WASHINGTON — Institute for Energy Research President Thomas Pyle issued the following statement regarding the Obama administration’s proposed five-year offshore leasing plan:
“The Obama administration’s offshore proposal is nothing more than a smoke and mirrors game. They will point to the possibility of new sales in the Atlantic, but there is little reason to believe the administration is giving any more than lip service to these areas. The administration is trying to pass this off as a drilling plan, but in reality it is a plan to barricade energy production in federal waters. Under President Obama’s direction, offshore lease sales have gone from 31 sales in President Bush’s last plan to 14 sales in this latest one. This plan proposes even fewer sales than his existing lease sale plan.
“In addition, there is no guarantee that these lease sales will happen, and even less that if leased, the administration will issue permits to actually explore for energy. This administration has blocked energy development on federal lands and waters every step of the way. Even federal areas that are supposedly open for drilling are so tangled up in red tape that oil production has decreased by six percent under President Obama’s watch over the last 5 years, while increasing 61 percent on lands where the government can’t get in the way.
“This offshore plan is especially painful for the people of Alaska as it blocks several energy-rich offshore areas in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas. This comes just one day after this administration announced that it would block energy production in over 12 million acres of land in Alaska’s ANWR. Any assertion that this administration is encouraging the development of our oil and natural gas resources is patently false.
“Our country’s vast energy resources belong to the American people. But instead of opening up federal lands and waters for production, which would create jobs, lower energy costs, and strengthen the economy, this administration continues to hold our resources under lock and key.”