President Obama may have ended the moratorium on Gulf Coast drilling last week, but the president’s antagonism toward oil producers has continued unabated. The Washington Examiner noted on Monday that the State Department has again delayed Trans-Canada Corporation’s Canada-U.S. pipeline—indefinitely pulling its approval for the project with no real explanation.
It is hard to see how the pipeline could be affected by the Gulf oil spill, but the State Department’s decision reinforces the administration’s hostility to the American oil industry over the last several months. Its post-spill regulatory zeal has become a general attack on oil production in the United States. The Interior Secretary has for practical purposes turned the moratorium into a permitorium, a de facto ban on drilling brought on by federal regulations and licensing requirements.
Furthermore, Shell’s $2.2 billion leases to drill in Alaska are still worth no more than the paper they were written on, killed by the Obama administration earlier this year. Other companies face a similar fate with millions of dollars in lost investments. The regulatory environment in the United States has pushed oil production overseas—almost 30% more in the last 30 years to be exact. If the U.S. really wants to become energy independent, the government must stop standing in the way of domestic energy production.