President Obama in his State of the Union address correctly connected jobs to energy, saying, “[We] need more production, more efficiency, more incentives.” Is the Department of Interior listening?
From U.S. Rep. Doug Landborn (R-CO), ranking member on the Energy and Mineral Resources subcommittee in the House Committee on Natural Resources, a column in The Denver Post, “No-energy policies hurting Colorado.”
In Colorado, we have the keys to a partial solution to our energy problems. The U.S. Geologic Survey estimates that Colorado and neighboring states sit on a total of 1.5 trillion barrels of oil from our vast oil shale reserves, six times that of Saudi Arabia’s proven resources. This would satisfy the U.S. demand for imported oil of 10 million barrels a day for more than 200 years. Salazar has unfortunately not been willing to continue advances on research, development and demonstration projects from the previous administration.
In another job-killing move, Salazar kicked off the New Year by announcing yet more roadblocks to energy development. He will now require more detailed environmental reviews and more public input for leases on federal lands, while at the same time cutting back on the use of popular streamlined leasing provisions.
Not only could oil shale help us achieve energy independence, it could also create thousands of high-paying jobs for Coloradans. Last year, workers in the oil and gas extraction industry earned on average more than $27 an hour. Those are jobs we should be promoting and developing rather than stifling.
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