While free market advocates and others who prefer drilling for oil and gas here at home rather than paying $5.00 or more per gallon of gas have been gaining ground in the public debate recently, some opponents of drilling, sensing that they are losing the debate, have used the issue of “idle leases” to defend their inaction. Marita Noon of CARE (Citizens Alliance for Responsible Energy) attacks our own Sen. Bingaman for his ongoing efforts to keep vast tracts of our resource off limits. She also does a great job explaining the “idle lease” issue:
There are myriad other reasons why a lease may not be developed such as a shortage of equipment or the fact that extra leases are purchased to allow access to the parcel believed to have the most potential for production. But today, the biggest culprit for non-development is environmental protest.
Here are a couple of examples.
In New Mexico, each lease sale typically has a few parcels pulled due to protest. They are usually due to a specific plant or animal that is believed to be there on that piece of land. Recently, the environmental groups have begun to protest the entire sale, not based on flora or fauna, but on global warming. These protests take valuable time from the BLM employees — employees paid by our tax dollars — who could be processing the applications to drill, allowing the drilling to happen more quickly.
Don’t let those who oppose use of our natural resources confuse the debate. Ask them where they WOULD like to drill oil and gas. The reality is, they hate progress and Western Civilization and we must fight them at every turn.