Issues of concern to people who live in the west: property rights, water rights, endangered species, livestock grazing, energy production, wilderness and western agriculture. Plus a few items on western history, western literature and the sport of rodeo... Frank DuBois served as the NM Secretary of Agriculture from 1988 to 2003. DuBois is a former legislative assistant to a U.S. Senator, a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Interior, and is the founder of the DuBois Rodeo Scholarship.
Wednesday, September 05, 2012
Democrats’ growing embrace of ‘drill, baby, drill’
Four years after Republicans chanted “drill, baby, drill” during their national convention, the grand gathering of Democrats seems to be coming around to the idea. To be fair, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar Tuesday night decried that very phrase. But in a speech to convention delegates, he also quickly trumpeted the fact that natural-gas production is at an all-time high and oil production at a 14-year high. After a Labor Day record-high for gas prices — $3.83 a gallon, according to AAA — the Obama administration is trying its best to counter the perception of hostility toward fossil fuels. It’s not an easy image to wipe away, what with Obama’s continued and repeated embrace of green-energy alternatives, like solar and wind power, as well as Republicans’ years-long promotion of opening up Alaskan territory to further drilling and other initiatives. Obama’s resistance to date of a pipeline between Canada and the U.S. also has contributed to an anti-fossil-fuel perception. Obama and Salazar have been making the argument that yes, they back renewable initiatives and more fuel-efficient cars, but they also simultaneously support oil and gas exploration. It’s not only the White House making that argument for the Democrats. Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer for instance said at a panel discussion here that the notion Obama has doubled gas prices is “baloney” as he pointed out that drilling rigs have quadrupled. “It doesn’t surprise me that you’ll see more rhetoric in favor of additional drilling but it doesn’t cure the problem they have, which is a split caucus,” said Frank Maisano, an energy expert at the law firm Bracewell & Giuliani, noting the environmental lobby’s resistance to fossil fuel activity. The aggressive advertising campaign by the American Petroleum Institute as well as the big oil majors themselves of the economic benefits of energy production is putting pressure on the Obama administration also to tout production, Maisano said...more