As 2017 comes cruising toward a thunderous conclusion, it’s worth pausing to take stock of just how much this administration gifted the oil and gas industry. It’s hard to believe that one short year ago, western communities were simply crippled under onerous policies and red tape even while these corporations were producing record amounts of energy and reaping record profits. Many of these policies were aimed at consequential things to communities such as protecting drinking water, ensuring clear air, conserving wildlife habitat, protecting national parks, and consulting with tribal governments.
As if all those community issues are worth the endless hours of review and consultation. Luckily, President Trump and Secretary of the Interior Zinke, who are taking their orders from oil and gas bosses, know that community involvement means reducing their bottom-lines. That’s why they came in and immediately began cleaning shop and offering lease sales near some of America’s most beautiful places. Places such as Zion National Park, Dinosaur National Monument, and Bears Ears National Monument. And they even took it one step further and just outright did away with huge chunks of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments! The boldness of their vision is truly unprecedented. And despite losers like “oil economists” saying that this approach will probably backfire and won’t really start a new drilling boom, industry says “So what?!” If you’re offering leases, especially for a couple bucks an acre, they will come. And the only way to really achieve energy dominance is by locking up as much public land as possible.
To begin all that regulation cutting, Zinke also undertook an internal review of all the supposed “burdensome” regulations and rules the oil and gas industry needs to comply with to make sure they do it right. Thankfully, that final review laid out a timeline for doing away with just about everything! This hasn’t escaped the notice of many conservationists, Western communities and businesses that rely on the outdoors, to be sure. But as those outdoor using whiners are already pointing out, the oil and gas industry is well on its way to getting almost everything on its wish list. But this sort of transparency is great. Now everyone knows there’s a new sheriff in town and this time it’s not a fleece-wearing hippie.
So, as we turn the page on 2017, thanks to President Trump and Secretary Zinke. It’s been a year beyond everyone’s wildest dreams, and it can only get better in 2018! Make America Drill Again!