Zinke outlines his strategy to make American energy more dominant

Politically motivated regulations need to be revoked and agencies across the federal government that make decisions affecting energy resource development need to work together more closely, US Interior Sec. Ryan Zinke said. “My job is to make sure all Americans have a voice. I can assure you the war on American energy is over,” he declared in a Sept. 29 address at the Heritage Foundation.

Politically motivated regulations need to be revoked and agencies across the federal government that make decisions affecting energy resource development need to work together more closely, US Interior Sec. Ryan Zinke said. “My job is to make sure all Americans have a voice. I can assure you the war on American energy is over,” he declared in a Sept. 29 address at the Heritage Foundation.

Stating that the Trump administration’s goal is to make the US “the most dominant energy power the world has known,” Zinke said that he will work to make certain project permit applications “do not sit in drawers, sometimes for years,” while applicants await decisions. He also said he plans to develop a joint model for working with agencies from other departments.

“Regulations should be ground in science, not a political agenda,” the secretary indicated. “This is why we’re reviewing and possibly revoking rules that are overly punitive. We’re trying to find the quickest way to get to ‘yes’ without sacrificing our environmental and other responsibilities. With our joint model, we’ll sure that agencies from many parts of the federal government can work together, and involve states, tribes, and other stakeholders earlier in the process.”

Zinke said that more federal oil and gas resource development will improve US security and provide more jobs and economic growth. “I don’t want to see our country held hostage by a foreign oil producer or US troops sent into combat to protect supply routes,” he maintained. “Every drop of US oil that’s produced supplants one from Iran. That’s effective leverage.”

Trillions of dollars and millions of jobs were moved overseas while the Obama administration ignored domestic energy producers, he charged. “We’ve initiated a new 5-year US Outer Continental Shelf management plan to open more areas to oil and gas development,” Zinke said. “This administration has offered more leases in its first 6 months than the previous one offered in all of 2016. Our review of the 1002 area in the Arctic National Wildlife National Refuge involves property that was set aside specifically for oil and gas leasing.”

He said that in 2008, federal offshore oil and gas activity generated $18 billion in revenue, while only $2.6 billion was produced in 2016. “That lost $15 billion could have helped reduce maintenance backlogs at the National Parks and Fish & Wildlife Services. Our national parks shouldn’t be a political issue. They’re national treasures and should be maintained better.

“Our nation is winning again economically, and frankly energy is driving the bus,” said Zinke. “With a strong energy industry and infrastructure, we’ll truly make America great again.”

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

More in General Interest