The Obama administration is undermining domestic fossil-fuel production, say Republican Party officials.
They point to comments by EPA Regional Administrator Al Armendariz, who resigned Sunday as agency administrator for the south-central region, suggesting that the agency’s “general philosophy” is to “crucify” oil and gas companies as being symbolic of the administration’s attitude.
The Washington Free Beacon reported in a March 13, 2012 article that Obama Interior Department officials have intentionally “slow walked” drilling permits, reducing the number of annual permits by two-thirds from 157 before the 2010 drilling moratorium to 51 after. The GOP argues that small- to medium-sized businesses are the ones getting hurt, not “Big Oil” as Democrats like to argue.
As a result, half of all Gulf of Mexico businesses have laid-off workers and a further 39 percent have cut salaries and/or hours. A further 46 percent of affected businesses have moved their operations out of the gulf.
EPA regulations could result in a 11 percent drop in gas production and a 37 percent drop in domestic oil production.
The controversial practice of fracking, necessary to extract gas from a large portion of the nation’s gas wells, could be slashed by up to 52 percent, according to the American Petroleum Institute.
The same attitude carries over to coal, where the Washington Post reported that looming EPA regulations would end the construction of conventional coal-fired power plants nationwide. Thirteen percent of all coal-fired power plants are likely going to shut down because of EPA regulations.
This has hit too close to home for a traditional Democratic constituency – coal miners.
United Mine Workers President Cecil Roberts went to the extent of comparing EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson’s actions against coal with the Navy SEALs’ takedown of Osama bin Laden.