Thank you, judge! Most of the work here in the Basin slowed to almost a halt 2
years ago, and companies and people pulled out and went to Williston ND,
Pennsylvania, and other areas where there was work. I hope this will mean that
we as a community can go back to work again. People on the "outside"
seem to think that the oil and gas producers want to trash the wilderness and
turn it into a barren wasteland. That is definitely not true. Most of the
exploration and drilling companies do a very good job of leaving as small of a
disturbance as possible once they are through drilling. If oil is found, then a
pump and storage tanks are all that is left, with enough surface area for
tankers to stop, load up and turn around. Companies like Bill Barrett have spent
a LOT of money to protect and preserve the petroglyphs, and to mitigate damage
from dust. As a nation, we need these resources domestically, and lessen our
dependence on foreign oil and natural gas.
We've got enough oil and natural gas under this nation to run our economy for a
hundred years. We could have energy independence, it but the environmentalists
won't allow it. They would rather bankrupt the nation competing for resources on
the global stage.
Independence cannot come with a timeline. Our nation does have about 100 years
of fossil fuels. Then what? Doesn't matter, because we likely won't have to
explain to our great-grandchildren what occurred in the early 2100s?
Perhaps the government could be motivated to work more quickly if it didn't
receive the money until the leases have been issued and the protests resolved!
As the article notes, there is a huge amount of capital sitting in federal
coffers (not earning interest!) while the government piddles around and
evaluates every gnat in an area before it decides to issue a lease. What makes
it even more egregious is that this process follows years upon years of prior
analysis and subsequent multiple evaluations of the same patches of land, as
well as a prior determination by the Federal Land Management Agencies that the
lands should be made available for leasing. Ask yourself: Do we need energy,
revenue and jobs? We can have them, and a great environment too--one that is
just as pristine as most Congressionally-designated Wilderness areas (which, in
case you didn't know, typically contain drilled wells, mines, buildings, and
roads.) Baxter, we have MORE than 100 years worth of petroleum resources in our
country. And with the development of new technologies, that number will
undoubtedly increase in the near term. Meanwhile, we continue with the
development of new energy resources.