To the delight of environmentalists, Sally Jewell (the current Secretary of Interior) and the Obama administration put a five-year halt on Arctic oil leases. Via Inside Climate News:
No new offshore oil and gas leases will be offered in the Alaskan Arctic through 2022, according to a new five-year plan for offshore drilling released Friday by the Obama administration. President-elect Donald Trump could overturn the ban, but that could take years and may not draw much industry interest if oil prices stay low.
The Interior Department’s five-year plan laid out all of the proposed auctions for drilling rights on the outer continental shelf of the United States. It allowed for no leases between 2017 and 2022 in the Beaufort or Chukchi seas, Arctic waters north and west of Alaska.
The article also goes on to speculate about the possibility of Governor Palin being tapped by the new President Elect (Trump) for the Interior-Secretary position:
Trump could reverse the Obama administration’s ban by drafting a new five-year leasing plan. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, an ardent drilling proponent, has been mentioned as a possible nominee for Interior Secretary, suggesting the new administration may pursue a new plan. Such a restart, however, would take time. The five-year leasing program announced Friday, for example, took two years to develop.
Of course any talk of Governor Palin and the Department of Interior is purely speculation at this point. In fact, Interior Department selection is usually delayed until December-early January by using history as our guide. However one can understand Palin being an obvious choice when realizing her experience in dealing with the kinds of challenges awaiting the Trump administration where domestic energy development is concerned.
In lieu of reinventing the wheel, we need look no further than our trusted C4P vault where our friend, Whitney, described a little of this back in 2011:
In short, Governor Palin’s experience has given her the expertise to know how best energy development must be overseen to optimize production with environmental protection within the framework of the state and federal government. This framework is something that she would later appropriately challenge as Governor when she sued the federal government for unnecessarily placing a healthy polar bear and beluga whale populations on the endangered species list which prevented oil and gas development from taking place in those areas. She also has, of course, been a strong proponent of opening up the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to development arguing that its small carbon footprint would do little to affect the environment as a whole nor the animal population. Excessive and misplaced environmental regulations prevent energy exploration which in turn makes America more dependent on foreign sources of energy. She also set up a Petroleum Integrity Office to oversee oil companies and keep them accountable.
What you’ll find in Governor Palin’s approach to responsible energy development is a 180 degrees different than President Obama. President Obama focuses on over-regulation while Governor Palin focuses on oversight. This is seen most clearly in the way that both approached last year’s Gulf oil spill.
As a state executive, Palin had no issue using every tool at her disposal to work around the unreasonable demands of an agenda created by radical environmentalists. This agenda has accumulated much power over the last few decades and of course, they own a large piece of the Obama administration. Thankfully our new President-elect is not beholden to these types of special interests.
As Governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin fearlessly fought these radicals and a heavily over-regulated federal government. Yet she simultaneously encouraged the “oversight” Whitney described in the spirit of common sense and respect for our Earth, being good stewards to the blessings and natural resources God has given us. Whitney explains:
One thing that stands out about Governor Palin’s approach to regulation is that it is not regulation, but instead, oversight. For Governor Palin, it is not about heavy handed regulation or government putting “their boot on the throat” of an oil company. It is about ensuring that an oil company or a company in any industry is accountable for their actions and accountable to the consumer. It is indicative of Governor Palin’s philosophy of government. In Going Rogue, Governor Palin wrote, ” the role of government is to protect us, not to perfect us”. This is quite the opposite of what President Obama is doing. Following the spill, he decided to suspend drilling in the Arctic and canceled leases in the Gulf and off the coast of Virginia; some of this has continued to this day. This is an example of the government trying to perfect. If no drilling is allowed, there is no chance for spills or environmental problems. There is “perfection”– the absence of accidents. However, as Governor Palin, suggests government has a role of oversight and insurance of accountability as she has suggested with the federal law and the Alaskan office. The occurrence of car and plane accidents have not stopped people from driving or flying, nor should the occurrence of a drilling accident cause the halt of drilling. As Governor Palin also suggested, drilling must continue, and safer opportunities exist–like ANWR.
You can read Whitney’s entire article here.
So while it’s true that the Obama administration’s last ditch effort on Friday to axe energy development in the Alaskan Arctic poses a challenge to the incoming Trump administration, Governor Palin’s actions and words of the past prove that it’s possible to marry a commonsense respect for our green Earth with a pro-energy agenda that taps into our own resources.
We can finally make true progress in moving our nation towards the unbelievable security and prosperity that awaits for America.