WASHINGTON D.C. — On reports today that the Bureau of Land Management will cancel all oil and natural gas lease sales in California this year, allegedly due to fiscal strains experienced because of sequester cuts, IER Senior Vice President Daniel Kish issued the following statement:
“The Obama plan to maximize the sequester’s harm to the U.S. economy is laid bare by today’s action to restrict energy development on federal lands in California, where unemployment is a 9.4 percent and oil output is down 21 percent since 2001. There is no coincidence between restrictive policies for energy development and lost economic growth. Like the recent conflict with the Federal Aviation Administration, the Interior Department has chosen to hit Americans where they will hurt the most — this time, it’s in energy prices and lost job potential. At the same time, there is no limit to the amount of time and money BLM will commit to fast-track so-called green energy projects, which are already driving up California’s energy prices.
“The absurdity is heightened by the fact that oil and gas lease sales generate tremendous revenue for the federal treasury. Of course, that revenue has plummeted under existing policy biases against organic energy sources. The American people deserve a full accounting of the Obama administration’s policies for public lands, and Congress must force BLM to answer for today’s decision.”