will not participate in this initiative in a meaningful manner, mark my words. His leftist, green fantasy base will make sure of that, by the time the 2012 elections roll around. Thank you, Speaker Boehner for helping expose Obama and his Socialistic agenda once again.

Sources:
http://www.speaker.gov/News/DocumentSingle.aspx?DocumentID=228942
** http://motorcitytimes.com/mct/2010/07/green-energy-failure-windmills-solar-panels-and-hydro-project-cant-reliably-provide-power-for-87-people/
*** http://www.carsdirect.com/car-buying/2011-car-models-with-the-best-fuel-economy-mileage 
**** http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2687205/posts