Article Share: ‘Keep It in the Ground’

From The Wall Street Journal:

Opinion / Review & Outlook

‘Keep It in the Ground’

Obama reneges on his offshore oil lease off the Atlantic coast.

Climate-change activists once believed they could tolerate fossil fuels as long as their price was high enough to make wind and solar power competitive. But these days the climate left’s agenda is to “keep it in the ground,” as the green slogan goes, and on Tuesday the Obama Administration followed orders.

The Interior Department announced it is withdrawing a planned oil and natural gas lease sale off the southeast Atlantic coast. The feds will no longer offer the lone lease sale they had planned for the waters between Virginia and Georgia in 2021. The Administration said it will go ahead with three lease sales around Alaska and 10 off the Gulf of Mexico coast, but don’t be surprised if those are eventually killed too. No new sales can be added under Interior’s plan.

The withdrawal is a sucker punch to southeast U.S. politicians, who had welcomed oil and gas exploration as a boon to high-paying jobs and energy self-sufficiency. That includes Virginia’s Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe, who tried to spin this as a mere prudent pause. “Today’s announcement is an opportunity to work with the Department of Defense to address the concerns they have raised, and to ensure that any offshore energy exploration is coupled with a revenue-sharing agreement that benefits our commonwealth,” Mr. McAuliffe said in a statement.

Sorry, Governor, the Pentagon’s concerns are political cover. Unless a Republican wins the White House this year, drilling off Virginia is dead. Mr. McAuliffe’s candidate, Hillary Clinton, also wants to keep it all in the ground.

Meanwhile, the news thrilled the Sierra Club and Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley, who said in a statement that “if we are to stop catastrophic climate change, we need to act without delay to keep fossil fuels in the ground.”

All of which underscores the energy radicalism that now dominates the Democratic Party. Its activists don’t want the U.S. to produce any oil and gas at all—none.


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