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Romney Energy Plan Includes Drilling ‘Virtually Every Part’ of U.S., No Protections for National Parks

Jessica Goad
Climate Progress / News Report
Published: Sunday 10 June 2012
“In essence, he would take lands that belong to all Americans and turn them over to oil companies.”
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Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is no stranger to attacks on the environment, as seen in his ads against clean energy jobs, his pledge to roll back fuel economy standards that protect public health and reduce carbon pollution, and the fact that he doesn’t know “the purpose of” public lands that belong to all Americans.

But this morning’s Washington Post sheds more light on Romney’s energy plan, including the fact that he would open up “virtually every part of U.S. lands and waters” to drilling regardless of whether they are national parks, national monuments, or protected in some other way.  As the Post reports:

Asked whether any place would be off limits for oil drilling, campaign spokesman Andrea Saul said, “Governor Romney will permit drilling wherever it can be done safely, taking into account local concerns.”

Current law sets some public lands and waters off limits to drilling, including national parks, national monuments, and wilderness areas.  These places are protected for other uses like hunting, fishing, sightseeing, and recreation.

Presumably, if there was oil and gas found there, Romney would allow drilling in places like the Grand Canyon, Arches National Park, Glacier National Park, Yellowstone, and Isle Royale National Park in the Great Lakes, regardless of its impacts on them.  In essence, he would take lands that belong to all Americans and turn them over to oil companies.

Saul’s caveat that Romney would promote drilling if it could be done safely makes little sense considering that safe drilling has thus far eluded oil and gas companies.  Most oil drilling involves the use of “drilling muds” that can include toxic chemicals.  Hydraulic fracturing for natural gas involves pumping thousands of gallons of chemicals underground to stimulate wells.  And all drilling produces contaminated water as a byproduct that must be disposed of.   Additionally, oil spill are not uncommon—for example, a report from USA Today found an average of 22 large spills offshore every year between 2005 and 2009.

Romney’s calls for drilling everywhere come at a time when oil and gas production in the U.S. is at its highest since 1998, oil imports are the lowest since 1997, and there are more drill rigs in the United States than the rest of the world combined.  Additionally, oil companies are not drilling public lands and waters that they have already leased.  A new report from the Department of the Interior finds that industry is sitting on—not exploring or producing—26 million acres of leases offshore and 20 million acres of leases onshore.

Leading the Romney campaign’s energy strategy is Harold Hamm, who made almost all of his $12 billion fortune from oil and gas drilling in North Dakota.

ABOUT Jessica Goad

Jessica is the Manager of Research and Outreach for the Public Lands Project at the Center for American Progress Action Fund.

And, what makes anyone think

And, what makes anyone think that more drilling will rduce the price of gasoline. These companies are not in the business to be kind to the peons. They are there to rape your very existence if they can. Oil is sold on the spot market. The going price is what it is. Do you not think that oil companies have shell companies bidding on oil futures to drive up prices? I think they do. In this manner they never lose any money on what they pump out of the ground.

this article is equal to one

this article is equal to one that says bho plan is to give his buddies $ and rest of us freeze in the dark

This is how Romney’s going to

This is how Romney’s going to shrink government, the Paul Ryan budget: Medicare is a great part of govt. Let’s close down Medicare. Fifty million seniors without health care? Go buy it in the free market. Can’t afford it? Not the government’s fault, besides, serves ‘em right for not making money for your retirement like I did. Social Security takes a big chunk of govt. Close SS. Millions of homeless seniors begging for food? Just look the other way. The Department of Education’s taking us to the poorhouse. Eliminate the DE. Have people hire their own teachers. Can’t afford it? 40 million illiterates aren’t going to sink the nation. Let’s keep shrinking govt by closing the EPA. Tell Big Oil: Dig baby, dig. Disasters like the Gulf of Mexico oil spill? Well, you can’t win ‘em all. I’ll cut from all sides: Eliminate food stamps, Medicaid, SEC, Banking Commission, let it all go to dog-eat-dog. Been taken to the cleaners by a scam artist? Serves you right for being a sucker. You’ve got to let people make their millions anyway they can. From now on Ponzi schemes are legal. Regulations are ruining the nation.

This is one is very simaple

This is one is very simaple and, therefore, I'll keep it brief. Mitt Romney's environmental position is very simple -- he is a male version of Sarah Palin as the stooge of the oil companies. This sounds like and is drill baby drill at all cost. It's as if Exxon's problem in Alaska didm't occur nor British Petroleum == with assistance of Halliburton -- spill in the Gulf of Mexico is fiction.

Romney, simply put, is an environmental disaster. Find oil, ignore the consequences of stripping mountains and dirty air and use coal everywhere and pay lip service to alternative energy.

Please spread the word to all your friends, relatives and sympathetic co-workers. This guy would gut the environment. And above all even if this wasn't his true position,he has no balls to stand up to the Republicans Tea Party crazies. Ray A. Cohn, retired political and investigative journalist.

jackwenayscott's picture

Lucky this guy's a Mormon,

Lucky this guy's a Mormon, dooming his chances of getting the Presidency by dint of Hollywood's disaproval of any Mormon. If you want to do something about these unwise plans to increase oil production, head over to Ron Barber's website and donate as I just did. Barber is running for Gabby Giffords' seat in Arizona and she supports his candidacy. Giffords has been promoting Solar Panels all the way along, she even has pictures of Solar Panels on her web-site. Naturally, we all know that Solar is about the only realistic alternative to fossil fuels, with the CO2 emitted by natural gas, oil, and coal causing the oceans to become more and more acid (soon to die), and Global Warming, too. I'm hoping Barber, and thus Giffords, will win this Tuesday, it seems logical to have pictures of Solar Panels in this day and age, but when did you ever see such pictures on television? So Giffords' former employee winning is a poke in the eye to Hollywood, Hollywood being busy selling natural gas, oil, and coal, in their evil effort to end life on planet Earth. (what else would it be? L.A.'s probably not JUST STUPID!)

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