Back on June 18, there was a story, buried in the Business Section in the daily paper here in Tulsa that bore the headline, “Judge raps delay on energy lease.” It carried the byline of Matthew Brown of the Associated Press. A subheadline read, “The area is held sacred by some Indian tribes,” It also sported a three-column wide by two-inch-high picture of a tank-car unit train of BNSF (Berkshire Hathaway) as it “began the ascent into Glacier National Park as they traveled towards the Pacific Coast near Chester, Montana, in 2013.”
What the picture of an oil tank car had to do with the story was beyond me, since the caption went on to state, “A federal judge is pressing U.S. officials to explain why it’s taken three decades to decide on a proposal to drill for natural gas outside Glacier National Park.”
The second paragraph in the story finally was able to get to the meat of the issue by stating, “A frustrated U.S. District Judge Richard Leon called the delay ‘troubling’ and a ‘nightmare’ during a recent court hearing. He ordered the Interior and Agriculture departments to report back to him with any other example of where they have‘dragged their feet’ for so long.”
Further on, it developed that the case was over a 6,200-acre oil and gas lease in Northwest Montana issued to a company from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, which had been in suspension since the 1990s. The company had sued in 2013 to overturn the suspension so that they could begin drilling operations. The story goes on to state that leaders of the Blackfoot Indian Nation have asked Interior Department to cancel the leases, which had been issued in 1982. Also, the Forest Service asked for the lease to be suspended in 1996 for a “historic preservation survey” which was finished in 2012.
Since the land in question is not on tribal reservation land but reportedly ‘considered to be sacred by them’ it begs the question of why they would have any standing to prevent the lease development. The beginning of operations would, of course, bring financial benefits to the area, as well as to the whole United States from added gas production (if found). All this delay has resulted in enormous added cost to the plaintiff and other existing leaseholders still waiting. And in the meantime, whatever gas production that could have been found has not been there for the benefit of all U.S. citizens by more daily production volume and possibly lower prices at the homes.
This is just one example of the misconduct on the part of officials of the Departments of Energy and Interior in dealing with energy and other companies. It must be noted that the added costs to them are ultimately paid by all of us in higher utility rates. This is especially true now that the PRESBO Administration through the EPA has mandated a major reduction in coal-fired generating plants and conversion of others to natural gas. Gas is much more subject to variations in price during each year with the result in variable electric costs to all of us. Also, its heating value is much less per cost, so its use for that is more expensive.
Those misguided individuals who are pushing so hard to convert from coal to gas for electric generation, and other industrial uses, will probably be long gone to whatever “reward” awaits them by the time the gas is depleted, as it will be. So it becomes a question of just what, and from whom, are their rewards of the here and now.
It has occurred to me that they actually have an agenda and it is to bring the U.S. economy to its knees in order to bring about their ultimate goal of termination of the constitutional republic we have enjoyed for 239 years and implementation of a socialist dictatorship.
The solution to the problem could well lie in the closing of the departments of Energy, EPA, Interior, and also Education. Sixteen months to an election that could attain that goal.