Ah, the good old days. It seems like only yesterday that then U.S. Senator Ken Salazar only had enough power to land a helicopter in an “environmentally sensitive area” within the Vermillion Basin to host a press conference with his comrade-in-arms Governor Bill Ritter (remember him!?) to declare the area off limits to natural resource development. Anyone that’s ever been to this corner of the state can be forgiven for wondering aloud why in the world this area shouldn’t be developed.
Fast forward to the present and look at the edicts now Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar is handing down from his private bathroom bearing private office in Washington, D.C. While no one should be surprised that the Obama Administration’s henchman on restricting multiple use of public lands is actually doing what he’s told, those living in one of the most economically depressed areas of Colorado have every right to know how the policies of this administration square with their promises of hope, change and decent paying jobs for our neighbors.
Even more important, how do the administration’s actions comply with the will of Congress generally and with the Energy Policy Act of 2005 in particular?
Case in point: just last week Chevron, USA announced their intention to shutter the research and development they had underway on federal land in Colorado’s Piceance Basin. One of the largest land owners in this part of the state, Chevron is a corporation that doesn’t make decisions quickly – or without carefully weighing which areas across the globe have the greatest potential for return on investment. Half a billion dollars for Solyndra? No problem. Finding a way to keep a major corporation spending their own money in a quest to unlock a massive resource for our country? No se puede.
In announcing their plan to relocate employees and halt their oil shale research project, officials with Chevron Corporation did their best to avoid pointing the finger directly at Ken Salazar and Barack Obama for making the decision for them. “While our research was productive, this change assures that critical resources — people and capital — will be available to the company for other priorities in North America and around the globe,” Chevron said in a statement. For Chevron’s sake, we hope their reassigned employees and capital aren’t being moved to an area overseen by Ken Salazar and the pack of environmentalist activists calling the shots at Interior these days.
President Obama and his team of spinsters can do their best to come up with statistics that claim energy production is at an all-time high in our nation. Just as we contend with respect to Governor Hickenlooper in Colorado, what’s more important that platitudes and press conferences are the lower level actions being taken by bureaucrats within the respective agencies. It’s quite telling that Secretary Salazar hasn’t shown his face in western Colorado in nearly two years. His actions speak for themselves.