Anyone still unsure that the wunderkinds in the White House actually believe that the private sector is doing just fine needs to take a quick look at the recent economic analysis conducted by the Western Energy Alliance on the annual financial impact of the administration’s recently released regulations dealing with hydraulic fracturing on public lands.
While the Department of Interior couldn’t be bothered to conduct the analysis (in spite of the fact that it is required by the National Environmental Policy Act or NEPA) the industry group primarily made up of companies that work on federal lands had no choice but to sharpen their pencil to quantify the impact of the sweeping mandate.
According to the study, the cost of implementing the new Obama fracking regulations will cost industry no less than $1.6 billion per year. That’s billion with a “b.” For dozens of smaller companies that find a niche in piecing together private parcels with federal leases, the duplicative mandate will be crushing. It doesn’t take the wits of Austin Goolsbee to realize that every dollar spent on shuffling paperwork at a BLM field office is a dollar not being invested in new technology, increased production or a paycheck for your neighbor.
While no one is surprised that the Obama administration has deployed yet another stiff arm to states reliant upon responsbile energy development, it is surprising that they didn’t take time tabulate the cost of the new regulations per NEPA. For the sake of Colorado’s private sector, which isn’t “doing fine”, we hope they will reconsider.