March 6, 2012
As the summer approaches families are facing greatly escalating gasoline prices. Summer estimates of prices reaching $5.00 per gallon are common. Time will only tell. The Obama Administrations hostility to domestic petroleum and coal production has been pretty clearly established, but that isnt the whole story.
Natural gas is one American energy bright spot. It is efficient and clean. More to the point: natural gas is very cheap due to the tremendous increases in production the nation has seen in recent years. America possesses huge natural gas reserves that are now producing usable product with the help of new technologies.
A worrying article by Ben Wolfgang points to dangers for natural gas also (Washington Times March 3, 2012 at p. A6). The headline tells much of the story: Natural Gas Producers Fear Rules Blitz: Scrutiny by EPA, CDC, Interior, Others Unprecedented. It appears that the Obama Administration is waging a multi-front war against natural gas:
At least 10 federal departments and agencies are investigating or crafting new rules to govern fracking, the popular gas-extraction technique that has led directly to the creation of thousands of jobs in Pennsylvania, North Dakota, Wyoming and other states.
EPA is leading the charge. The Department of the Interior has proposed raising royalty rates by 50 percent for oil and gas on public lands. The Centers for Disease Control has called for a wide study into potential health problems associated with gas drilling. Agriculture, Commerce, and Transportation are also getting into the act.
According to the American Petroleum Institute, since the 2008 the number of oil and gas wells on public lands in Western states Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Utah and Wyoming has dropped by at least 39 percent. Why is this not surprising?