Obama Wants Projects in Parks, More Onshore Drilling

YOSEMITE NTL PARK, CA - AUGUST 28: A view of Half Dome and the Yosemite Valley on August 28, 2013 in Yosemite Nationall Park, California. As the Rim Fire continues to burn on the western edge of Yosemite National Park, the valley floor of the park remains open. The Rim Fire has charred more than 190,000 acres of forest and is currently 30 percent contained. 
National Journal
Clare Foran
March 4, 2014, 10:32 a.m.

Pres­id­ent Obama’s budget pro­pos­al for fisc­al 2015 high­lights con­ser­va­tion as a pri­or­ity while lay­ing the ground­work for ex­pan­ded oil and gas drilling on pub­lic lands, re­flect­ing an ad­min­is­tra­tion be­lief that it can pro­mote en­ergy de­vel­op­ment without sac­ri­fi­cing en­vir­on­ment­al pro­tec­tion.

The budget blue­print un­veiled Tues­day by the White House would provide per­man­ent fund­ing for the Land and Wa­ter Con­ser­va­tion Fund, a fed­er­al pro­gram that di­verts rev­en­ues from off­shore oil and gas pro­duc­tion to con­ser­va­tion ini­ti­at­ives. The pro­gram has been around since 1964, but as In­teri­or Sec­ret­ary Sally Jew­ell poin­ted out dur­ing a press call on Tues­day, “ever since the fund has been around, with the ex­cep­tion of one year, it has been shor­ted in the ap­pro­pri­ations pro­cess.”

Obama’s con­ser­va­tion re­quests fol­low an an­nounce­ment by the pres­id­ent dur­ing his State of the Uni­on ad­dress that he would “use [his] au­thor­ity to pro­tect more of our pristine fed­er­al lands for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions.”

But the budget makes clear that the pres­id­ent also sees un­tapped po­ten­tial for en­ergy pro­duc­tion on pub­lic lands.

Obama is call­ing for a nearly 20 per­cent in­crease in fund­ing for the Bur­eau of Land Man­age­ment’s oil and gas pro­gram re­l­at­ive to the 2014 en­acted level. BLM over­sees per­mit­ting for oil and gas drilling on fed­er­al lands. The re­quest also calls for BLM to im­ple­ment a faster per­mit­ting pro­cess for on­shore drilling. Taken to­geth­er, the pro­pos­als in­dic­ate a will­ing­ness on the part of the ad­min­is­tra­tion to ex­pand fossil-fuel pro­duc­tion on pub­lic lands.

When asked if the pro­pos­al would lead to a boost in pro­duc­tion, Jew­ell in­dic­ated that the funds would at least open the door for ex­pan­ded on­shore drilling.

“Our budgets have been chal­lenged in places like BLM with in­creased de­mand for ex­plor­a­tion and per­mits and we haven’t been able to match that de­mand with per­son­nel,” Jew­ell said. “Wheth­er we ac­tu­ally have more oil and gas de­vel­op­ment is of course de­pend­ent on in­dustry and what it chooses to do, but we don’t want to be a bar­ri­er to that, and this aligns bet­ter the sup­ply of the people we have with the de­mand of in­dustry.”

What We're Following See More »
BACKING OUT ON BERNIE
Trump Won’t Debate Sanders After All
21 hours ago
THE LATEST

Trump, in a statement: “Based on the fact that the Democratic nominating process is totally rigged and Crooked Hillary Clinton and Deborah Wasserman Schultz will not allow Bernie Sanders to win, and now that I am the presumptive Republican nominee, it seems inappropriate that I would debate the second place finisher. ... I will wait to debate the first place finisher in the Democratic Party, probably Crooked Hillary Clinton, or whoever it may be.”

AKNOWLEDGING THE INEVITABLE
UAW: Time to Unite Behind Hillary
2 days ago
THE DETAILS

"It's about time for unity," said UAW President Dennis Williams. "We're endorsing Hillary Clinton. She's gotten 3 million more votes than Bernie, a million more votes than Donald Trump. She's our nominee." He called Sanders "a great friend of the UAW" while saying Trump "does not support the economic security of UAW families." Some 28 percent of UAW members indicated their support for Trump in an internal survey.

Source:
AP KEEPING COUNT
Trump Clinches Enough Delegates for the Nomination
2 days ago
THE LATEST

"Donald Trump on Thursday reached the number of delegates needed to clinch the Republican nomination for president, completing an unlikely rise that has upended the political landscape and sets the stage for a bitter fall campaign. Trump was put over the top in the Associated Press delegate count by a small number of the party's unbound delegates who told the AP they would support him at the convention."

Source:
TRUMP FLOATED IDEA ON JIMMY KIMMEL’S SHOW
Trump/Sanders Debate Before California Primary?
2 days ago
THE LATEST
CAMPAIGNS INJECTED NEW AD MONEY
California: It’s Not Over Yet
2 days ago
THE LATEST

"Clinton and Bernie Sanders "are now devoting additional money to television advertising. A day after Sanders announced a new ad buy of less than $2 million in the state, Clinton announced her own television campaign. Ads featuring actor Morgan Freeman as well as labor leader and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta will air beginning on Fridayin Fresno, Sacramento, and Los Angeles media markets. Some ads will also target Latino voters and Asian American voters. The total value of the buy is about six figures according to the Clinton campaign." Meanwhile, a new poll shows Sanders within the margin of error, trailing Clinton 44%-46%.

Source:
×