November 18, 2011

Obama Admin’s USDA Holds Up Thousands of Fracking Jobs for Freaking Bogus Reasons

From Joel Gehrke at the Washington Examiner, appropriately placed in its Campaign 2012 section (headline truncated, which will be explained):

Obama USDA delays shale drilling

President Obama’s United States Department of Agriculture has delayed shale gas drilling in Ohio for up to six months by cancelling a mineral lease auction for Wayne National Forest (WNF). The move was taken in deference to environmentalists, on the pretext of studying the effects of hydraulic fracturing.

“Conditions have changed since the 2006 Forest Plan was developed,” announced WNF Supervisor Anne Carey on Tuesday. “The technology used in the Utica & Marcellus Shale formations need to be studied to see if potential effects to the surface are significantly different than those identified in the Forest Plan.” The study will take up to six months to complete. The WNF study reportedly “will focus solely on how it could affect forest land,” despite the significance of hydraulic fracturing to united proponents of the delay, “and not how it could affect groundwater.”

Speaking of the WNF gas drilling, one environmentalist group spokesman suggested that moving forward with drilling “could turn the Ohio Valley into Ozone Alley,” even though Wayne National Forest already has nearly 1300 oil and gas wells in operation which this study does not affect.

The Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program (OOGEEP) recently estimated that drilling in the Utica shale, which is affected by the suspension of the mineral lease auctions, would produce up 204,500 jobs by 2015. [Update: the USDA estimates that the creation of only a few dozen to 200 jobs will be delayed by this study.]

The “200,000 jobs” part of the headline shouldn’t be there, but assuming that you can’t speed up the ramp-up of activity to full production, the total achievable job total of 204,500 cited has been inexcusably delayed by “up to” six months (which in regulatory-speak really means “six months minus one or two days at most if we care about deadlines, and much longer if we decide not to care about deadlines”).

There is no scientific basis for the delay, not only according to industry supporters — who “of course” have no credibility in the media because, after all, all they’re trying to do is produce things and employe people and may be make a little money for shareholders and owners while doing so (/sarc) — but according to EPA Director Lisa Jackson and, in a rare moment of honesty, the Environmental Defense Fund, as seen below:



This is nothing more than craven electioneering targeting a key swing state governed by a Republican. If things aren’t significantly better in Ohio in a year, Team Obama will say it’s all John Kasich’s fault, John Boehner’s fault, the fault of Ohio’s GOP congressional majority, its Statehouse majority, and anyone else registered as a Republican or participating in a Tea Party cause, when in fact Obama administration decisions like these in the environmental arena, which include many relating to coal and other resources too numerous to mention right now, are holding back Ohio from growing as it could be, and should be.

This administration proves on an almost daily basis in its environmental and regulatory decisions that it doesn’t give a damn about private-sector jobs and genuine economic growth, and that it doesn’t give a damn about the suffering of millions of unemployed, underemployed, and discouraged Americans.

Party of compassion my a**.

If there’s any way the Kasich administration in Ohio can challenge this delay, it should. ¶

¶ – Of course, that might mean focusing Attorney General Mike DeWine’s energies on improving the economic lot of Ohioans instead of letting his daughter decide what he’ll do on natural resource/environmental matters. So we can’t really know how that’s going to work out.



  1. There have been numerous reports of contaminated water in Texas, Pennsylvania, and Colorado that have made the news. Just because one or two officials has been bribed to claim otherwise does not mean the problem doesn’t exist.

    Pennsylvania officials know how poisonous the waste is and won’t even let it be stored in their state. We, here in Ohio, have a greedy state government and accept money to let our water tables be poisoned.

    Comment by Melodae Farley — November 22, 2011 @ 8:39 am

  2. Then you need to explain, as shown in the post, why the Environmental Defense Fund had no problem with it a year ago.

    And if you’re going to raise the specter of bribery, you need to provide linked proof.

    And I’m sorry to have to say this, but since you’re bringing up bribery, I’m not going to rule out sabotage by enviro extremists — and neither should you.

    Comment by TBlumer — November 22, 2011 @ 9:02 am

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