EPA abuses the permit process for an icebreaker

Earth killing GHG spewing icebreaker Image:US Coast Guard

Jeez Louise. They may need an icebreaker for the project, and so since they didn’t account for its exhaust, let’s scuttle the whole thing and the 4 billion invested so far.  I’m no fan of Shell, but this is just wrong. This makes me angry, especially when we have these nether-NGOs like “Earthjustice” involved.

The irony is, we are being told the polar ice is melting at an unprecedented rate, so why are they worried about needing an icebreaker again? The whole thing is bollocks. On one hand we have Obama telling us we need to end our dependence on foreign oil…

“I will set a clear goal as president: in ten years we will finally end our dependence on oil in the Middle East,” said Democratic Presidential nominee Barack Obama. ” Source here

….then we have the EPA pulling this crap to prevent domestic oil production with the help of NGO’s.

EPA Shuts Down Drilling in Alaska

by Brian McGraw on globalwarming.org

Shell announced today, for now, it must end a project to drill for oil off the coast of Northern Alaska, because of a decision made by an EPA appeals board to deny permits to acknowledge that Shell will meet air quality requirements. This is not part of ANWR.

Companies that drill for oil must go through extensive permitting processes and invest billions of dollars as payments for leasing the land, exploring for possible oil fields, equipment, etc. This is all done with the understanding that assuming they follow the letter of the law, there is a chance that this investment won’t be flushed down the toilet at the end of the tunnel. It appears that in this case Shell has followed procedure and that emissions will be below any standards required by the EPA:

The EPA’s appeals board ruled that Shell had not taken into consideration emissions from an ice-breaking vessel when calculating overall greenhouse gas emissions from the project. Environmental groups were thrilled by the ruling.

“What the modeling showed was in communities like Kaktovik, Shell’s drilling would increase air pollution levels close to air quality standards,” said Eric Grafe, Earthjustice’s lead attorney on the case. Earthjustice was joined by Center for Biological Diversity and the Alaska Wilderness League in challenging the air permits.

Talk about moving the goalposts. They must have been really desperate to cancel this project given that this was the best straight-faced excuse they could muster. Not only do you have to be below the legally required emission limits but you must also not even be “close” to the limits, as defined by unelected officials, one of whom is a former attorney for the Environmental Defense Fund.

Events like this are a prime example of why many in Congress want to strip authority from the EPA. Shell had reportedly invested over $4 billion in this project. When companies make investment decisions, consideration is given to whether or not bureaucrats can make arbitrary decisions to shut the project down halfway through a multi-year process. There are many other countries with natural resource reserves who do not subject economic activity to such unpredictable insanity, and in the eye of a corporation, after an event like this these locations begin to look more preferable to dealing with the United States.

=================================================================

Events like this are a prime example of why many in Congress want to strip authority from the EPA. Shell had reportedly invested over $4 billion in this project.

Ya think?

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DirkH

Shakedown Socialism. Shell didn’t pay the right Kommissar.

peat

This would easily fit into the plot of Atlas Shrugged, which I watched last night. It seems clear that there is an agenda involved other than ice-breaker exhaust.

Johna Till Johnson

Yeah. I think.
If the goalposts keep moving, why would ANYONE sane keep doing business in the United States?
Like you, I’m no fan of Shell–but WTF? If this is the payoff for a $4 B investment, Shell would have been better off speculating in the international stock market. Which would, of course, have eliminated several hundred jobs for U. S. based scientists and engineers.
But hey, looks like we’d rather fund international financial wizards than pay to create jobs….wealth… and U.S.-based energy sources.
OOOOOOOKay. Just so we’re clear on priorities, people!
(Sorry, Anthony/Mods.. feel free to snip.. this just makes me crazy. At the end of a long day working my tail off to make this country’s economy slightly better—this feels like a smack in the face…)

jack morrow

Wow! It is hard to understand our leaders. I think if I was a representative of congress I would be on the floor everyday exposing these things and trying to curb the power of the EPA . I am perplexed, and I think lots of Americans are too and are approaching the famous “Tipping Point.”

Frank

Barak Hussein Obama
Blood is thicker than oil.

dragineez

I too have watched http://www.atlasshruggedpart1.com/ (and strongly urge you all to do likewise) after having read it, and re-read it several times. Whilst I understand the criticisms aimed at Ayn Rand, this is a picture postcard example of exactly what she illustrates in Atlas Shrugged. I’m sad to see it in my lifetime.

TomRude

EPA= Obama Reelection Committee

DirkH

The fun thing is, on this side of the Atlantic, all that we hear is that the evil anti-science congress wants to strip the EPA off its powers because Reps are against clean air. I constantly correct the misperceptions of my German friends. I am sure most of our journalists are bought or naturally unfit for the job.

James Sexton

Why does our administration hate the idea of real energy independence for this nation? Do they really think planting pinwheels and whirlygigs are going to solve our problems? Or, if we plant more corn? Milo was pretty high today, how does this equate with a solvent U.S.? Given the S&P’s recent rating, you’d thought the EPA would be more cognizant of this nation’s situation.

That has made my day Anthony, to see you say – “The whole thing is bollocks.”
That describes how I feel every day when I see or hear a BBC news item that covers anything vaguely weather, energy or science related and I find myself tensing up waiting for the inevitable mention of “climate change”…

Catcracking

This is just another of many examples the Administration is attempting to choke off the production of oil and gas. It’s part of the irrational religion of hating fossil fuels at the expens of our economy. Of course the regulation of CO2 emissions by the EPA will be the ultimate killer of our economy unless throttled by sane forces in the House of Representatives.
I wonder if the Administration still believes that the alternative energy sources can ever supply a significant part of our energy needs. They are a hoax even bigger than that the climate change debacle. We are pouring dollars down a rat hole, and the Administration wants to tax fossil energy sources to increase the size of the rat hole.
The irronic thing is that this president is himself one of the worst offenders of wasting fossil fuels flying around in Air Force 1 for no good reason other than to stir up his base.
For some other examples see below:
http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article.aspx?id=570276&p=1
“On the day Obama took office, gasoline was $1.83 a gallon. On Tuesday, according to the American Automobile Association’s Daily Fuel Gauge Report, the national average was $3.87. While electricity prices haven’t yet necessarily skyrocketed, gasoline prices sure have.”
“Obama could have prevented this. But he’s done nothing to push crude supplies up and thereby bring gasoline prices down. In fact, it appears that his goal is to reduce domestic supply. Among the energy roadblocks his administration has thrown up:
• An illegal moratorium on drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.
• The rescission of permits that had already been issued for drilling in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska.
• The withholding of air permits for drilling, prompting Shell to walk away from an estimated 27 billion barrels of Arctic oil.
No, the oil in those reserves would not be in tomorrow’s pipeline. But the promise of more oil in the future has an effect on prices today. The opposite — a future of artificial scarcity — is the reason oil is currently trading at elevated levels.”

Martin C

November 2012 CAN’T COME QUICK ENOUGH. !
And with gas prices going up, I would say the obama isn’t looking out for the US interests. Isn’t that one of the presidents’s jobs, not hurting the US, which this sure is . . . gee, is that an impeachable offense . . ? (a bit of sarc obviously, but still . . .) though the VP likely wouldn’t be any better if he were there . . .

Latitude

President Obama said today his Justice Department is creating a team to “root out any cases of fraud or manipulation in the oil markets that might affect gas prices.”
“When I was asked earlier about the issue of coal…under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket…even regardless of what I say about whether coal is good or bad, because I’m capping greenhouse gasses, coal power plants, natural gas…you name it…whatever the plants were, whatever the industry was, they would have to retro-fit their operations.
That will cost money…they will pass that money on to the consumers.”

PaulH

The USA can buy ethical oil from the Canadian oil sands today, instead of grappling with the EPA who prefers Middle Eastern oil.

Latitude

“When I was asked earlier about the issue of coal…under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket…even regardless of what I say about whether coal is good or bad, because I’m capping greenhouse gasses, coal power plants, natural gas…you name it…whatever the plants were, whatever the industry was, they would have to retro-fit their operations.
That will cost money…they will pass that money on to the consumers.”

danj

Two comments:
1. Shell was negligent to not include George Soros in ownership of the leases. That would have expedited the permit approval.
2. I wonder if they will return Shell’s $2 billion lease payment that they put up for the right to explore and drill on the leases. (Probably not, huh?)

Catcracking

The other sad fact is that in recent years, oil/gas lease purchases and production royalities have been the gratest source of Revenue to the US Treasury after income tax!!
Could we use the increased revenue as well as the high paying jobs created by oil/gas exploration and production?

George E. Smith

All the Silicon Valley Industrial Welfare Socialists; aka the renewable energy “investors” are in Obambi’s pocket. Sarah Palin is from Alaska. What else do you need to know ?

Gary Hladik

Maybe Alaska should secede and join OPEC.

SSam

I am a bit perplexed with regards to the “subsidies” that the Luddites want to strip from the oil companies. Are these the same royalty waivers that the MMS uses to entice development of the deep and ultra deep fields in the GOM? If not, please elaborate.

SSam

Eh… sore subject.
West Texas Intermediate showed 107.18/bbl on 4/19/11. That works out to $2.55/gal of crude oil. (42 gallons/barrel)
Based on recent historical production/transport/markup, that pencils in at $4.08/gal on the National Pump Price.
And this cheeze-whiz wants to look for price gouging.
http://i52.tinypic.com/dgp6xw.png

danj

SSam says:
April 26, 2011 at 4:54 pm
I am a bit perplexed with regards to the “subsidies” that the Luddites want to strip from the oil companies.
—————————————————————————
Primarily they are the deductions for intangible drilling costs and the depletion allowance…

James Sexton

Gary Hladik says:
April 26, 2011 at 4:50 pm
Maybe Alaska should secede and join OPEC.
==================================
That would indeed, secure the oil for Shell and ensure the purchase by the U.S……… Oddly, I think the various separatist movements in AK would never come to an agreement on how to accomplish such an action.
The impact on a village several miles away from the icebreaker……yeh, thank goodness the EPA is there to keep them safe……….from jobs.

I assume this means that the US Coast Guard Icebreaker Healy;
http://www.icefloe.net/healy-main
won’t be gallivanting around the Arctic like it has in previous years?:
http://www.icefloe.net/docs/healy2008.pdf
http://www.icefloe.net/cruise-reports-overview
http://www.rvdata.us/catalog/Healy
And from this page;
http://www.rvdata.us/catalog
only the Corwith Cramer and Rovert C. Seamans should be doing any exploring lest we “increase air pollution levels close to air quality standards”.
Perhaps Arctic Sea Ice Extent would “recover” further;
http://wattsupwiththat.com/reference-pages/sea-ice-page/
if hundreds/thousands of ships stopped carving it into pieces/covering it in soot during the melt season…

TheOldBear

Perhaps they should have chartered one of the Russian nuke ships [ZEIB = Zero Emission Ice Breaker]
😉

IIRC, when oil was around $143 a barrel in 2008, President Bush simply announced that he was lifting the drilling moratorium. Although no extra oil came on line as a result of his announcement, the price of oil immediately began to decline. It went down to $33 a barrel, and gasoline was $1.87 a gallon when Obama was sworn into office.
The first thing Obama did as President was to impose a new drilling ban. Obama’s ban covers much more area than the previous moratorium that both Presidents Bush 41 & 43 inherited from the Clinton Administration.

ew-3

Remember, Bambi gets funding from BP and is a friend of Petrobras. Screw all the other oil companies (till they contribute to his 2012 election campaign).

danj

Obama’s Gulf of Mexico oil moratorium and subsequent “permitorium” will, within 18 months, result in a loss of GOM crude oil production equivalent to a supertanker load every two days–just what the nation needed…

WTF

Didn’t Obama and the Dems muse about fines or outright revocation of leases for oil companies that didn’t drill on their leases not too long ago?

starzmom

So Shell failed to consider greenhouse gas emissions from its icebreaker and that pushes it to a level where it might violate air quality standards? There are no air quality standards for greenhouse gasses, only EPA “guidance.” So now facilities/sources have to meet non-existent standards for unspecified emissions. Nothing will ever get done.

elbatrop

If the US wants oil independence then it had better use less cause it can’t drill its way there, hasn’t been able to for well over 30 years. Isn’t from a lack of trying either.
domestic drilling also has very little effect on price, few cents at best since oil is priced on the world market
Obama is like every other POTUS going back to like Carter, mentioning oil independence is something they all have done and they all have been lying, this is old news.
Until the pricing of oil is no longer distorted by policy the US is going to increasingly find itself in an impossible and tragic situation. Judith Curry talks about “wicked” problems, oil depletion is a real bear of a problem that makes others look tame.

Bob in Castlemaine

Sadly things are no better here in Australia.
Here it can take the State Government department concerned more than three years to permit even a small tailings extraction plant in the middle of nowhere. And this for a plant that will remediate sands that have lain contaminated with high levels of arsenic and heavy metals for more than 100 years.
We also have a National Government that seeks to kill-off profitable mining companies with its super tax, a tax which would take the overall level of royalty/tax to not far short of 50%. We are in a resources boom they say you must share the profits – no heed of the decades of poor markets, the years of exploration and development. This is all before we even consider the Government’s ill conceived carbon dioxide tax on everything.
It’s no wonder people just give up and go elsewhere.

Fred from Canuckistan

Let me fix that headline for you . . .
“Obama’s EPA Shuts down America”
Just like he said he would.

earthdog

This is completely unacceptable. Can’t wait for the elections to come around. I will be hitting the streets.

One thing we’ve all seen are requests from many sources to write your congresscritter to support or oppose some random bill. I wonder how much mail they get about the government squashing projects like this. So…
Please write your congresscritters. Keep the letters short, but given the plethora of issues behind this action, write several letters.
How many subjects are there on this?

Increase supply of oil to lower prices.
Decrease dependence on foreign oil.
Blow off a $4,000,000,000 investment by a US company by a federal agency’s individual action.
Waste a $4,000,000,000 that would have created hundreds? of direct jobs and orders of magnitude more indirect jobs. (Jobs are fashionable – New Hampshire politicians are very sensitive to bills that improve or harm the job market.) If this project were to produce any oil price decline, then that will affect millions of people.
Government inefficiency and waste should be kept in Washington. (Umm, that’s a bit negative.) (But it should be!) (And bring the recession to DC!)
Why worry about the cost and pollution from an ice breaker? Arctic Sea Ice will be gone by the time they produce their first barrel! (Can we call that “Appeal to the Consensus?” Sort of like “Appeal to Authority.”)
What happened to the “Greatest Good Principle” (probably a number of good communist angles). Apply with care!

If you have a good topic or write a good letter, post it here.

Doug Badgero

The Obama EPA has taken this to a whole new level but this has been occurring in the USA for decades now. As others have said, how can anyone invest long term capitol in this environment………never knowing when some NGO or local opposition group will successfully destroy all, or part, of your invested capitol? There are MANY socialist European societies that do a better job of encouraging capitol investment than we do. There is a saying in economics………”Capitol goes where it is needed, and stays where it is treated well.” We do not treat it well in the United States.

mike g

Well, I’m for the Chi-comms coming in a tapping this reserve with their sideways drilling. Somebody needs to bring this field into play and if I was them I’d say “put up or shut up” to anyone who claimed more than a three mile limit. Other than the jobs lost, at least that way we get oil into the market to help balance the demand with supply.

Kum Dollison

Why doesn’t Shell just agree to power any needed icebreakers with Veg. Oil, or Cellulosic Ethanol, or some other fuel that the EPA is down with?

Mac the Knife

Yes. The EPA action, destroying a$4 billion dollar investment with the most trivial of bureaucratic excuses, is profoundly wrong. We must do more than write about it on blogs, though. We must immediately call our legislators and, in the strongest terms, tell them to cut all funding for the EPA until this decision is reversed and every person in the approval chain of this travesty is fired, including AdministratorLisa Jackson.
Then, hike thee (physically, electronically, and financially) down to your favorite local political organization and work your butts off for the next year and a half to defeat all politicians supporting these EPA hacks and the current administration that installed and sustains them! It is a many headed hydra, we must slay… and no time to spare but for sharpening your grass roots swords.

danj

elbatrop says:
April 26, 2011 at 5:22 pm
If the US wants oil independence then it had better use less cause it can’t drill its way there, hasn’t been able to for well over 30 years. Isn’t from a lack of trying either.
—————————————————————————
I disagree. We import 10 million bbls of crude a day. There are an estimated 800 billion bbls of shale oil in a play near the Utah, Wyoming, and Colorado borders that the federal government puts off limits for drilling. In the central part of Louisiana, the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale play is now being leased. It has an estimated 70 billion bbls of shale oil reserves. None of this even includes huge reserves still left on the OCS. Do the math…

danj

Smokey says:
April 26, 2011 at 5:12 pm
The first thing Obama did as President was to impose a new drilling ban. Obama’s ban covers much more area than the previous moratorium that both Presidents Bush 41 & 43 inherited from the Clinton Administration.
———————————————————————————
What most people don’t realize is that there is about to be a bonanza of drilling in the Gulf of Mexico off the northern coast of Cuba. Nine foreign countries have leases to drill there. Some of them are so close to Florida, you could spit on it. Cuba will get the jobs, the oil, and the hard currency. We are still waiting for our domestic Gulf of Mexico jobs and investments that Obama took from us to return. Maybe some of our rigs will go to Cuba. That would be tragic irony…

Kum Dollison

Uh, and besides, that’s not exactly how this deal came down.
The regulatory status in Alaska is “much different,” he said. Odum said he’s hopeful the delay will be resolved and he appreciates EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson looking at the issue.
Several federal agencies have worked with Shell to help the company in Alaska, including the EPA, which issued a permit on March 31, 2010, according to a statement.
“That permit was subsequently appealed by outside groups, including local Alaskan stakeholders, and overturned by the independent Environmental Appeals Board,” according to the statement. “EPA immediately appealed for reconsideration and we have worked with Shell to address the concerns.”

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-04-26/shell-says-slow-u-s-drill-permits-in-alaska-irresponsible-1-.html

This makes about as much sense as taxing oil companies more so they will lower prices. With that kind of logic, is it any wonder western civilization is going down the low-flow toilet?

LearDog

The sad reality is that this is NOT isolated. All sorts of groups – EVERYwhere – are impeding energy independence. Whilst simultaneously decrying gasoline and food prices. The intellectual dissonance is stunning.
Consider this one example – http://www.star-telegram.com/2011/04/26/3027935/xto-energy-drops-plans-to-drill.html
Just today. Not isolated by any stretch of the imagination. It goes on, and on, and on….
And they wonder why the US companies leave…..

Frank K.

Well, well…here’s the culprit…
What the modeling showed was in communities like Kaktovik, Shell’s drilling would increase air pollution levels close to air quality standards,” said Eric Grafe, Earthjustice’s lead attorney on the case.
Does anyone have any references to the “models” that were employed in the “study?” And were the models enough evidence for the EPA to scuttle billions of dollars invested oil exploration by Shell?? You’ve got to be kidding!
But, again, for anyone who wants to know what the end game is for the CAGW alarmism being spread by the likes of Hansen, Schmidt, Mann, Santer, Trenberth, et al., here it is, writ large.
Also…remember that the climate elites (who have raked in billions of dollars for themselves and their research) don’t care about your job, your family, or your community if it gets in the way of their aims – specifically, total government control of the economy in the name of global warming…

Al Gored

On another front, watched Evil Fox news today and caught an interview with an oil guy about EPA plans to list some lizard… which will shut down oil drilling in western Texas.
Sorry, can’t find a link.
But that should help. After all, under Barry’s plan – well, actually his masters’s plans – energy prices will necessarily skyrocket.

Al Gored

So sad… but it is happening right before our eyes. As this begins… “read it and weep” for the good old days.
http://sppiblog.org/news/the-abdication-of-the-west

drjohn

“I will set a clear goal as president: in ten years we will finally end our dependence on oil in the Middle East,” said Democratic Presidential nominee Barack Obama. ”

Don’t get sucked in. Obama’s plan isn’t to reduce oil consumption, only to change vendors. That’s why he’s promising to be Brazil’s best customer. One has to wonder why we don’t spend the money here and not in foreign countries.

Ted

The world is full of these sad sack leftist like Obama and his EPA they do 5% good and 95% bad. I’ve watched it all my life, from the many countries I’ve lived in and the modus oparandi is always the same. Promise, subvert,tax and destroy.
But of all of them Obama takes the cheese with his Czars/comrades and agency’s such as the EPA, it’s amazing how much damage socialist cooks can do in such a short period of time. Some say Obama is so a-peeling, so nice,hes so charming, he has a nice smile? So did Stalin and he was one of the most vicarious mean bastards in history!
Obama and his like will reap a whirl wind of financial and emotional hurt to America and it will reverberate around the world! Voters are enamored with the smile and a turn of phrase and never with the consequences or substance!
“A pretty face don’t make a pretty heart, I’ve learn’t that right from the start”
Robert Palmer from Doctor Doctor give me the news!

Pamela Gray

My goodness. For this one-time Dem, 2012 can’t come fast enough. I don’t care how bad the Repub nomination turns out to be, this just cannot continue. A bad, blond, back of the head comb-over with pursed lips, and hot-headed sound bites is better than “devastating”.