By Ben Geman - 01/27/11 04:34 PM EST
“When it comes to energy issues, we heard more vague promises last night as the President’s rhetoric suggested an all-of-the-above solution to meeting our country’s energy needs. But again, his actions point in a different direction. He offers a vision of a future powered by what he refers to as ‘clean energy,’ but how we will get there from here remains a mystery.”
“In the meantime, he continues to stymie the responsible development of our own abundant conventional energy resources — the stuff we actually use right now to fuel our economy. His continued hostility towards domestic drilling means hundreds of thousands of well-paying jobs will not be created and millions of Americans will end up paying more at the pump. It also means we’ll continue to transfer hundreds of billions of U.S. dollars to foreign regimes that don’t have America’s interests at heart.”
GOP critics say the Obama administration is blocking offshore oil-and-gas drilling.
In particular, they claim the White House overreacted by putting a moratorium on deepwater drilling after the BP oil spill.
The ban was lifted in October, but deepwater permitting has not yet resumed (although the Interior Department recently claimed that oil companies have not demonstrated improved spill response capacity).
Pro-drilling critics — including some Democrats — have also slammed the White House for backing away from pre-spill plans to sell oil-and-gas leases off the Atlantic coast and deeper into the eastern Gulf of Mexico in coming years.
Drilling advocates are also pushing for federal approval of Royal Dutch Shell’s plans to drill in icy waters off Alaska’s northern coast.
Obama administration officials say they remain supportive of offshore drilling, but note that they’re increasing safety and environmental oversight, and stress that companies must comply with toughened safety mandates issued in the wake of the BP disaster.