OCS Leases Aff Notes The way the US conducts oil and natural gas development offshore is by granting leases to private contractors that permit them to explore/drill in a certain area. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) manages the lease sales, which are auctions held on a schedule. The BOEM is part of the Department of the Interior (DOI), and the Secretary of the Interior is the person that grants the lease. Lease sales are organized with 5 year plans, which determine the scope of the lease sales that will occur for a 5 year period. The current 5 year plan is 2012-2017, and the DOI has started accepting policy proposals/studies to inform its next 5 year plan, 2017-2022. The moratorium is not codified in law, and is rather the will of the Obama administration and the Secretary of the Interior. What is referred to as the moratorium is the lack of planned lease sales in certain areas in the current 5 year period. Therefore, the earliest opportunity to revise this (assuming normal means), would be to authorize more lease sales for the period starting 2017. The areas where leases are being granted now are the Western and Central Gulf of Mexico along with parts of the Alaskan OCS and a tiny portion of the Eastern Gulf. The plan would presumably increase the lease sales in the Eastern Gulf, Atlantic, Pacific, or Arctic. Depending on the plan text, the negative will have some basis to counterplan out of a portion of the OCS. Case Possible Plans The United States federal government should substantially lift the moratorium on offshore drilling on the Outer Continental Shelf. The United States federal government should substantially open its territorial waters for exploration, leasing, and drilling of oil and natural gas The United States federal government should reduce restrictions for oil and gas leasing in the Outer Continental Shelf. The Department of the Interior should substantially open its territorial waters for exploration, leasing, and drilling of oil and natural gas The Department of the Interior should substantially increase its ocean development by expanding the scope of planned oil and gas leases for the next 5 year plan 1AC 1AC – Inherency Current leases don’t go far enough – leave out major potential oil zones Handley, 13 – reporter (Meg, “New Offshore Leases in U.S. Could Yield 1B Barrels of Oil,” U.S. News, 2-8-13, http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2013/02/08/new-offshore-leases-in-us-could-yield-1bbarrels-of-oil, SMS) But while the plan is an encouraging step toward opening up more federal lands for oil and gas developers and easing supply pressures, some critics say the administration isn't going far enough. "The Department of Interior's five-year leasing plan remains a disappointment because it fails to unlock resources off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, as well in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico and off parts of Alaska's coast," says Nick Loris, an energy policy analyst at the conservative Heritage Foundation think tank. "Doing so would generate hundreds of thousands of jobs, generate hundreds of billions of dollars for our cash-strapped government and lower prices at the pump." 1AC – Economy Advantage 1 is the Economy The economy has stagnated now – only new policies are able to create significant growth Appelbaum 6/11 (Binyamin Appelbaum, Staff Writer for the New York Times (NYT), “U.S. Economic Recovery Looks Distant as Growth Stalls”, http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/12/business/economy/useconomic-recovery-looks-distant-as-growth-lingers.html?_r=0, ZS) WASHINGTON — Recessions are always painful, but the Great Recession that ran from late 2007 to the middle of 2009 may have inflicted a new kind of pain: an era of slower growth. It has been five years since the official end of that severe economic downturn. The nation’s total annual output has moved substantially above the prerecession peak, but economic growth has averaged only about 2 percent a year, well below its historical average. Household incomes continue to stagnate, and millions of Americans still can’t find jobs. And a growing number of experts see evidence that the economy will never rebound completely. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew at the Economic Club of New York on Wednesday morning. He spoke optimistically about the economy, but only if the right policies were pursued. For more than a century, the pace of growth was reliably resilient, bouncing back after recessions like a car returning to its cruising speed after a roadblock. Even after the prolonged Great Depression of the 1930s, growth eventually returned to an average pace of more than 3 percent a year. But Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew, citing the Congressional Budget Office, said on Wednesday that the government now expected annual growth to average just 2.1 percent, about two-thirds of the previous pace. “Many today wonder whether something that has always been true in our past will be true in our future,” Mr. Lew told members of the Economic Club of New York. “There are questions about whether America can maintain strong rates of growth and doubts about whether the benefits of technology, innovation and prosperity will be shared broadly.” The most recent recession and the slow recovery have “left lasting scars on the economy,” the Labor Department concluded late last year in a report that declared slower growth “the new normal” for the American economy. The Federal Reserve, persistently optimistic in its previous forecasts, said in March that it no longer expected a full recovery in the foreseeable future. Lawrence H. Summers, formerly President Obama’s chief economic adviser and now a leading member of this Cassandra chorus, has warned that growth may fall short of expectations unless the federal government increases its spending on things like upgrading deteriorating roads and bridges and the development of new technologies. “A soft economy casts a substantial shadow forward onto the economy’s future output and potential,” he said in a speech in April. The pessimism is a striking departure from economic orthodoxy. Recessions cause considerable suffering, including permanent disruptions to individual lives, but most economists have long asserted that recessions do not reduce the economy’s capacity to supply goods and services. US is key to the global economy Caploe 9 David, CEO of the Singapore-incorporated American Centre for Applied Liberal Arts and Humanities in Asia., “Focus still on America to lead global recovery”, April 7, The Strait Times, lexis IN THE aftermath of the G-20 summit, most observers seem to have missed perhaps the most crucial statement of the entire event, made by United States President Barack Obama at his pre-conference meeting with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown: 'The world has become accustomed to the US being a voracious consumer market, the engine that drives a lot of economic growth worldwide,' he said. 'If there is going to be renewed growth, it just can't be the US as the engine.' While superficially sensible, this view is deeply problematic. To begin with, it ignores the fact that the global economy has in fact been 'America-centred' for more than 60 years. Countries - China, Japan, Canada, Brazil, Korea, Mexico and so on - either sell to the US or they sell to countries that sell to the US. This system has generally been advantageous for all concerned. America gained certain historically unprecedented benefits, but the system also enabled participating countries - first in Western Europe and Japan, and later, many in the Third World - to achieve undreamt-of prosperity. At the same time, this deep inter-connection between the US and the rest of the world also explains how the collapse of a relatively small sector of the US economy - 'sub-prime' housing, logarithmically exponentialised by Wall Street's ingenious chicanery - has cascaded into the worst global economic crisis since the Great Depression. To put it simply, Mr Obama doesn't seem to understand that there is no other engine for the world economy - and hasn't been for the last six decades. If the US does not drive global economic growth, growth is not going to happen. Thus, US policies to deal with the current crisis are critical not just domestically, but also to the entire world. Consequently, it is a matter of global concern that the Obama administration seems to be following Japan's 'model' from the 1990s: allowing major banks to avoid declaring massive losses openly and transparently, and so perpetuating 'zombie' banks - technically alive but in reality dead. As analysts like Nobel laureates Joseph Stiglitz and Paul Krugman have pointed out, the administration's unwillingness to confront US banks is the main reason why they are continuing their increasingly inexplicable credit freeze, thus ravaging the American and global economies. Team Obama seems reluctant to acknowledge the extent to which its policies at home are failing not just there but around the world as well. Which raises the question: If the US can't or won't or doesn't want to be the global economic engine, which country will? The obvious answer is China. But that is unrealistic for three reasons. First, China's economic health is more tied to America's than practically any other country in the world. Indeed, the reason China has so many dollars to invest everywhere - whether in US Treasury bonds or in Africa - is precisely that it has structured its own economy to complement America's. The only way China can serve as the engine of the global economy is if the US starts pulling it first. Second, the UScentred system began at a time when its domestic demand far outstripped that of the rest of the world. The fundamental source of its economic power is its ability to act as the global consumer of last resort. China, however, is a poor country, with low per capita income, even though it will soon pass Japan as the world's second largest economy. There are real possibilities for growth in China's domestic demand. But given its structure as an export-oriented economy, it is doubtful if even a successful Chinese stimulus plan can pull the rest of the world along unless and until China can start selling again to the US on a massive scale. Finally, the key 'system' issue for China - or for the European Union - in thinking about becoming the engine of the world economy - is monetary: What are the implications of having your domestic currency become the global reserve currency? This is an extremely complex issue that the US has struggled with, not always successfully, from 1959 to the present. Without going into detail, it can safely be said that though having the US dollar as the world's medium of exchange has given the US some tremendous advantages, it has also created huge problems, both for America and the global economic system. The Chinese leadership is certainly familiar with this history. It will try to avoid the yuan becoming an international medium of exchange until it feels much more confident in its ability to handle the manifold currency problems that the US has grappled with for decades. Given all this, the US will remain the engine of global economic recovery for the foreseeable future, even though other countries must certainly help. This crisis began in the US - and it is going to have to be solved there too. Economic decline causes war – best statistical support Royal 10 Jedediah, Director of Cooperative Threat Reduction at the U.S. Department of Defense, “Economic Integration, Economic Signaling and the Problem of Economic Crises,” in Economics of War and Peace: Economic, Legal and Political Perspectives, ed. Goldsmith and Brauer, p. 213-215 Less intuitive is how periods of economic decline may increase the likelihood of external conflict. Political science literature has contributed a moderate degree of attention to the impact of economic decline and the security and defence behaviour of interdependent states. Research in this vein has been considered at systemic, dyadic and national levels. Several notable contributions follow. First, on the systemic level, Pollins (2008) advances Modelski and Thompson's (1996) work on leadership cycle theory, finding that rhythms in the global economy are associated with the rise and fall of a preeminent power and the often bloody transition from one pre-eminent leader to the next. As such, exogenous shocks such as economic crises could usher in a redistribution of relative power (see also Gilpin, 1981) that leads to uncertainty about power balances, increasing the risk of miscalculation (Fearon, 1995). Alternatively, even a relatively certain redistribution of power could lead to a permissive environment for conflict as a rising power may seek to challenge a declining power (Werner, 1999). Separately, Pollins (1996) also shows that global economic cycles combined with parallel leadership cycles impact the likelihood of conflict among major, medium and small powers, although he suggests that the causes and connections between global economic conditions and security conditions remain unknown. Second, on a dyadic level, Copeland's (1996, 2000) theory of trade expectations suggests that ‘future expectation of trade’ is a significant variable in understanding economic conditions and security behaviour of states. He argues that interdependent states are likely to gain pacific benefits from trade so long as they have an optimistic view of future trade relations. However, if the expectations of future trade decline, particularly for difficult to replace items such as energy resources, the likelihood for conflict increases, as states will be inclined to use force to gain access to those resources. Crises could potentially be the trigger for decreased trade expectations either on its own or because it triggers protectionist moves by interdependent states.4 Third, others have considered the link between economic decline and external armed conflict at a national level. Blomberg and Hess (2002) find a strong correlation between internal conflict and external conflict, particularly during periods of economic downturn. They write, The linkages between internal and external conflict and prosperity are strong and mutually reinforcing. Economic conflict tends to spawn internal conflict, which in turn returns the favour. Moreover, the presence of a recession tends to amplify the extent to which international and external conflicts selfreinforce each other. (Blomberg & Hess, 2002, p. 89)Economic decline has also been linked with an increase in the likelihood of terrorism (Blomberg, Hess, & Weerapana, 2004), which has the capacity to spill across borders and lead to external tensions. Furthermore, crises generally reduce the popularity of a sitting government. ‘Diversionary theory’ suggests that, when facing unpopularity arising from economic decline, sitting governments have increased incentives to fabricate external military conflicts to create a ‘rally around the flag’ effect. Wang (1996), DeRouen (1995), and Blomberg, Hess, and Thacker (2006) find supporting evidence showing that economic decline and use of force are at least indirectly correlated. Gelpi (1997), Miller (1999), and Kisangani and Pickering (2009) suggest that the tendency towards diversionary tactics are greater for democratic states than autocratic states, due to the fact that democratic leaders are generally more susceptible to being removed from office due to lack of domestic support. DeRouen (2000) has provided evidence showing that periods of weak economic performance in the United States, and thus weak Presidential popularity, are statistically linked to an increase in the use of force. In summary, recent economic scholarship positively correlates economic integration with an increase in the frequency of economic crises, whereas political science scholarship links economic decline with external conflict at systemic, dyadic and national levels.5 This implied connection between integration, crises and armed conflict has not featured prominently in the economic-security debate and deserves more attention. This observation is not contradictory to other perspectives that link economic interdependence with a decrease in the likelihood of external conflict, such as those mentioned in the first paragraph of this chapter. Those studies tend to focus on dyadic interdependence instead of global interdependence and do not specifically consider the occurrence of and conditions created by economic crises. As such, the view presented here should be considered ancillary to those views. It’s an impact filter – declining economy causes all other conflicts to escalate Harris and Burrows, 9 – *counselor in the National Intelligence Council, the principal drafter of Global Trends 2025, **member of the NIC’s Long Range Analysis Unit “Revisiting the Future: Geopolitical Effects of the Financial Crisis”, Washington Quarterly, http://www.twq.com/09april/docs/09apr_burrows.pdf) Increased Potential for Global Conflict Of course, the report encompasses more than economics and indeed believes the future is likely to be the result of a number of intersecting and interlocking forces. With so many possible permutations of outcomes, each with ample opportunity for unintended consequences, there is a growing sense of insecurity. Even so, history may be more instructive than ever. While we continue to believe that the Great Depression is not likely to be repeated, the lessons to be drawn from that period include the harmful effects on fledgling democracies and multiethnic societies (think Central Europe in 1920s and 1930s) and on the sustainability of multilateral institutions (think League of Nations in the same period). There is no reason to think that this would not be true in the twenty-first as much as in the twentieth century. For that reason, the ways in which the potential for greater conflict could grow would seem to be even more apt in a constantly volatile economic environment as they would be if change would be steadier. In surveying those risks, the report stressed the likelihood that terrorism and nonproliferation will remain priorities even as resource issues move up on the international agenda. Terrorism’s appeal will decline if economic growth continues in the Middle East and youth unemployment is reduced. For those terrorist groups that remain active in 2025, however, the diffusion of technologies and scientific knowledge will place some of the world’s most dangerous capabilities within their reach. Terrorist groups in 2025 will likely be a combination of descendants of long established groups inheriting organizational structures, command and control processes, and training procedures necessary to conduct sophisticated attacks and newly emergent collections of the angry and disenfranchised that become self-radicalized, particularly in the absence of economic outlets that would become narrower in an economic downturn. The most dangerous casualty of any economically-induced drawdown of U.S. military presence would almost certainly be the Middle East. Although Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons is not inevitable, worries about a nuclear-armed Iran could lead states in the region to develop new security arrangements with external powers, acquire additional weapons, and consider pursuing their own nuclear ambitions. It is not clear that the type of stable deterrent relationship that existed between the great powers for most of the Cold War would emerge naturally in the Middle East with a nuclear Iran. Episodes of low intensity conflict and terrorism taking place under a nuclear umbrella could lead to an unintended escalation and broader conflict if clear red lines between those states involved are not well established. The close proximity of potential nuclear rivals combined with underdeveloped surveillance capabilities and mobile dual-capable Iranian missile systems also will produce inherent difficulties in achieving reliable indications and warning of an impending nuclear attack. The lack of strategic depth in neighboring states like Israel, short warning and missile flight times, and uncertainty of Iranian intentions may place more focus on preemption rather than defense, potentially leading to escalating crises. Types of conflict that the world continues to experience, such as over resources, could reemerge, particularly if protectionism grows and there is a resort to neo-mercantilist practices. Perceptions of renewed energy scarcity will drive countries to take actions to assure their future access to energy supplies. In the worst case, this could result in interstate conflicts if government leaders deem assured access to energy resources, for example, to be essential for maintaining domestic stability and the survival of their regime. Even actions short of war, however, will have important geopolitical implications. Maritime security concerns are providing a rationale for naval buildups and modernization efforts, such as China’s and India’s development of blue water naval capabilities. If the fiscal stimulus focus for these countries indeed turns inward, one of the most obvious funding targets may be military. Buildup of regional naval capabilities could lead to increased tensions, rivalries, and counterbalancing moves, but it also will create opportunities for multinational cooperation in protecting critical sea lanes. With water also becoming scarcer in Asia and the Middle East, cooperation to manage changing water resources is likely to be increasingly difficult both within and between states in a more dog-eat-dog world. The aff solves – 3 internal links 1) Unemployment – OCS drilling affects every industry either directly or indirectly Mason 09 – (Joseph R., “The Economic Contribution of Increased Offshore Oil Exploration and Production to Regional and National Economies,” American Energy Alliance, Feb. 2009, http://www.americanenergyalliance.org/docs/images/aea_summary_offshore_updated_final.pdf?php MyAdmin=fa972a975ccbf0bd709c38b1080539f5)//js Economic expansion tied to increased OCS resource production would also create millions of new jobs both in the extraction industry and in other sectors that serve suppliers or their employees. In an integrated economy, output in one state is tied to output in other states. As such, the state-by-state analysis shown in the table above misses approximately $2.45 trillion in secondary output. The total increase in output in the U.S. is estimated to amount to approximately $8.2 trillion or about $273 billion per year — just over two percent of GDP. Again, this number doesn’t consider the secondary effects of investment in productive capacity and refining to other states. Increasing OCS production could sustain, in total, about 1.2 million new, full-times jobs per year over 30 years As shown in the table above, increased OCS production would yield about $1.4 trillion in additional income for workers in coastal states over the lifetime of the fields. But this doesn’t account for secondary effects. Increased investment would generate approximately $15.7 billion in additional wages per year for the first seven years. And increased production would generate extra wage income of $70 billion per year for the next thirty years — a total of $2.1 trillion in additional income. As in the other categories, the total taxes listed here do not reflect tax levied on secondary revenues. In total, opening OCS planning areas to exploration and drilling can generate initial tax revenues of about $16 billion per year, rising to almost $75 billion per year in the production phase. Dividing the benefit equally among all U.S. taxpayers yields an immediate annual benefit of about $350 per taxpayer in the production phase. Unlike typical U.S. tax “rebates,” however, this tax reduction doesn’t come at the expense of increased U.S. borrowing. Rather, these amounts represent net tax reductions. Resolving unemployment is key to prevent economic collapse Patton 12 Mike, Forbes Contributor, "The Key to Economic Growth: Reduce the Unemployment Rate!", 8/27, www.forbes.com/sites/mikepatton/2012/08/27/the-key-to-economic-growth-reduce-theunemployment-rate/ We’ve all heard how the U.S. economy has been slow to recover. In the final analysis, there is one issue which resides at the epicenter of economic growth. That is our unemployment dilemma. How important is the unemployment rate to our economic recovery? Let me put it in these terms. Employment is to economic growth what oxygen is to the human existence. You can’t have one without the other. In this article, I will present evidence to bolster the point that until the unemployment rate is brought down to a more reasonable level, our economic recovery will falter. Just The Facts The chart below illustrates how unemployment and GDP move in opposition to each other. Using data from January 1948 until the present, one can easily see the inverse relationship between the two. Upon more careful scrutiny, you will notice that most of the time GDP falls as unemployment rises and vice versa. When you calculate the correlation of these two data sets, you find it is -0.38%. As a refresher, correlation measures how closely two (or more) series of data move relative to each other. The scale is from negative one (-1) to positive one (+1). If the correlation was positive one, then it would be said that the two items moved exactly together. If negative one, then they move in the exact opposite direction. In layman terms, correlation measures how each “zigs” and/or “zags” in relation to each other. With unemployment and GDP having a correlation of -0.38%, there is a strong negative relationship. Therefore, we must get the American worker back into the labor force. More Evidence If you need additional evidence, consider this. When you include all calendar quarters from January 1948 through the end of the second quarter 2012, the average unemployment rate during quarters when GDP was negative (i.e.; the economy contracted), was 7.4%. The average rate during the entire period was 5.8%. When you exclude all quarters with negative GDP, the average unemployment rate was 5.6%. Therefore, it is easy to conclude that until we can get unemployment down to say less than 6.0%, GDP will likely remain sluggish. 2) Chemical industry – It’s growing now but the plan’s key to making it sustainable Matthews 6/19 (Merrill Matthews, resident scholar at the Institute for Policy Innovation in Dallas, “Matthews: U.S. manufacturing making a comeback”, http://www.chron.com /outlook/article/Matthews-U-S-manufacturing-making-a-comeback-5565369.php, ZS) As the French news agency Agence France-Presse reported last year, "The U.S. petrochemical industry, in trouble just a few years ago, is making a spectacular comeback thanks to the boom in shale gas, shaking up the industry worldwide and spreading some discomfort through Asia and Europe." One of those countries feeling a little discomfort is Russia because so many Asian and European nations depend on high-priced and politically conditioned Russian natural gas. To those with concerns about whether the U.S. is in the midst of an energy bubble, the key to ensuring the energy boom is a long-term phenomenon is by adopting policies that give natural gas companies the economic incentives to produce. One of those necessary conditions is to open up drilling on federal lands and offshore. Most drilling takes place on private or state-owned land; but the federal government owns 28 percent of U.S. land, including 62 percent of Alaska and 47 percent of 11 coterminous western states, where much of the oil and natural gas deposits reside. The federal government also controls offshore drilling, such as in the Gulf of Mexico. President Barack Obama needs to instruct his administration to fast-track approval of proposals to drill in these areas and reduce burdensome and time-consuming environmental reviews. The chemical industry solves the economy – creates sustainable development ICCA ‘2 (International Council of Chemical Associations, June 20, “SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AND THE CHEMICAL INDUSTRY,” http://www.cefic.be/position/icca/pp_ic010.htm) The key finding of "Our Common Future", (the 1987 report of the United Nations' World Commission on Environment and Development), is that environmental, economic and social framework around which the chemical industry, other industries and other sectors of society can reach consensus on how to improve living standards and the environment. The main challenges facing the world include:- • Optimizing the benefits obtained from depleting resources • Assuring against excessive strains placed on the eco-system • The dynamic growth of the world population • Remedying social and economic inequalities These are challenges on a global scale. It follows, therefore, that the attainment of Sustainable Development will call for action on the part of the people, governments, businesses and organisations around the world. The global chemical industry has realized this challenge. Contribution of the Chemical Industry to Sustainable Development The chemical industry is a key industry. Its products and services are instrumental in meeting the needs of mankind. It is present in all areas of life, from food and clothing, housing, communications, transport - right through to leisure activities. In addition, it helps to solve the problems of other sectors of industry, such as the energy sector, information technologies, environmental industries and the waste disposal sector, as examples. Due to its size, the chemical industry is an important supplier to a broad range of downstream industries and is, as well, a customer of a broad range of products and services from other industries. It follows, therefore, that the chemical industry plays a major role in providing/ supporting performance improvements, research and development progress and, last but not least, employment in other industries. In itself, it is a large-scale provider of jobs and makes a significant contribution to wealth creation and, hence, to the financing of both public works and the exercise of public responsibilities. Since living standards are determined to a large degree by material considerations, it is clear that the chemical industry with its unique capabilities is in a position to make a decisive contribution to Sustainable Development. Commitment by the world chemical industry to the concept of Sustainable Development requires words to be transposed into company-specific action programmes in order to provide a framework for all those working in the sector. Its "Responsible Care" initiative, self- monitoring systems and other voluntary programmes such as Sustainable Technology (SUSTECH), Education-Industry Partnerships, Energy Efficiency Programmes are also part of this framework. Thereby, companies are also confronted with new challenges and must act responsibly. They must take account of the consequences of their actions upon society and future generations. The global chemical industry believes that the key to improving the performance of the industry is both its commitment to achieving environmentally sound Sustainable Development and improved performance and transparency. Under the concept of "Responsible Care", chemical companies are committed, in all aspects of safety, health and protection of the environment, to seek continuous improvement in performance, to educate all staff and work with customers and communities regarding product use and overall operation. Through these efforts the industry is improving its efficiency, reducing risks to health and the concerns must be integrated if the world's peoples are to advance and develop without jeopardizing the natural environment on which all life depends. Although today we cannot define the needs of future generations, the challenge for today's leaders is to pursue policies that will leave available an array of choices for future generations to meet their own needs. Sustainable Development will only come about if three goals - economic, environmental and society-related - can be reconciled. To determine the limits of acceptability and scope for action requires a set of conventions which society at large accepts as valid. Sustainability in economic terms means the efficient management of scarce resources as well as a prospering industry and economy. Sustainability in the environmental sense means not placing an intolerable load on the ecosphere and maintaining the natural basis for life. Seen from society's viewpoint, sustainability means that human beings are the centre of concern. In view, particularly, of the population increase worldwide, there needs to be provided as large a measure of equal opportunities, freedom, social justice and security as possible. The chemical industry views Sustainable Development as a challenge put before all parts of society. In the advances made in its own operations, its improved performance and in the improvements to the human condition made through its products, the chemical industry sees cause for optimism and believes that Sustainable Development can be the intellectual environment and making better products which, in turn, help individual and industry customers. The Chemical Industry's Leadership in Innovation The very notion of Sustainable Development will require new approaches in a number of areas. Innovation at all levels and in all fields of activity is the most effective instrument for ensuring that the economic, and environmental goals, as well as those of society, are being advanced. The chemical industry's contribution is to continue innovation of new products that meet customer needs and manufacturing processes that reduce risks to health and the environment. This contribution is based upon the knowledge and experience the industry has acquired from applying innovation not only to making, handling and use of chemical compounds, but also to reprocessing, recycling and solving environmental problems. The challenge facing the chemical industry is to maximize innovation, which can contribute to society meeting its goals for Sustainable Development. The chemical industry is firmly convinced that leadership in innovation represents the best way of attaining Sustainable Development. For the individual company, this means:- • a consistent orientation towards products, technologies and solutions which offer the greatest promise for the future • development of new integrated environmental technologies • a close cooperation with the customers of the chemical industry • adaptation to the conditions of global competition • bringing the most promising products quickly on the market • strengthening the R&D effort which requires resources which can only be financed from profitable earnings • actively contributing ideas and suggestions to the policy debates taking place in society • improving process yield (efficiency). Approach to the Economic Goal of Sustainable Development The internationalization of the economy at large, in conjunction with a growing trend towards global competition, is becoming more and more apparent. This is being manifested by:- • an increase of imports and exports of goods as well as services • growing outward and inward flows of direct investment • an ever increasing exchange of technology transfers • globalization of monetary and financial schemes. The inter-relation of economic systems is complex, with a variety of relationships among countries. Multi-national chemical companies apply common standards in spreading investment capital and stimulating markets around the globe, thus setting the scene for the world market. What they need, in order to play a constructive role in Sustainable Development, is, first and foremost, freedom and fairness in international trade. Trade as an engine of economic growth is essential for Sustainable Development. A climate needs to be fostered within which such growth may take place on the basis of a clear set of rules with predictable consequences, by which investors may be guided in their long-term decisionmaking process. This includes bringing to a halt the growing intervention by governments in industry and their ever increasing demands to raise income by taxation, thus imposing a disproportionate load on the business community. Wealth creation and profits are fundamental to Sustainable Development. They sustain economies (not just the chemical industry), and contribute, via re-investment and R&D, to new technologies and environmental improvements. Profits are needed to create flexible company structures oriented towards economic, environmental and society-related requirements. The chemical industry is a major industrial sector and an essential contributor to welfare and employment on a global scale. In order to maintain this position under the imperative of Sustainable Development, the long-term future of the industry must be rooted in a dynamic policy, whereby continual innovation and re-engineering of companies result in an increase of productivity and, thus, keeping up international competitiveness as a pre-requisite of sustainable job creation. 3) Ship-building – opening and developing the OCS makes shipbuilding growth sustainable Mason 11 Joseph, Senior Fellow, The Wharton School, Louisiana State University Endowed Chair of Banking and nationally-renowned economist, “House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources Hearing; Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs Legislative Hearing on H.R. 306, H.R. 588, S. 266 and H.R. 285”, 4/6, Lexis Apart from national energy concerns, however, economic considerations also favor increased development of OCS energy resources. Specifically, the boost provided to local onshore economies by offshore production would be particularly welcome in the present economic climate. Similar to fiscal alternatives presently under consideration, OCS development would provide a long-run economic stimulus to the U.S. economy because the incremental output, employment, and wages provided by OCS development would be spread over many years. Unlike those policies, however, this stimulus would not require government expenditures to support that long-term growth. A. The Present State of Offshore U.S. Oil and Gas Production Despite its importance, U.S. oil and natural gas production in offshore areas is currently limited to only a few regions. At the present time, oil and gas is only actively produced off the coast of six U.S. states: Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, California, and Alaska. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports that Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas are the only coastal states that provide access to all or almost all of their offshore energy resources. Only two additional states--Alaska and California--are producing any offshore energy supplies. All California OCS Planning Areas and most Alaska OCS Planning Areas, however, were not open to any new facilities until the recent end of the Congressional and Presidential moratoria. The remaining 16 coastal states are not open to new production and are not presently extracting any Alaska, the OCS is already the most important source of U.S. energy supplies. According to the MMS, "the Federal OCS is a major supplier of oil and natural gas for the domestic market, contributing more energy (oil and natural gas) for U.S. consumption than any single U.S. state or country in the world." That is, OCS production presently meets more U.S. energy demand than any other single source, including Saudi Arabia. B. Offshore Oil Production Stimulates Onshore Economies Offshore oil and gas production has a significant effect on local onshore economies as well as the national economy. There are broadly three "phases" of development that contribute to state economic growth: (1) the initial exploration and development of offshore facilities; (2) the extraction of oil and gas reserves; and (3) refining crude oil into finished petroleum products. Industries supporting those phases are most evident in the sections of the Gulf of Mexico that are currently open to offshore drilling. For example, the U.S. shipbuilding industry - based largely in the Gulf region - benefits significantly from initial offshore oil exploration efforts. Exploration and development also requires specialized exploration and drilling vessels, floating drilling rigs, and miles and miles of steel pipe, as well as highly educated and specialized labor to staff the efforts. The onshore support does not end with production. A recent report prepared for the U.S. Department of Energy indicates that the Louisiana economy is "highly dependent on a wide variety of industries that depend on offshore oil and gas production" and that offshore production supports onshore production in the chemicals, platform fabrication, drilling services, transportation, and gas processing. Fleets of helicopters and U.S.-built vessels also supply offshore facilities with a wide range of industrial and consumer goods, from industrial spare parts to groceries. As explained in Section IV.G, however, the distance between offshore offshore energy resources. Even without those remaining sixteen states, plus California and facilities and onshore communities can affect the relative intensity of the local economic effects. The economic effects in the refining phase are even more diffuse than the effects for the two preceding phases. Although significant As a result, refinery jobs, wages, and tax revenues are even more likely to "spill over" into other areas of the country, including non-coastal states like Illinois, as those are home to many refining and chemical industries that ride the economic coattails of oil capacity is located in California, Illinois, New Jersey, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Washington, additional U.S. refining capacity is spread widely around the country. exploration and extraction. II. OFFSHORE OIL AND GAS RESERVE ESTIMATES AND THE SOURCES OF THEIR ECONOMIC BENEFITS As described in my 2009 white paper, "The Economic Contribution of Increased Offshore Oil significant oil and gas reserves lie under the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), the OCS (including Alaskan OCS Planning Areas) contains approximately 86 billion barrels of recoverable oil and approximately 420 trillion cubic feet of recoverable natural gas. As noted by the White House, however, the OCS Exploration and Production to Regional and National Economies," available at www.americanenergyalliance.org/images/aea_offshore_updated_final.pdf, estimates are conservative. Of the total OCS reserves, a significant portion was unavailable to exploration until recently. Specifically, Presidential and Congressional mandates banned production from OCS Planning Areas covering approximately 18 billion barrels of recoverable oil and 77.61 trillion cubic feet of recoverable natural gas. These bans covered approximately 31 percent of the total recoverable OCS oil reserves Economic benefits of utilizing OCS reserves accrue from three primary sources: (1) exploration/platform investments; (2) production; and (3) refining. Sources (1) and (3) produce initial effects--that is, new industry expenditures--today; in contrast, source (2) produce economic effects only once production begins. The analysis therefore considers "initial" economic effects as those that flow from exploration or investments in new refining capacity and long-term economic effects as those that flow from production and ongoing refining. A. Exploration and Offshore Facility Development In contrast to other industries, the high fixed investment costs associated with offshore oil and gas production produce large initial investments that reverberate throughout the economy. Once oil or gas reserves are located, billions of additional dollars must be spent before the well produces even $1 of revenue. For example, oil exploration costs can amount to between $200,000 and $759,000 per day per site. Additional production in the U.S. will also require a costly expansion refining capacity as well. Taken together, the fixed expenditures that precede actual offshore oil and gas production can amount to billions of dollars. For example, Chevron's "Tahiti" project in the Gulf of Mexico is representative of the large investments that firms must make before production is achieved. In 2002, Chevron explored the Tahiti lease--which lies 100 and 25 percent of the total recoverable OCS natural gas reserves. miles off the U.S. coast at a depth of 4,000 feet--and found "an estimated 400 million to 500 million barrels of recoverable resources." Chevron estimates that it will take seven years to build the necessary infrastructure required to begin production at Tahiti. The firm estimates that its total development costs will amount to "$4.7 billion--before realizing $1 of return on our investment." As a typical U.S. offshore project, the Tahiti project provides a wealth of information regarding the up-front investment costs, length of investment, and lifespan of future OCS fields. As noted above, the Tahiti field is estimated to hold between 400 million and 500 million barrels of oil and oil equivalents (primarily natural gas) and is expected to require an initial fixed investment of $4.7 billion. Using the mid-point reserve estimate of 450 million barrels of oil equivalent, up-front development costs amount to approximately $10.44 per barrel of oil reserves or $1.86 per 1,000 cubic feet of natural gas reserves. These costs will be spread over 7 years, resulting in average up-front development expenditures equal to $1.49 per barrel of oil and $0.27 per 1,000 cubic feet of natural gas. Chevron also estimates that the Tahiti project will produce for "up to 30 years". Although investment and production times vary widely, the analysis that follows uses the Tahiti project numbers - an average initial investment period of seven years followed by an average production period of 30 years - as indicative of the "typical" offshore project. I will thus assume an average initial investment period of seven years followed Because most areas of the U.S. OCS have been closed to new exploration and production for almost forty years, it is unclear how quickly firms would move to develop new offshore fields. Given its large potential reserves, however, the OCS is sure to attract significant investment. Without the benefit of government data, a rough estimate suggests that annual total investment in OCS fields would be $9.09 billion per year. Those by an average production period of 30 years. The speed of OCS development also factors into the analysis. annual expenditures are expected to last, on average, the full seven years of the development phase. Additional investment in states that already support significant production - Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas - are The likely value of state recoverable oil and gas reserves are estimated using the likely lifetime revenue that could be generated by the project. In that case, average limited. Some of the greatest benefits accrue to areas that are home to enormous - but unavailable - total reserves: California and Florida. B. Production wholesale energy prices provide the information necessary to translate reserves into revenues. Taking the simple average of the EIA's latest inflation-adjusted energy price forecasts through 2030 as provided by its Annual Energy the estimated OCS reserves are worth about $13 trillion. The value of each state's available reserves are calculated as the sum of (1) its share of available OCS Planning Area oil reserves times Outlook 2009, the average inflation-adjusted price of oil will be $110.64 per barrel and the average inflation-adjusted price of natural gas will be $6.83 per thousand cubic feet. At these prices, $110.64 per barrel and (2) its share of available OCS Planning Area natural gas reserves times $6.83 per thousand cubic feet. The same method applies to the valuation of total state OCS reserves. By those estimation methods, states such as California, facing a budget crisis in the current recession, have an estimated $1.65 trillion in resources available in nearby OCS planning areas. Florida, while not facing as dire a fiscal crisis, has about $0.55 trillion in a permanent relaxation of all federal OCS production moratoria would unlock more than $3.4 trillion in new production among all the coastal states. C. Investments in Incremental Refining Capacity Since U.S. refineries are presently operating near maximum capacity increased offshore oil and gas production would also spur investment in new refineries. The U.S. refining industry is presently resources available in nearby OCS planning areas. Hence, operating at 97.9 percent of capacity and can no longer depend on excess foreign refining to meet production shortfalls arising from seasonality or repairs. In response, many large refiners are already considering refinery expansions: ConocoPhillips announced that it planned to spend $6.5 billion to $7 billion on capacity expansion at its U.S. facilities; Chevron has also considered a major refinery expansion; and while Shell is completing a $7 billion expansion and its Port Arthur, Texas refinery they are considering further expansion elsewhere. Additional refinery investments are likely to occur in the few U.S. states that already host significant U.S. refineries. This result is largely due to environmental restrictions that severely limit the placement of new refining capacity. Current capacity is primarily concentrated in California, Louisiana, and Texas. The U.S. presently has an operating refining capacity of approximately 6.287 billion barrels of crude oil per year. Conservative estimates of OCS production would add approximately 3.773 billion barrels per year, or about sixty percent of current U.S. operating refinery capacity. Because some OCS refining production would most likely substitute for foreign production, however, the analysis conservatively assumes that only one-quarter of this new OCS production necessitates additional U.S. refinery capacity. That is, I estimate that U.S. refinery demand would increase by 943.25 million barrels per year, or 15 percent of current installed capacity. Even this modest capacity increase would require substantial new investments. In response to existing capacity constraints, Shell is already increasing the capacity of its Port Arthur, Texas refinery. This expansion will take approximately two and one-half years to complete and cost $7 billion. The facility will add 325,000 barrels per day (or 118.6 million barrels per year) in new capacity, at a cost of approximately $59.02 per barrel of new annual capacity. As noted above, since tough environmental regulations effectively limit new refinery capacity to a few states, refinery investments are likely to be limited to only a few states with large existing capacity. These states can be reasonably assumed to be the same states the already have large installed refinery capacity. Hence, incremental refinery capacity will be added predominantly in states already home to large refining capacity--those with a present capacity of more than 200 million barrels per year. There are seven such states: California, Illinois, Louisiana, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Washington. Expected increases in offshore oil production will induce approximately $22 billion in refining capacity investments each year for two and one half years. California, Texas, and Louisiana will receive the bulk of this investment, but investments of more than $1 billion annually can be expected in Illinois, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Washington. III. INCREASED INVESTMENTS IN Onshore state and local economies benefit from the development of OCS reserves by providing goods and services to offshore oil and gas extraction sites. Onshore communities provide all manner of goods and services required by offshore oil and gas extraction. A variety of industries are involved in this effort: shipbuilders provide exploration vessels, permanent and movable platforms, and resupply vessels; steelworkers fashion the drilling machinery and specialized pipes required for offshore resource extraction; accountants and bankers provide financial services; and other onshore employees provide groceries, transportation, refining, and other duties. These onshore jobs, in turn, support other jobs and other industries (such as retail and hospitality establishments). The OFFSHORE OIL AND GAS PRODUCTION WILL CAUSE SUBSTANTIAL INCREASES IN WAGES, EMPLOYMENT, AND TAXES, AND PROFOUND EFFECTS ON COMMUNITIES THROUGHOUT THE NATION statistical approach known as an "input-output" analysis measures the economic effects associated with a particular project or economic development plan. This approach, which was pioneered by Nobel Prize winner Wassily Leontif, has been refined by the U.S. Department of Commerce. The most recent version of the Commerce Department's analysis is known as the Regional Input-Output Modelling System, or "RIMS II." The RIMS II model provides a variety of multipliers that measure how an economic development project--such as offshore drilling-would "trickle down" through the economy providing new jobs, wages, and government revenues. This analysis can be broken down into two parts: (1) a "direct" analysis measuring the benefits that arise from industries that directly supply offshore oil and gas exploration and (2) the "final" analysis that measures the direct and indirect benefits associated with offshore exploration. The RIMS II model is the standard method governmental authorities use to evaluate the benefits associated with an economic development project. According to the Commerce Department, the RIMS II model has been used to evaluate the economic effects of many projects, including: opening or closing military bases, tourist expenditures, new energy facilities, opening or closing manufacturing The broadest measure of the incremental effect of increased OCS oil and natural gas extraction is the effect on total economic output. Until OCS production begins, onshore communities will realize only the benefits associated with offshore investment. These benefits take two forms: (1) the development of the offshore facilities themselves and (2) the expansion of plants, shopping malls, sports stadiums, and new airport or port facilities. A. Opening OCS Planning Areas would Unleash More than $11 trillion in Economic Activity onshore refining capacity. These two effects, taken together, provide a rough approximation of the additional output that would be created by allowing greater access to offshore reserves. Of course, the investment expenditures and resulting output estimated above is only made to facilitate oil and gas extraction. Once extraction begins, additional economic activity continues for the lifetime of the oil and natural gas reserves. Using the total U.S. multipliers (2.2860 for refining and 2.3938 for extraction), the total increase in U.S. output from initial investment is estimated to be a total of about $0.5 trillion, or approximately $73 billion per year for the first seven years the OCS is open. For comparative purposes, a $73 billion stimulus amounts to approximately 0.5 percent of total U.S. output (GDP) per year. Increased OCS oil and gas extraction would yield approximately $5.75 trillion in new coastal state output over the lifetime of the fields. Approximating the total increase in output associated with increasing offshore resource production throughout the U.S. (including states in the interior), yields approximately $2.45 trillion in additional output. The total increase in output in the United States is estimated to total approximately $8.2 trillion or about $273 billion per year, which amounts to just over two percent of GDP. Because the OCS areas are currently unavailable, the entire amount--$8.2 trillion--is completely new output created by a simple change in policy allowing resource extraction in additional OCS Planning Areas. B. Opening OCS Planning Areas could Create Millions of economic expansion tied to increased OCS resource production would also create millions of new jobs both in the extraction industry and in other sectors that serve as suppliers or their employees. The annual increase in coastal state New Jobs An employment from initial investments in previously unavailable OCS planning areas and additional refining capacity is estimated to be 185,320 full-time jobs per year. Again, this number does not consider the spill-over effects of investment in productive capacity and refining to other U.S. states. The total increase in U.S. employment from the investment phase is approximately 271,570 full-time jobs per year. Applying the BEA multipliers to the estimated production value results in approximately 870,000 coastal state jobs in addition to the jobs created during the initial investment phase. Again, the total increase in U.S. employment in all states (including those in the interior) Increased investment and production in previously unavailable OCS oil and gas extraction and the ancillary industries that support the offshore industry would produce thousands of new jobs in stable and valuable industries. Among the 271,572 jobs created in the investment phase and sustained during the first seven years of resulting from increased OCS production is 340,000 greater, for a total of approximately 1,190,000 jobs be sustained for the entire OCS production period. the investment cycle. The majority of new positions (162,541 jobs, or 60 percent) would be created in high-skills fields, such as health care, real estate, professional services, manufacturing, administration, finance, education, the arts, information, and management. Although the largest total increase in employment in the production phase would occur (quite naturally) in the mining industry, significant numbers of jobs would be created in other industries. many of these new jobs would be created in high-skills fields, representing approximately 49 percent of all new jobs and approximately 61 percent of Those jobs pay wages. OCS development is estimated to yield approximately $10.7 billion in new wages in coastal states each year. OCS production would yield approximately $1.406 trillion in additional wage income to workers in coastal states over the lifetime of the fields (or $46 billion per year over 30 years). Across the U.S., the investment phase would generate approximately $15.7 billion in additional annual wages per year for the first seven years and $70 billion per year for the next thirty years, or approximately $2.1 trillion in additional wage income. BLS data suggest that all four broad industry classifications related to oil and gas extraction pay higher wages and similar jobs in other Again, all new non-mining jobs. C. Opening OCS Planning Areas can Release Trillions of Dollars of Wages to Workers Hit by Recession industries. Jobs in: (1) Oil and Gas Extraction, (2) Pipeline Transportation of Crude Oil, (3) Petroleum and Coal Products Manufacturing, and (4) Support Activities for Mining, typically pay higher wages than the average American job. Taking this broader measure, the average job created by increased offshore oil and gas production pays approximately 28 percent more than the average U.S. job. D. Opening OCS Planning Areas can Contribute Trillions of Greater output, more jobs, and higher wages translate into higher tax collections and increases in other sources of public revenues. The MMS Report to Congress suggests that public revenues derived from OCS extraction are significant--the U.S. federal government has collected more than $156 billion in lease and levy payments for OCS oil and natural gas production. Note that this amount counts only lease and royalty payments and thus does not include any sales and income taxes paid by firms or workers supported by OCS production. Conservative estimates suggest that seven years of initial annual exploration and refining investments would produce approximately $4.8 billion annually in coastal state and local tax revenue and $11.1 billion in U.S. federal tax income. Over thirty years of production, I estimate that the extraction phase of OCS development would yield approximately $561 billion ($18.7 billion per year) in coastal state and local tax revenue and approximately $1.64 trillion ($54.7 billion per year) in new U.S. federal tax income. Dollars in Taxes and other Public Revenues to Local, State, and Federal Governments Ship-building solves the economy – it’s key to all other industries MARAD 13 (Maritime Administration, “The Economic Importance of the U.S. Shipbuilding and Repairing Industry” pg online at http://www.marad.dot.gov/documents/MARAD_Econ_Study_Final_Report_2013.pdf//sd) The U.S. shipbuilding and repairing industry is comprised of establishments that are primarily engaged in operating shipyards, which are fixed facilities with drydocks and fabrication equipment. Shipyard activities include ship construction, repair, conversion and alteration, as industry also includes manufacturing and well as the production of prefabricated ship and barge sections and other specialized services. The other facilities outside of the shipyard, which provide parts or services for shipbuilding activities within a shipyard, including routine maintenance and repair services from floating drydocks not connected with a shipyard. The purpose of this report is to measure the economic importance of the U.S. shipbuilding and repairing industry. The importance of the industry is not limited to the direct output and employment it generates in the shipbuilding and repairing industry purchase inputs from other domestic industries, contributing to economic activity in those sectors (i.e., "indirect" impact). Employees spend their incomes, helping to support the local and national economies (i.e., "induced" impact). Thus, the economic importance of the U.S. shipbuilding and (i.e., “direct impact”). Companies repairing industry includes direct, indirect, and induced effects. Put differently, the report seeks to document what happens in the shipbuilding and repairing industry and its relationships to the broader economy. It is important to note that the term “economic impacts” as used in this report reflects the association of employment, labor income, and gross domestic product (GDP) with the shipbuilding and repairing industry, but does not imply that some of this economic activity would not otherwise exist without the industry (particularly with regard to induced impacts). The MIG model, an input-output (I-O) model based on Federal government data, was used to estimate the industry's overall economic impact. I-O modeling is typically employed to analyze how a change in economic activity in one sector of the economy affects activities in other sectors of the economy. In a so-called “marginal” impact analysis, I-O model results can be viewed as showing the impact of small changes in activity in one sector (e.g., shipbuilding) on the rest of the economy before any price adjustments and before businesses, workers, and consumers adjust their activities. The ultimate economic impact of a change in activity will be less pronounced than shown in initial I-O results, particularly if induced price changes are large. 1AC – Energy Security Dependence on Foreign Oil is High and Increasing Krauss 12 (Clifford Krauss has been a correspondent for The New York Times since 1990. He currently is a national business correspondent based in Houston, covering energy. He covered the State Department, Congress and the New York City police department, August 17, 2012, New York Times, US Reliance on Saudi Oil is Growing Again, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/17/business/energy-environment/us-reliance-on-saudi-oil-is-growingagain.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0) IF — The United States is increasing its dependence on oil from Saudi Arabia, raising its imports from the kingdom by . The increase in Saudi oil exports to the United States began slowly last summer and has picked up pace this year. Until then, the United States had decreased its dependence on HOUSTON more than 20 percent this year, even as fears of military conflict in the tinderbox Persian Gulf region grow ¶ foreign oil and from the Gulf in particular.¶ This reversal is driven in part by the battle over Iran’s nuclear program. The United States tightened sanctions that hampered Iran’s ability to sell crude, the lifeline of its troubled economy, and Saudi Arabia agreed to increase production to help guarantee that the price did not skyrocket. While prices have remained relatively stable, and The jump in Saudi oil production has been welcomed by Washington and European governments, but Saudi society faces its own challenges, with the recent deaths of senior members of the royal family and Tehran’s treasury has been squeezed, the United States is left increasingly vulnerable to a region in turmoil.¶ sectarian strife in the eastern part of the country, making the stability of Saudi energy and political policies uncertain.¶ The United States has had a political alliance with the Saudi leadership that has lasted for decades, one that has become even more pivotal to Washington during the turmoil of the Arab spring and rising hostilities with Iran over that nation’s nuclear program. The development underscores how difficult it is for the United States to lower its dependence on foreign oil — especially the heavy grades of crude that Saudi Arabia exports — even as domestic oil production is soaring. It is a (Saudi Arabia and Iran are bitter regional rivals.)¶ development that has alarmed conservative and liberal foreign policy experts alike, especially with oil prices and Mideast tensions rising in recent weeks. Obama’s current plan proves that the leases can provide large quantities of oil – the plan is key to provide enough oil to get the US off foreign oil dependence Snyder 11 (James Snyder is an Economics and Energy reporter for Bloomberg, Dec 29, 2011, Bloomberg, http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-12-29/gulf-lease-sales-will-reduce-u-s-oil-dependence-agency-finds.html) IF lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico will reduce dependence on foreign oil, the U.S. Interior Department said in a draft environmental review.¶ The sales, planned for 2012 to 2017, will be off the coasts of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, the department’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management said in the proposed environmental-impact statement released today.¶ President Barack Obama has set a target of reducing oil imports by a third by 2025. BP Plc’s (BP/) offshore oil spill in 2010, the worst in U.S. waters, caused the administration to postpone lease sales to toughen offshore regulations. Republican presidential candidates including Texas Governor Rick Perry have said Obama isn’t permitting enough drilling Ten planned to create jobs and reduce imports. ¶ Bureau director Tommy Beaudreau said in a statement today that the release of the draft was “an important step” toward implementing the administration’s offshore-leasing plans.¶ The analysis covers the western and central parts of the Gulf, which cover more than 95 million acres combined, according to the Five lease sales are planned for each area. Each lease sale in the western Gulf may yield as much as 200 million barrels of oil, while central leases may contain as much as 894 million barrels apiece, according to the draft analysis. report.¶ Its reverse causal – not drilling offshore vastly increases oil dependence Noguchi 10 (Yuki Noguchi is a correspondent on the Business Desk based out of NPR's headquarters in Washington D.C. Since joining NPR in 2008, she's covered business and economic news, and has a special interest in workplace issues, May 18, 2010, NPR, Ending Offshore Oil Drilling: More Harm Than Good?, http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=126899899) IF reducing consumption — or investing more in alternative energy sources — is not a practical solution to the fundamental problem. "As long as our cars, trucks, ships and planes can run on nothing but oil," he says, "we will always be beholden to the same constraints as we are facing today."¶ Moreover, Luft says, though the U.S. now gets only one-eighth of its energy off its own shores, the supply from continental domestic reserves long ago peaked and is now diminishing. So, he says, cutting off offshore drilling will make energy more expensive. And the U.S. would become more dependent on oil-producing nations that pose a threat to the country.¶ "The price of oil will increase, and all of us will pay more at the pump," he says. "So from an economic standpoint, this is a self-defeating proposition. And from a national security standpoint, this is only going to exacerbate the very same problems we're trying to solve."¶ Still, Washington appears to be heeding the calls to check drilling — at least for now. The Obama administration suspended its Virginia offshore drilling plan, and several new bills in Congress propose A Self-Defeating Proposition'¶ Luft says a halt to all new activity on the West Coast — or off all national waters.¶ Also, the Senate's climate change bill includes new provisions allowing states to veto any federal plans to drill within 75 miles of their shores, and Florida may consider a ballot this fall blocking drilling off its shores. Oil dependence undermines US hegemony Deutch and Schlesinger 6(John Deutch, former Director of Central Intelligence, and James R. Schlesinger, former Secretary of Defense and former Secretary of Energy, “The National Security Consequences of U.S. Oil Dependency,” Independent Task Force Report No. 58, Project Director: David G. Victor, Council on Foreign Relations, Council on Foreign Relations Press, http://www.cfr.org/content/publications/attachments/EnergyTFR.pdf) IF . Major energy suppliers— from Russia to Iran to Venezuela—have been increasingly able and willing to use their energy resources to pursue their strategic and political objectives. Major energy consumers—notably the United States, but other countries as well—are finding that their growing dependence on imported energy increases their strategic vulnerability and constrains their ability to pursue a broad range of foreign policy and national security objectives. Dependence also puts the United States into increasing competition with other importing countries, notably with today’s rapidly growing emerging economies of China and India. At best, these trends will challenge U.S. foreign policy; at worst, they will seriously strain relations between the United States and these countries. This report focuses on the foreign policy issues that arise from dependence on energy traded in world markets ¶ and outlines a strategy for response. And because U.S. The lack of sustained attention to energy issues is undercutting U.S. foreign policy and U.S. national security ¶ ¶ ¶ ¶ ¶ ¶ ¶ ¶ reliance on the global market for oil, much of which comes from politically ¶ unstable parts of the world, is greater than for any other primary energy source, this report is mainly about oil. To a lesser degree it ¶ also addresses natural gas. Put simply, the reliable and affordable supply of energy—‘‘energy security’’—is an increasingly ¶ prominent feature of the international political landscape and bears on the effectiveness of U.S. foreign policy. At the same time, ¶ however, the United States has largely continued to treat ‘‘energy policy’’ as something that is separate and distinct— ¶ substantively and organizationally—from ‘‘foreign policy.’’ This must change. The United States needs not merely to coordinate ¶ but to integrate energy issues with its foreign . The challenge over the next several decades is to manage the consequences of unavoidable dependence on oil and gas that is traded in world markets and to begin the transition to an economy that relies less on petroleum. The longer the delay, the greater will be the subsequent trauma. For the United States, with 4.6 percent of the world’s population using 25 percent of the world’s oil, the transition could be especially disruptive. policy ¶ ¶ ¶ ¶ Impact is nuclear War Thayer 6 (professor of security studies @ Missouri State Bradley, The National Interest, “In Defense of Primacy”, November/December, p. 32-37) A grand strategy based on American primacy means ensuring the United States stays the world's number one power-the diplomatic, economic and military leader. Those arguing against primacy claim that the United States should retrench, either because the United States lacks the power to maintain its primacy and should withdraw from its global commitments, or because the maintenance of primacy will lead the United States into the trap of "imperial overstretch." In the previous issue of The National Interest, Christopher Layne warned of these dangers of primacy and called for retrenchment.1 Those arguing for a grand strategy of retrenchment are a diverse lot. They include isolationists, who want no foreign military commitments; selective engagers, who want U.S. military commitments to centers of economic might; and offshore balancers, who want a modified form of selective engagement that would have the United States retrenchment, in any of its guises, must be avoided. If the United would lead to far greater instability and war abandon its landpower presence abroad in favor of relying on airpower and seapower to defend its interests. But States adopted such a strategy, it would be a profound strategic mistake that in the world, imperil American security and deny the United States and its allies the benefits of primacy. There are two critical issues in any discussion of America's grand strategy: Can America remain the dominant state? Should it strive to do this? America can remain dominant due to its prodigious military, economic and soft power capabilities. The totality of that equation of power answers the first issue. The United States has overwhelming military capabilities and wealth in comparison to other states or likely potential alliances. Barring some disaster or tremendous folly, that will remain the case for the foreseeable future. With few exceptions, even those who advocate retrenchment acknowledge this. So the debate revolves around the desirability of maintaining American primacy. Proponents of retrenchment focus a great deal on the costs of U.S. action but they fall to realize what is good about American primacy. The price and risks of primacy are reported in American primacy takes as its starting point the protection of the U.S. homeland and American global interests. These interests include ensuring that critical resources like oil flow around the world, that the global trade and monetary regimes flourish and that Washington's worldwide network of allies is reassured and protected. Allies are a great asset to the newspapers every day; the benefits that stem from it are not. A GRAND strategy of ensuring United States, in part because they shoulder some of its burdens. Thus, it is no surprise to see NATO in Afghanistan or the Australians in East Timor. In contrast, a strategy based on re- retrenchment will make the United States less secure than the present grand strategy of primacy. This is because threats will exist no matter what role America chooses to play in international politics. Washington cannot call a "time out", and it cannot hide from threats. Whether they are terrorists, rogue states or rising powers, history shows that threats must be confronted. Simply by declaring that the United States is "going home", thus abandoning its commitments or making unconvincing half-pledges to defend its interests and allies, does not mean that others will respect American wishes to retreat. To make such a declaration implies weakness and emboldens aggression. In the anarchic world of the animal kingdom, predators prefer to eat the weak rather than confront the strong. The same is true of the anarchic world of international politics. If trenchment will not be able to achieve these fundamental objectives of the United States. Indeed, there is no diplomatic solution to the threats that confront the United States, then the conventional and strategic military power of the United States is what protects the country from such threats. And when enemies must be confronted, a strategy based on primacy focuses on engaging enemies overseas, away from .American soil. Indeed, a key tenet of the Bush Doctrine is to attack terrorists far from America's shores and not to wait while they use bases in other countries to plan and train for attacks against the United States itself. This requires a physical, on-the-ground presence that cannot be achieved by offshore balancing. Indeed, as Barry Posen has noted, U.S. primacy is secured because America, at present, commands the "global common"--the oceans, the world's airspace and outer space-allowing the United States to project its power far from its borders, while denying those common avenues to its enemies. As a consequence, the costs of power projection for the United States and its allies are reduced, and the robustness of the United States' conventional and strategic deterrent capabilities is in a world where American primacy is clearly and unambiguously on display--is that countries want to align themselves with the United States. Of course, this is increased.' This is not an advantage that should be relinquished lightly. A remarkable fact about international politics today-- because doing so allows them to use the power of the United States for their own purposes, their own protection, or to gain greater influence. Of 192 countries, 84 are allied with America--their security is tied to the United States through treaties not out of any sense of altruism, in most cases, but and other informal arrangements-and they include almost all of the major economic and military powers. That is a ratio of almost 17 to one (85 to five), and a big change from the Cold War U.S. primacy--and the bandwagoning effect-has also given us extensive influence in international politics, allowing the United States to shape the behavior of states and international institutions. Such influence comes in many forms, one of which is America's ability to create coalitions of like-minded states to free Kosovo, stabilize Afghanistan, invade Iraq or to stop proliferation through the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI). Doing so allows when the ratio was about 1.8 to one of states aligned with the United States versus the Soviet Union. Never before in its history has this country, or any country, had so many allies. the United States to operate with allies outside of the where it can be stymied by opponents. American-led wars in Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq stand in contrast to the UN's inability to save the people of Darfur or even to conduct any military campaign to realize the goals of its charter. The quiet effectiveness of the PSI in dismantling Libya's WMD programs and unraveling the A. Q. Khan proliferation network are in sharp relief to the typically toothless attempts by the UN to halt proliferation. You can count with one hand countries opposed to the United States. They are the "Gang of Five": China, Cuba, Iran, North Korea and Venezeula. Of course, countries like India, for example, do not agree with all policy choices made by the United States, such as toward Iran, but New Delhi is friendly to Washington. Only the "Gang of Five" may be expected to consistently resist the agenda and actions of the United States. China is clearly the most important of these states because it is a rising great power. But even Beijing is intimidated by the United States and refrains from openly challenging U.S. power. China proclaims that it will, if necessary, resort to other mechanisms of challenging the United States, including asymmetric strategies such as targeting communication and intelligence satellites upon which the United States depends. But China may not be confident those strategies would work, and so it is likely to refrain from testing the United States directly for the foreseeable future because China's power benefits, as we shall see, from the international order U.S. primacy creates. The other states are far weaker than China. For three of the "Gang of Five" cases--Venezuela, Iran, Cuba-it is an anti-U.S. regime that is the source of the problem; the country itself is not intrinsically anti-American. Indeed, a change of regime in Caracas, Tehran or Havana could very well reorient relations. THROUGHOUT HISTORY, peace and stability have been great benefits of an era where there was a dominant power--Rome, Britain or the United States today. Scholars and the current international order - free trade, a robust monetary regime, increasing respect for human rights, growing democratization--is directly linked to U.S. power. Retrenchment proponents seem to think that the current system can be maintained without the current amount of U.S. power behind it. In that they are dead wrong and need to be reminded of one of history's most significant lessons: Appalling things happen when international orders collapse. The Dark Ages followed Rome's collapse. Hitler succeeded the order established at Versailles. Without U.S. power, the liberal order created by the United States will end just as assuredly. statesmen have long recognized the irenic effect of power on the anarchic world of international politics. Everything we think of when we consider As country and western great Rai Donner sang: "You don't know what you've got (until you lose it)." Consequently, it is important to note what those good things are. In addition to ensuring primacy within the international system causes many positive outcomes for Washington and the world. The first has been a more peaceful world. During the Cold War, U.S. leadership reduced friction among many states that were historical antagonists, most notably France and West Germany. Today, American primacy helps keep a number of complicated relationships aligned--between Greece and Turkey, Israel and Egypt, South Korea and Japan, India and Pakistan, Indonesia and Australia. This is not to say it fulfills Woodrow Wilson's vision of ending all war. Wars still occur where Washington's interests are not seriously threatened, such as in Darfur, but a Pax Americana does reduce war's likelihood, particularly war's worst form: great power wars. Second, American power gives the United States the ability to spread democracy and other elements of its ideology of liberalism. Doing so is a source of much good for the countries concerned as well as the the security of the United States and its allies, American United States because, as John Owen noted on these pages in the Spring 2006 issue, liberal democracies are more likely to align with the United States and be sympathetic to the American once states are governed democratically, the likelihood of any type of conflict is significantly reduced. This is not because democracies do not have clashing interests. Indeed they do. Rather, it is because they are more open, more transparent and more likely to want to resolve things amicably in concurrence with U.S. leadership. worldview.3 So, spreading democracy helps maintain U.S. primacy. In addition, And so, in general, democratic states are good for their citizens as well as for advancing the interests of the United States. Critics have faulted the Bush Administration for attempting to spread democracy in the Middle East, labeling such an effort a modern form of tilting at windmills. It is the obligation of Bush's critics to explain why democracy is good enough for Western states but not for the rest, and, one gathers from the argument, should not even be attempted. Of course, whether democracy in the Middle East will have a peaceful or stabilizing influence on America's interests in the short run is open to question. Perhaps democratic Arab states would be more opposed to Israel, but nonetheless, their people would be better off. The United States has brought democracy to Afghanistan, where 8.5 million Afghans, 40 percent of them women, voted in a critical October 2004 election, even though remnant Taliban forces threatened them. The first free elections were held in Iraq in January 2005. It was the military power of the United States that put Iraq on the path to democracy. Washington fostered democratic governments in Europe, Latin America, Asia and the Caucasus. Now even the Middle East is increasingly democratic. They may not yet look like Western-style democracies, but democratic progress has been made in Algeria, Morocco, Lebanon, Iraq, Kuwait, the Palestinian Authority and Egypt. By all accounts, the march of democracy has been impressive. Third, along with the growth in the number of democratic states around the world has been the growth of the global economy. With its allies, the United States has labored to create an economically liberal worldwide network economic stability prosperity characterized by free trade and commerce, respect for international property rights, and mobility of capital and labor markets. The and that stems from this economic order is a global public good from which all states benefit, particularly the poorest states in the Third World. The United States created this network not out of altruism but for the benefit and the economic well-being of America. This economic order forces American industries to be competitive, maximizes efficiencies and growth, and benefits defense as well because the size of the economy makes the defense burden manageable. Economic spin-offs foster the development of military technology, helping to ensure military prowess. Perhaps the greatest testament to the benefits of the economic network comes from Deepak Lal, a former Indian foreign service diplomat and researcher at the World Bank, who started his career confident in the socialist ideology of post-independence India. Abandoning the positions of his youth, Lal now recognizes that the only way to bring relief to desperately poor countries market economic policies and globalization, which are facilitated through American primacy.4 As a witness to the failed alternative economic systems, Lal is one of the strongest academic proponents of American primacy due to the economic of the Third World is through the adoption of free prosperity it provides 2AC Inherency Backlines General The federal government should expedite leasing agreements and expand areas of exploitation in in the OCR – status quo reticence is stifling potential gains Loris, 5/17 – economist, focuses on energy, environmental and regulatory issues as the Herbert and Joyce Morgan fellow at The Heritage Foundation (Nicolas, “Federal Regulations and Federal Ownership Limit Oil Production Potential,” Heritage, 5-17-14, http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2014/05/federal-regulations-and-federal-ownership-limitoil-production-potential, SMS) Offshore Drilling Discouraged After oil production reached a peak in barrels produced offshore per day in 2010, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill resulted in a blanket moratorium on all new offshore projects and the cancellations of several existing leases. There may no longer be a literal ban on offshore drilling, but government policies still in effect have the same consequences. It can take anywhere from five to 10 years for a company to move from approval to production, with no guarantee that the permit obtained will lead to successful crude oil production. Much of this is due to copious amounts of regulation and red tape. The time and labor needed to see this process through dwarfs the amount of time it takes other businesses to expand and grow in almost any other industry. On top of the inefficient and onerous regulatory process, the oil industry has access to just 15 percent of available offshore areas. Inaccessibility and unnecessary regulations inhibit economic growth in various parts of the country off the Atlantic, Pacific, and Gulf coasts. A study recently published by the American Petroleum Institute and the National Ocean Industries Association shows that opening up offshore areas for drilling in the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf—just one region where offshore drilling is possible but not permitted—would create 280,000 jobs in that region alone. Drilling on Federal Lands Faces Bureaucratic Hurdles In addition to a continued decline in offshore drilling, onshore drilling on federal land has increased at only a fraction of the rate as on non-federal lands. Almost all of the benefits from fracking thus far have occurred on non-federal land. While production on state and private lands has grown by almost 65 percent in the past seven years, production on federal lands has increased by about 27 percent, less than half the rate. In total, federal lands now account for only 5 percent of oil production. Daily federal onshore oil production is equal to about one-third of what is produced every day at the Bakken formation alone. Part of the discrepancy is that many of the big oil shale reserves lie on non-federal lands; however, a major reason that production on federal land has lagged behind is not a matter of economic viability or location but rather inefficiencies on the part of the federal government. As with offshore drilling, long processes resulting from government inefficiencies create an unnecessary burden on industry. In some cases, waiting for a federal permit can take 10 times longer than it does at the state level. In 2013, the average wait for the federal government to approve a request was 194 days, compared to 27 days in North Dakota, 11 days in Texas, and 45 in Pennsylvania. Federal ownership disincentivizes production on non-federal lands located adjacent to or interspersed with federal lands. Since production on federal lands is much more difficult, drilling may make economic sense only if a company has access to both the federal land and the non-federal land. Open Access and Grant States Control Excessive regulations and bureaucratic inefficiencies have stymied oil production and prevented the full effects of the energy boom. Opening up the rest of the Outer Continental Shelf to exploration and oil production would allow this to occur. Current OCS plan fails, an expanded plan is needed to sufficiently increase oil production Spakovski and Loris 12 (Hans von Spakovsky is an authority on a wide range of issues – including civil rights, civil justice, the First Amendment, immigration, the rule of law and government reform -- as a senior legal fellow in The Heritage Foundation’s Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, A senior policy analyst in Heritage's Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies, Loris researches and writes about energy prices and other economic effects of environmental policies and regulations, including climate change legislation, energy efficiency and energy subsidies. He covers coal, oil and gas and renewable energy policy and articulates the benefits of free market environmentalism, August 13, 2012, “The Heritage Foundation, Offshore Drilling: Increase Access, Reduce the Risk, and Stop Hurting American Companies”, http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2012/08/offshore-drilling-increase-accessreduce-the-risk-and-stop-hurting-american-companies) IF No New Access in the New OCS Plan¶ The recent lease sale in the Central Gulf of Mexico was a welcoming sign (especially since the Administration delayed part of the sale in 2010), but the new five- year leasing plan for 2012–2017 is extremely disappointing. The Administration failed to unlock the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, as well as the Eastern Gulf of Mexico and areas off Alaska’s coast. As a result, a meager 15 percent of America’s territorial waters are available for oil and gas exploration. The Minerals Management Service estimates that 101 billion barrels of oil and 480 trillion cubic feet of natural gas of proven reserves and undiscovered resources are awaiting exploration in the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). Opening these areas would generate hundreds of thousands of new jobs, generate hundreds of billions of dollars in government revenue, and bring more oil to the world market, thereby lowering gas prices.¶ Congress Should Open Access, Reduce Risk¶ Opening access and reducing the onerous regulatory risk would give companies the certainty they need to expand job creation and increase energy supplies. Specifically:¶ Congress should require the Department of the Interior to open all of America’s territorial waters for leasing, exploration, and drilling . The Offshore Petroleum Expansion Now (OPEN) Act of 2012, for instance, would replace President Obama’s 2012–2017 Outer Continental Shelf Oil & Gas Leasing Program with a much more robust plan that opens areas in the Atlantic, Pacific, Gulf of Mexico, and off Alaska’s coast.¶ Congress should require the Department of the Interior to honor the permit deadlines (as required by law) unless the Interior finds specific and significant faults with the application. If Interior concludes that the permit application is not complete, it should outline specific steps the applicant could take to complete it. If Interior does not find fault with the application before the , the permit application should be considered accepted upon expiration of the deadline so that companies can proceed with exploration and drilling.¶ deadline expires Expediting through streamlining solves – pilot proves Humphries, 4/1o – Specialist in Energy Policy (Marc, “U.S. Crude Oil and Natural Gas Production in Federal and Non-Federal Areas,” Congressional Research Service, 4-10-14, http://energycommerce.house.gov/sites/republicans.energycommerce.house.gov/files/20140410CRSUS-crude-oil-natural-gas-production-federal-non-federal-areas.pdf, SMS) EPACT ’05 also included a provision to initiate and fund (funding authorized through FY2015) a pilot program at seven BLM field offices in an effort to streamline the permitting process for oil and gas leases on federal lands. Results from the pilot project were published according to the timetable required by EPACT ’05 (within three years after enactment). The conclusion was that the pilot made a difference in improving the processing times for APDs at the pilot offices overall and increased the number of environmental inspections. The BLM noted that the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) processing time for APDs and rights of way (ROW) applications fell from 81 to 61 days or roughly 25% due to “colocation” of agency staff. BLM reported that the number of environmental inspections went up by 78% from FY2006 to FY2007.19 The BLM reported mixed results at the specific field offices. While some of the offices processed more permits in 2007 than they did in 2005, all the pilot sites reported more completed environmental inspections.20 New OCS leases unlocks massive amounts of oil Chruickshank, 7 – 2007 ACTING DIRECTOR, MINERALS MANAGEMENT SERVICE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR BEFORE THE HOUSE COMMITTEE ON NATURAL RESOURCES SUBCOMMITTEE ON ENERGY AND MINERAL RESOURCES (Walter D., “Oil and Gas Leasing on the Outer Continental Shelf,” Office of Congressional and Legislative Affairs, 6-28-7, http://www.doi.gov/ocl/hearings/110/OilAndGasLeasingOnTheOCS_062807.cfm, SMS) Last year, as part of the OCS inventory requirements of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, MMS completed an assessment of the potential quantities of undiscovered technically recoverable oil and gas resources that may be present on the OCS. According to this assessment, we estimate (at the mean level) that the OCS contains 86 billion barrels of oil (as oil and natural gas liquids/condensate) and 420 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. For comparison, the most recent resource estimates from the United States Geological Survey National Oil and Gas Assessment indicate that the total mean, undiscovered technically recoverable resources for onshore and State owned waters offshore are approximately 57 billion barrels of oil (as oil and natural gas liquids/condensate) and 627 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Thus, the OCS contains about 60 percent of the Nation’s remaining undiscovered technically recoverable oil (as oil and natural gas liquids/condensate) and 40 percent of its natural gas. [See Figure C: Resource Assessment Map] Of the 1.76 billion acres of Federal offshore lands on the OCS, about 600 million acres are not available for oil and gas leasing. When the 2006 resource assessment was completed, areas under congressional moratoria or Presidential withdrawal included the North Aleutian Basin off Alaska, the Pacific, the Eastern Gulf of Mexico, and the Atlantic. The potential resource in these areas is estimated to be approximately 18 billion barrels and 76 trillion cubic feet of gas, or approximately 20 percent of the undiscovered technically recoverable resources in the OCS. There is great uncertainty regarding the resource potential in areas where leasing has been prohibited and where the last geophysical surveys and drilling exploration occurred more than 25 years ago. Obama’s current 5 year plan fails – a new OCS drilling system is needed Bachman and Varin 12 (John joined Monica Pearson as co-anchor for Channel 2 Action News at 4 p.m. when the station launched the additional hour of early evening news on May 26, 2011. He now anchors Channel 2 Action News at 4 with Erin Coleman, Andra Varin writes for Newsmax as the lead energy writer, July 25, 2012, Newsmax, Fleming: More Offshore Oil, Gas Drilling Needed, http://www.newsmax.com/US/oil-gas-drilling-Fleming/2012/07/25/id/446535/) IF Obama’s five-year plan to regulate offshore oil and gas drilling does not meet America’s energy needs and should be replaced with a proposal that would open up new areas for exploration, Rep. John Fleming told Newsmax.TV Wednesday.¶ Fleming, R-La., is a member of the House Natural Resources Committee and a proponent of H.R. 6082, which would expand offshore President Barack GOP lease sales in a bid to increase domestic oil and gas production . The House was expected to vote on the bill Wednesday.¶ Fleming said Obama had drastically reduced the areas of continental shelf available for leasing under President George W. Bush.¶ Obama is “really not opening up anything new, closing down much of what Bush had opened up, which is kind of odd considering the fact that oil and gasoline prices are back up again. Also, there are other areas that he allows some seismic activity, some study, Restricting leases in the United States, he said, only increases American dependency on foreign fuel supplies. And it means oil and gas companies will look for places to drill overseas instead of investing in the U.S.¶ “The more you restrict what’s available in the United States, the more likely that the equation is going to favor going to foreign countries,” Fleming said.¶ The GOP bill was environmentally responsible because it would keep exploration from going to countries with little oversight.¶ “It’s important to note that not only by sending rigs overseas to other places to drill, that we’re moving those rigs from a very safe environmental [climate ] where we have much more control, much more oversight and regulation than other countries, other areas of the world that don’t have the same,” he said.¶ The congressman argued that Obama’s plan also sends jobs overseas, creating a “lose-lose proposition” for Americans.¶ “One of the things that’s dragging our economy down rapidly is the high cost of energy, which we don’t have to have. If we actually put more conventional energy into the but no real activity – no leasing, no drilling,” Fleming told Newsmax.TV.¶ marketplace, that would lower the cost of that. ¶ "A, it would increase jobs just because you would have more producers out there working their employees. And, B, as those costs come down, businesses begin to make their bottom lines and they start expanding once again,” Fleming said.¶ “At the end of the day, you don’t get more tax revenue by raising taxes," he said. You get it by employing more people who will, in turn, pay taxes.” Increasing offshore leasing solves for increasing demand for oil Abbott 12 (Brian Abbott is a Hedge Fund Manager, with special focus in reinsurance companies, December 25, 2012, Seeking Alpha, An Introduction to Investing in Offshore Drilling Companies, http://seekingalpha.com/article/1081121-an-introduction-to-investing-in-offshore-drilling-companies) IF I became interested in the offshore drilling sector 8 years ago as an asset class fairly uncorrelated to the S&P 500, and as a diversifier against my reinsurance stocks. I also believe that oil supplies are becoming harder to find and the growing global demand for oil necessitates going to offshore sources to meet that demand. Look no further than the fact that new wells are being drilled in water that is 12,000 feet or deeper as a testament to the fact that the easier and cheap sources of oil are largely exhausted. In a way , offshore oil drilling is "the last frontier", and an expensive one. Frankly, I'd rather invest in the companies with the tools necessary for this drilling, rather than the oil companies that have to pay for these costs of drilling. (The rig owner gets paid even if it ends up , the business of offshore drilling is to use capital obtained from equity financing, debt financing, and retained earnings to purchase offshore drilling rigs, and to lease those rigs out to oil companies drilling their offshore mineral leases. Profit being a dry hole).¶ Offshore drilling industry¶ Put simply comes from leasing these drill rigs at contracted day rates that exceed the company's cost of capital and operating costs.¶ The offshore drilling companies are leveraged to long term price trends of oil. It is often stated that the break-even for deepwater drilling is oil over $70 a barrel. Oil seems to be stuck in a range higher than that for years now. While shale drilling and new hydraulic fracturing technology have increased land-based drilling, the bulk of that is for natural gas, and I think we will increasingly turn to offshore sources for oil. 87% of the OCS is off limits Green, 6/16 - reporting on a conference with Andy Radford, senior policy advisor for the API (Mark, “Better Planning for a Better Energy Future”, API, 6-16-14, http://energytomorrow.org/blog/2014/june/better-planning-for-a-better-energy-future, SMS) With the Interior Department turning its attention to the next five-year offshore leasing plan, here’s a figure to keep in mind: 87 percent. That’s how much of our federal offshore acreage is off limits for energy development – and it’s costing us energy, jobs and economic growth. Andy Radford, API senior policy advisor, set out some of the arguments for increasing access to energy reserves in the next five-year leasing plan during a conference call with reporters: Pro- development energy policies opening access to areas both on and offshore could generate more than 1 million new jobs and 4 million additional barrels of oil per day. Development in just the Atlantic outer continental shelf (OCS) could create nearly 280,000 new jobs, grow the economy by up to $23.5 billion per year and add 1.3 million barrels of oil equivalent per day to U.S. production. Locked away in the Pacific and eastern Gulf of Mexico are more than 200,000 jobs, $218 billion in government revenue and 2.6 million barrels of oil equivalent per day. Radford said including these areas in the next leasing plan would signal to global markets that the U.S. energy revolution is here to stay. Offshore development is safer than ever before , he said, pointing to a statement released in April by the co-chairmen of the national spill commission: “We are generally pleased with the way the industry and the executive branch have moved ahead on the Commission’s recommendations to improve the safety of offshore drilling and the capacity to respond to spills. Federal regulatory agencies are implementing new rules regarding oversight of the industry and bolstering their enforcement activities. Government and industry are working together to create a safety-conscious culture in the offshore drilling industry. And the industry has substantially improved its capacity to respond to rupturing wells by pre-positioning caps for ready deployment should trouble occur. Thus, offshore drilling is safer than it was four years ago.” In addition, the Center for Offshore Safety continues to work with companies and regulators to develop safety plans and systems for managing those plans – both designed to engrain safety even more deeply in day-to-day industry operations. Radford said the next five-year offshore leasing plan, covering sales for 2017 to 2022, will be significant for U.S. energy development and called on the government to craft a plan that greatly expands access to oil and natural gas reserves: “Decisions made now, especially in unexplored areas , will have impacts well into the future. Knowing this, the department should thoroughly analyze the resource-rich areas of interest throughout the entire U.S. O uter C ontinental S helf and draft an expansive leasing plan that maintains current leasing areas and seeks to unlock new areas that are currently off-limits, such as the Atlantic and the eastern Gulf of Mexico.” More Radford: “The U.S. recently became the world’s largest producer of oil and natural gas. This energy renaissance has put millions of Americans to work, generated billions of dollars in revenue for the government, and put downward pressure on prices for consumers. But earlier this month, the I nternational E nergy A gency reported that we could fall behind OPEC countries if U.S. production plateaus, which IEA says could result in ‘tighter and more volatile oil markets’ and add $15 per barrel to the price of oil. Growing U.S. production has dramatically increased our resistance to energy shocks, but our long-term energy security can only be ensured with a lasting commitment to expanding oil and natural gas development both on and offshore.” Key to the leasing plan is a near-term federal decision on issuing permits for the collection of new seismic survey data in the Atlantic and the conditions it will set for those permits. Radford said the parameters for muchneeded surveying should be based on the best available science and real operational experience, which he said have shown that surveys are safe and have negligible effect on marine mammals. The data is needed to set the stage for offshore leasing, exploration and development and shouldn’t be laden with restrictions based on unrealistic animal impacts, as API and other organizations argued in recent comments to the government. Radford: “America’s oil and natural gas renaissance has nurtured our economy with good jobs, affordable energy, and stable prices, but if we want these benefits last for the long-term, we cannot afford to make short-sighted decisions about our energy future. The U.S. has an unprecedented opportunity to be the global leader in energy for decades to come, but achieving our true potential will take leadership and foresight from those in government who hold the key to accessing our offshore energy reserves. The time has come to open the lock and allow safe and responsible energy production throughout the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf .” Squo leasing policies fail - limit out 98% of potential U.S. energy Pyle, 2012 - President of the Institute for Energy Research (Thomas, “Energy Department sneaks offshore moratorium past public; Jobs and oil-supply potential are shut down,” Washington Times, July 10, 2012, http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/jul/9/energy-department-sneaks-offshoremoratorium-past-/, SMS) While the Obama administration was taking a victory lap last week after the 5-4 Supreme Court decision to uphold the president's signature legislative accomplishment, Obamacare, the Interior Department was using the media black hole to release a much-awaited five-year plan for offshore drilling. That plan reinstitutes a 30-year moratorium on offshore energy exploration that will keep our most promising resources locked away until long after President Obama begins plans for his presidential library. Given the timing, it is clear that the self-described "all of the above" energy president didn't want the American people to discover that he was denying access to nearly 98 percent of America's vast energy potential on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). ¶ The Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) of 1953 provided the interior secretary with the authority to administer mineral exploration and development off our nation's coastlines. At its most basic level, the act empowers the interior secretary - in this case, former U.S. Sen. Kenneth L. Salazar of Colorado - to provide oil and gas leases to the highest-qualified bidder while establishing guidelines for implementing an oil and gas exploration-and-development program for the Outer Continental Shelf. In 1978, in the wake of the oil crisis and spiking gasoline prices, Congress amended the act to require a series of five-year plans that provide a schedule for the sale of oil and gas leases to meet America's national energy needs.¶ But since taking office, Mr. Obama and Mr. Salazar have worked to restrict access to our offshore oil and gas resources by canceling lease sales, delaying others and creating an atmosphere of uncertainty about America's future offshore development that has left job creators looking for other countries' waters to host their offshore rigs. More than 3 1/2 years into the Obama regime, nearly 86 billion barrels of undiscovered oil on the Outer Continental Shelf remain off-limits to Americans. Alaska alone has about 24 billion barrels of oil in unleased federal waters. The Commonwealth of Virginia - where Mr. Obama has reversed policies that would have allowed offshore development - is home to 130 million barrels of offshore oil and 1.14 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. But thanks to the president, Virginians will have to wait at least another five years before they can begin creating the jobs that will unlock their offshore resources.¶ Once you add those restrictions to the vast amount of shale oil that is being blocked, the administration has embargoed nearly 200 years of domestic oil supply. No wonder the administration wanted to slip its plan for the OCS under the radar when the whole country was focused on the health care decision.¶ But facts are stubborn things, and the Obama administration cannot run forever from its abysmal energy record. In the past three years, the government has collected more than 250 times less revenue from offshore lease sales than it did during the last year of the George W. Bush administration - down from $9.48 billion in 2008 to a paltry $36 million last year. Meanwhile, oil production on federal lands dropped 13 percent last year, and the number of annual leases is down more than 50 percent from the Clinton era.¶ Under the new Obama plan, those numbers will only get worse. The 2012-17 plan leaves out the entire Atlantic and Pacific coasts and the vast majority of OCS areas off Alaska. It cuts in half the average number of lease sales per year, requires higher minimum bids and shorter lease periods and dramatically reduces lease terms. Yet, somehow, we're supposed to believe that our "all of the above" president is responsible for increased production and reduced oil import. New leases are vital – status quo increases are just in private land – prevents access to energy rich federal regions Malcom, 12 – veteran national and foreign correspondent, editor, editorial writer and blogger, who’s spent nearly four decades on three major U.S. newspapers and another eight years in government and politics (Andrew, “Obama Sets Drilling Limits, Continues War On Oil,” Investors.com, 7-24-12, http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/072412-619416-obama-holds-back-offshore-drillingleases.htm, SMS) If not for Section 18 of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act that requires the Interior Department to submit energy plans to Congress that include proposed public lease sales in U.S. waters, it's safe to say that the Obama administration likely would be offering zero offshore leases. As it is, it appears it is doing just enough to comply with the law, and no more. Perhaps worse than offering a paltry number of leases, this administration has canceled previous lease offers and conducted only 11 of the 21 sales that were scheduled by the Bush administration for 2007-12. This White House has even been found in contempt for refusing a judge's order to lift an illegal moratorium it had placed on offshore drilling. When gas prices were soaring, Obama thought it clever to point out that oil output has increased on his watch. Unlike many of his other claims, this was true. But the increase has been from development on private property, not public lands rich in energy resources. It's not an increase he can take credit for. It's an increase that occurred in spite of his policies. 85% of offshore waters is inaccessible directly because of lack of involvement from the federal government API 13 (American Petroleum Institute in partnership with the National Ocean Industries Association, December 2013, “The Economic Benefits of Increasing U.S. Access to Offshore Oil and Natural Gas Resources in the Atlantic”, http://www.api.org/~/media/Files/Oil-and-NaturalGas/Exploration/Offshore/Atlantic-OCS/Executive-Summary-Economic-Benefits-of-Increasing-USAccess-to-Atlantic-Offshore-Resources.pdf, ZS) The offshore oil and natural gas industry within the United States is a significant contributor to employment, the national economy, government revenues, and domestic energy production. Current offshore oil and gas production in the U.S. is essentially limited to the Central, Western and a small amount of the eastern Gulf of Mexico with limited additional legacy production off Alaska and California. Total offshore oil and natural gas production in federal waters was a combined 1.87 million barrels of oil equivalent per day as of June of 2013 or 9 percent of U.S. production. Approximately 85 percent of acreage in federal offshore waters is inaccessible to offshore oil and natural gas development, either through lack of federal lease sales or outright moratoriums. Oil and gas development off the Atlantic coast has been restricted since the 1980’s. Only 51 exploratory wells were drilled in the 1970s and 1980s, mainly in shallow water. A lease sale off the coast of Virginia was planned for 2011, but was subsequently canceled. No lease sales in the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) are currently scheduled. The next five-year plan of OCS lease sales, yet to be released, would start in 2017. While there have been no recent seismic surveys or exploratory wells in the Atlantic OCS, an updated reserve analysis based on historic information was released by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) in 2011. The BOEM report identified and estimated resources in ten unique geologic plays. The BOEM resource estimates served as the foundation for the reserve and production models of this report. This report constructs a scenario of oil and natural gas development in the Atlantic OCS, based on the resource potential of the area, geologic analogs, and the full value chain of oil and natural gas development and production. It quantifies the capital and other investments projected to be undertaken by the oil and natural gas industry, identifies linkages to the oil and gas supply chain and supporting industries at both the state and national levels, estimates both job creation and contributions to economies associated with oil and natural gas development, as well as government revenues due to lease bids, rents and production royalties. The report relies on Quest Offshore Resources, Inc. (Quest) proprietary database3 on the offshore oil and natural gas supply chain. Region – Arctic A new U.S. regulatory strategy is key to sustainable Arctic development Zalan, 13- editor for U.S. News Weekly (Kira, “A Rush to Expand Oil Drilling in the Arctic”, U.S. News, 12/5/13,http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2013/12/05/a-rush-to-expand-oil-drilling-in-the-arctic)//TL In late December 2012, the U.S. Coast Guard was dispatched to rescue 18 crew members from the Kulluk, a Royal Dutch Shell drilling rig that had broken free from its tow. The responders battled an Arctic storm that generated near hurricane-strength winds and 50-foot waves, but despite their efforts, the rig ran aground off of a small Alaskan island on New Year's Eve. The oil rig's fuel tanks were not breached, according to a Department of the Interior review, but up to 272 gallons of diesel oil may have flowed into the water from shattered lifeboats. The Kulluk incident – the culmination of the first exploratory drilling effort in the U.S. Arctic in almost two decades – demonstrated the perils posed by this remote and harsh area of the world. Human activity in the Arctic is growing fast, as rising global temperatures have led the frozen polar region to warm faster than expected and become increasingly ice free for longer periods of time. In the last few years, six of the eight Arctic littoral countries - the United States, Russia, Norway, Canada, Denmark and Iceland - have granted energy companies offshore oil and gas exploration licenses. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the Arctic could hold about 22 percent of the world's undiscovered oil and natural gas resources. And in addition to the estimated boost to energy production, shipping companies are exploring the potential for polar navigation routes to save transit time. In September, a Chinese container ship made headlines by reaching Europe's Rotterdam port 15 days sooner than it would have through the common route of the Suez Canal, which connects the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea. Experts warn that the lack of infrastructure and regulatory framework opens the door for conflict and potentially devastating accidents. In the U.S., observers are pressing the Obama administration to urgently develop a more specific national strategy and to take more control internationally. In two years, the U.S. will lead the ArcticCouncil, an intergovernmental forum of regional governments and peoples. "The Arctic is evolving more rapidly than our policies can keep up with," says Heather Conley, senior fellow and director of the Europe Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. In May, President Obama released a national strategy, basicallyreaffirming the previous administration's 2009 presidential directive on the Arctic, says Conley. The strategy assigns federal agencies to seven areas of focus - national and homeland security, international governance, border resolution, scientific cooperation, maritime transportation, economic and energy promotion, and environmental protection. "What we need now is really a strategy that goes to the next level, details how we're going to achieve those objectives and [identifies] the funding resources necessary to achieve those directives. [It should also ensure] some accountability for how those agencies achieve those objectives," says Conley. Last month, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel unveiled the Pentagon's own strategy, outlining agency-specific objectives based on the White House plan. Still, experts say, the DOD's strategy lacked specifics and budgetary resources, particularly in developing the Arctic's infrastructure. "The Defense Department has a lot of capacity [such as charting and marine communications]," says Mark Rosen, a maritime law expert and senior legal adviser at CNA Corporation, a research nonprofit. "There could be mechanisms put in place where DOD can do this but get reimbursed by some of the energy companies for some of the costs." Rosen recently co-authored a policy paper, identifying gaps in Arctic governance for the Arctic Security Initiative, a project at Stanford University's Hoover Institution. The report outlines specific recommendations to usher economic development in the region and highlights a need for legally binding agreements between Arctic countries that would establish an enforceable regulatory regime. "If a serious incident involving a ship or oil rig were to occur today, it is quite likely that there would be insufficient assets to respond to that emergency, clean up the mess, and compensate those who are injured," the report reads. Establishing material and training requirements, as well as strict liability and minimum insurance limits, would help regulate international vessel activity, according to the report. Improved federal regulations are key to sustainable Arctic Ocean development- solves oil and the environment Hieman, 13- director of the US Arctic program for the Pew Charitable Trusts (Marilyn, “Arctic oil drilling needs better federal regulation (+video)”, Christian Science Monitor, 3/14/13, http://www.csmonitor.com/Commentary/Opinion/2013/0314/Arctic-oil-drilling-needs-betterfederal-regulation-video)//TL SEATTLE — While the allure of oil reserves in the Arctic Ocean has attracted the interest of several major energy companies, recent news has made it clear that the region is an extremely challenging and dangerous place to drill for oil. Royal Dutch Shell PLC – the only company that attempted to drill in the US Arctic Ocean in 2012 – has delayed plans to try drilling again this year because it needs more time to repair and upgrade its drill rigs and containment system after last year’s string of mishaps. This announcement comes just prior to today’s release of a review of last year's drilling activities by the US Department of the Interior. The federal review represents a welcome first step toward identifying safety and systems failures that plagued last year's Arctic oil-drilling operations. Only by taking additional steps to strengthen federal review and regulation of these operations, however, can the Obama administration show its commitment to responsible Arctic Ocean development.Outgoing Interior Secretary Ken Salazar ordered the expedited assessment after a Shell oil rig ran aground near Alaska's Kodiak Island on New Year's Eve. The Kulluk was on its way to the Pacific Northwest from its Arctic drilling site off Alaska's north coast when the ship towing it lost power, the towlines broke, and the rig hit the rocks. It wasn't the drilling season's sole mishap. Both the Kulluk and a second rig, the Noble Discoverer, are now being towed to Asia for inspection and repairs. A US Coast Guard investigation of the Noble Discoverer found 16 violations of safety and pollution-control regulations. A US Department of Justice criminal investigation is now under way based on the violations. But the issues go beyond any single accident or oil company. The Kulluk ran aground in the Gulf of Alaska only 50 miles from the closest US Coast Guard station, yet the current targets for drilling lie 1,000 miles farther north in the Arctic Ocean. Helicopters, planes, and vessels were on hand to evacuate the crew of the Kulluk and assist in the salvage. But farther north, there are no major ports, airports, or roads. Hurricane-force winds, subzero temperatures, shifting sea ice, and long periods of fog and darkness could shut down a rescue operation or spill response altogether. No proven methods exist to clean up oil in broken ice. At stake is not only the safety of crew members and rescue workers, but also a rich and complex ecosystem found nowhere else in the United States. The Arctic Ocean is home to bowhead whales, walruses, polar bears, and other magnificent marine mammals as well as millions of migratory birds. Alaska Native communities have depended on a healthy ocean for traditional hunting and fishing for hundreds of years. If the Obama administration wants a balanced approach to drilling, it can take steps now to ensure that offshore Arctic development is done as safely and sustainably as possible. First, it must incorporate world-class, Arctic-specific safety, spill prevention, and response standards into federal regulations that apply to every company operating in the region. These should account for the area's remote location, lack of infrastructure, and unique operating conditions due to the severe climate. Equipment and techniques used in temperate waters are simply not transferable to the Arctic. The administration must also protect areas that are biologically important or used for hunting and fishing by indigenous communities. The local communities should have a voice on what kind of development is appropriate, where it should take place, and what safeguards are needed. Traditional knowledge of Alaska Natives, who have survived in these extreme conditions since time immemorial, should be a critical piece of any decisions about development in the Arctic. The federal government must also ensure that both science and conservation guide decision-making. This will require a long-term monitoring program to assess the cumulative effects of multiple, interacting stresses. Such stresses include changes in climate, plus noise and pollution from vessel traffic and drilling operations, which can disrupt habitat, migration patterns, and communications for whales and other marine mammals. Finally, oil spill prevention and response plans must be publicly reviewed and tested to work in Arctic conditions with full transparency. All industry operators must keep the public informed in a timely manner. Providing opportunities for review and comment on exploration and oil-spill plans will be an important step toward building public trust. Americans have learned this lesson before: Investigations into the 1989 Exxon-Valdez oil spill found – too late – that spill prevention and response capacity in Alaska's pristine Prince William Sound was fundamentally inadequate. Last year's problem-plagued attempt to drill for oil makes clear that much remains to be done to ensure that decisions are made to protect America's irreplaceable Arctic Ocean. Such lapses are not acceptable only three short years after the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. AT: Drilling too slow Drilling is fast Gold, 13 - Senior energy reporter (Russell, The Wall Street Journal, “U.S. Shale Producers Drilling Bigger, Faster Wells”, WSJ, 10-22-14, http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303672404579151874236726940, SMS) New statistics from the federal government suggest the industry is becoming more efficient: Companies have figured out ways to use fewer drilling rigs to produce bigger and better wells in shale formations—helping to boost overall energy production. "The technology is getting better and companies are moving up the learning curve," said Sam Gorgen, an analyst at the Energy Information Administration, the statistical arm of the U.S. Department of Energy, which released its "Drilling Productivity Report" for the first time Tuesday. This summer, the U.S. passed Russia to become the world's largest producer of oil and natural gas, thanks to hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, and related welldrilling improvements. Officials in Russia and at the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries suggested that the U.S. was in an energy bubble that would soon pop. Art Berman, a petroleum consultant who has been skeptical about the economics of the energy boom, said that while shale extraction is getting better, it is still not ushering in an era of cheap energy abundance. "What I think this shows is that we're getting better at a very expensive and inefficient process" he said. There is little evidence that the U.S. has used up its good drilling locations, according to the new data. By drilling and fracking the dense shale rocks more economically, U.S. companies can continue to drill more wells. The EIA's report measured rig efficiencies, production and declines in six petroleum basins in the U.S. Of the six, only the Permian Basin in West Texas didn't show improvements in efficiency. The trend of faster well drilling can be seen in newly released data from the Eagle Ford Shale in South Texas. The number of rigs drilling wells declined by 5% in September from a year earlier. But each remaining rig was drilling more, and the oil and gas output from these wells was 28% higher than wells drilled by a single rig the previous year. Overall, oil and gas production in the Eagle Ford was up 57%, according to EIA data. "We have half of our entire staff just looking at efficiencies and what we can do to make our wells better," said Floyd Wilson, chairman and chief executive of Halcón Resource Corp. and a veteran of shale development. For the industry, the result of this focus is that "the outlook for crude prices has to be more moderate than it used to be because of these homegrown supplies we are finding," he said. Crude oil closed Tuesday at $97.80 a barrel, and has remained near this price for over a year, despite turmoil in the Middle East. The new supplies of North American crude are helping lessen price volatility that has wracked the fuel at times over the past decade. Of course, not all companies drilling wells into shales are successful. Royal Dutch Shell RDSB.LN 0.00% PLC, in August, took a $2.07 billion write-down of its North American shale stakes. Last month, the Anglo-Dutch company said it was selling assets in South Texas. Shell has said its efforts to drill for natural gas, in particular, had crimped profits. The abundance of natural gas from shales has helped drive down prices to below $4 per thousand cubic feet for the past couple of years. It closed Tuesday at $3.58. Smaller producers have tended to be more successful in shale than major oil companies, in part because they can move more quickly to lease up acreage before land prices rise and are more nimble at experimenting with different well designs to maximize output and drive down unit costs. Companies that provide drilling and fracking are competing to lower costs and provide better services, even as they face what many believe is too many rigs and frack crews. "Everybody is very, very focused on continuing to drive efficiencies in the marketplace," Jeff Miller, chief operating officer of Halliburton Co., said on Monday in a conference call with investors. AT: States Block They misread the law – states can voice concerns, but they don’t have the authority to veto the plan OCSLA, 13 (“Outer Continental Shelf Land Act,” Legal Council, 12-26-13, http://legcounsel.house.gov/Comps/Outer%20Continental%20Shelf%20Lands%20Act.pdf, SMS) (3) the outer Continental Shelf is a vital national resource reserve held by the Federal Government for the public, which should be made available for expeditious and orderly development, subject to environmental safeguards, in a manner which is consistent with the maintenance of competition and other national needs; (4) since exploration, development, and production of the minerals of the outer Continental Shelf will have significant impacts on coastal and non-coastal areas of the coastal States, and on other affected States, and, in recognition of the national interest in the effective management of the marine, coastal, and human environments— (A) such States and their affected local governments may require assistance in protecting their coastal zones and other affected areas from any temporary or permanent adverse effects of such impacts; (B) the distribution of a portion of the receipts from the leasing of mineral resources of the outer Continental Shelf adjacent to State lands, as provided under section 8(g), will provide affected coastal States and localities with funds which may be used for the mitigation of adverse eco- nomic and environmental effects related to the development of such resources; and (C) such States, and through such States, affected local governments, are entitled to an opportunity to participate, to the extent consistent with the national interest, in the policy and planning decisions made by the Federal Government relating to exploration for, and development and production of, minerals of the outer Continental Shelf.1 AT: No Interest Yes drilling – resources means it full steam ahead – our evidence is predictive Hobson ’13 (Margaret Kriz Hobson, 7/18/13, E&E reporter, “Is Arctic oil exploration dead in the U.S.?”, http://www.eenews.net/stories/1059984582, ZS) Despite those concerns, the world's energy giants are queuing up to drill in the Russian Arctic. Shell signed a deal with state energy company Gazprom to jointly explore in the Russian half of the Chukchi Sea. Eni, Exxon Mobil and Statoil are each partnering with state oil giant Rosneft on separate offshore oil projects in other parts of the Russian Arctic. Norway recently announced plans to allow oil exploration in the northern Barents Sea, adjacent to the Arctic Ocean. Meanwhile, Statoil and Chevron are conducting seismic studies this summer off Canada's Arctic coastline. Analysts note that the world's eight Arctic nations are far more politically stable than the oil-rich Middle East and African nations. Alaska's oil resources are located in shallow water -- a bonus for companies that are increasingly searching for oil and gas in the deepwater reaches of the Gulf of Mexico. Rajan of IHS predicted that in the next five years, Arctic exploration will gradually expand not only in Russia, but also in Alaska, Canada, Greenland and Norway. "Looking beyond 2015, there's a potential for 20 wells per year or more going forward," he said. For the foreseeable future, however, don't expect the multinational energy companies to begin building the infrastructure needed to bring that oil to market. "The companies are in the exploration and appraisal stage," noted Rajan. "At this stage, it is full steam ahead. All they're trying to do is establish where the oil is, how much is there and what is the geographic extent." Added Kevin Casey of the Arctic Institute: "When we're looking at Arctic development, it's amazing about how slow it moves. Exploration, financing, planning and development -- these are 10-, 15-, 20-year endeavors." 2AC Economy Backlines Impact Backline Global economic crisis causes nuclear war Cesare Merlini 11, nonresident senior fellow at the Center on the United States and Europe and chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Italian Institute for International Affairs, May 2011, “A PostSecular World?”, Survival, Vol. 53, No. 2 Two neatly opposed scenarios for the future of the world order illustrate the range of possibilities, albeit at the risk of oversimplification. The first scenario entails the premature crumbling of the postWestphalian system. One or more of the acute tensions apparent today evolves into an open and traditional conflict between states, perhaps even involving the use of nuclear weapons. The crisis might be triggered by a collapse of the global economic and financial system, the vulnerability of which we have just experienced, and the prospect of a second Great Depression, with consequences for peace and democracy similar to those of the first. Whatever the trigger, the unlimited exercise of national sovereignty, exclusive self-interest and rejection of outside interference would self-interest and rejection of outside interference would likely be amplified, emptying, perhaps entirely, the half-full glass of multilateralism, including the UN and the European Union. Many of the more likely conflicts, such as between Israel and Iran or India and Pakistan, have potential religious dimensions. Short of war, tensions such as those related to immigration might become unbearable. Familiar issues of creed and identity could be exacerbated. One way or another, the secular rational approach would be sidestepped by a return to theocratic absolutes, competing or converging with secular absolutes such as unbridled nationalism. Internal Links 1) Unemployment – OCS drilling affects every industry either directly or indirectly API 13 (American Petroleum Institute in partnership with the National Ocean Industries Association, December 2013, “The Economic Benefits of Increasing U.S. Access to Offshore Oil and Natural Gas Resources in the Atlantic”, http://www.api.org/~/media/Files/Oil-and-NaturalGas/Exploration/Offshore/Atlantic-OCS/Executive-Summary-Economic-Benefits-of-Increasing-USAccess-to-Atlantic-Offshore-Resources.pdf, ZS) 2 The resulting impact of Atlantic OCS development upon the economy will be widespread among industries. Industries which are directly involved in oil and natural gas activities such as the mining sector (which includes oil and gas development), manufacturing, professional, scientific, and technical services (engineering), and construction (installation) are expected to see the largest employment effects with a combined 125 thousand jobs in 2035. Of that total, employment in the oil and gas sector is projected to be 45 thousand jobs. By 2035, the manufacturing sector which includes businesses that manufacture and fabricate oil and gas equipment, platforms and otherwise produce the goods required to develop oil and natural gas fields is projected at around 30 thousand jobs, of which over 20 thousand of these jobs are expected in the Atlantic coast states. The professional, scientific, and technical service sector, which includes engineering employment, is expected to see employment in excess of 32 thousand additional jobs. Employment in the construction sector which includes offshore installation employment is projected to be around 19 thousand jobs in 2035. Sectors not directly related to oil and gas development or the supply chain will also see impacts, mainly due to a general increase of income in the economy. Retail sector employment is projected to increase by over 20 thousand jobs in 2035 due to Atlantic OCS development. Health care and social assistance could increase by nearly 19 thousand jobs, administrative and waste management services by over 18 thousand jobs, food services and drinking places by over 13 thousand jobs, and finance and insurance, and real estate, rental, and leasing are both projected to see the creation of over 11 thousand jobs in each sector by 2035. Expanding production in the OCS could create millions of jobs and generate huge revenue Mason 09 – (Joseph R., “The Economic Contribution of Increased Offshore Oil Exploration and Production to Regional and National Economies,” American Energy Alliance, Feb. 2009, http://www.americanenergyalliance.org/docs/images/aea_summary_offshore_updated_final.pdf?php MyAdmin=fa972a975ccbf0bd709c38b1080539f5)//js Economic expansion tied to increased OCS resource production would also create millions of new jobs both in the extraction industry and in other sectors that serve suppliers or their employees. In an integrated economy, output in one state is tied to output in other states. As such, the state-by-state analysis shown in the table above misses approximately $2.45 trillion in secondary output. The total increase in output in the U.S. is estimated to amount to approximately $8.2 trillion or about $273 billion per year — just over two percent of GDP. Again, this number doesn’t consider the secondary effects of investment in productive capacity and refining to other states. Increasing OCS production could sustain, in total, about 1.2 million new, full-times jobs per year over 30 years As shown in the table above, increased OCS production would yield about $1.4 trillion in additional income for workers in coastal states over the lifetime of the fields. But this doesn’t account for secondary effects. Increased investment would generate approximately $15.7 billion in additional wages per year for the first seven years. And increased production would generate extra wage income of $70 billion per year for the next thirty years — a total of $2.1 trillion in additional income. As in the other categories, the total taxes listed here do not reflect tax levied on secondary revenues. In total, opening OCS planning areas to exploration and drilling can generate initial tax revenues of about $16 billion per year, rising to almost $75 billion per year in the production phase. Dividing the benefit equally among all U.S. taxpayers yields an immediate annual benefit of about $350 per taxpayer in the production phase. Unlike typical U.S. tax “rebates,” however, this tax reduction doesn’t come at the expense of increased U.S. borrowing. Rather, these amounts represent net tax reductions. Plan generates massive economic benefits---job growth, deficit reduction and ripple effect in the short-term Mills 12 Mark, member of the advisory council of the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science at Northwestern University and serves on the board of directors of the Marshall Institute, 7/9, “Could the United States Become the World’s Energy-Export Powerhouse?”, http://www.manhattaninstitute.org/pdf/press_release_pgi_01.pdf Unleashing 20 billion barrels of cumulative oil from Alaska’s ANWR and some currently off-limits regions of the outer continental shelf would bring over $1 trillion of net benefits to the U.S. economy. 36 In general, both history and recent analyses show that for every billion barrels of oil produced (or oil-equivalent in natural gas, and similar range for coal), there are about $75 billion in broad economic benefits. 37 A number of recent studies have explored the implications of the new hydrocarbon trajectory, should it continue unimpeded: o Citi’s analysis concludes that the oil and gas extraction sector could add as many as 3.6 million net new jobs by 2020 (for North America, both direct and indirect) and shrink the deficit by 60 percent. 38 o Wood Mackenzie 39 finds in its scenario report for the American Petroleum Institute a cumulative $800 billion in increased revenues to governments (federal, state, local) and another 1.5 million U.S. jobs, direct and indirect, over the coming two decades. o IHS Global Insight, 40 in its analysis for America’s Natural Gas Alliance, estimates that the shale gas industry alone will add more than 1 million jobs across the U.S. economy over the coming two decades and provide over $900 billion in cumulative additional federal, state, and local government tax revenues ($465 federal, $460 state and local). While there are differences in assumptions and boundaries the order-of magnitude benefits are similar and similarly impressive: millions of jobs and hundreds of billions in revenues to government coffers. None of the above accounts for the economic contributions thus far from coal, nor does it among these and similar analyses, countenance expanding coal production, North America’s third great hydrocarbon resource. Some 600,000 jobs are associated with the coal industry, a fuel that already contributes some $60 billion annually to the U.S. economy, not the least of which is the increasingly vital role of low-cost electricity in an information centric economy. 41 The U.S. uses about three BBOE of coal per year, while the world consumes about 20 BBOE of coal annually. Expanding coal exports by an amount comparable with the increase in the oil and gas sectors would add several hundred While expanding hydrocarbon production will require significant investment, it will be supplied by the private sector, generating benefits to the public sector, to private citizens, and to businesses. These kinds of benefits, which accrue without cost to taxpayers, come at a particularly important time, considering the current state of persistent unemployment and underemployment, the losses in net worth for many citizens, and the budget deficits in most states and the federal government. Economic benefits from expanding hydrocarbon production will be felt widely given the structural and geographic diversity of hydrocarbon resources and the associated industries. In contrast to other parts of the world, benefits here won’t flow to a handful of oligarchs but will involve thousands of businesses and ripple broadly throughout the economy. Expanding hydrocarbon production may be the single most important opportunity for near-term economic growth in North America and a beneficial resetting of energy geopolitics. thousand more jobs and several hundred billion more dollars in cumulative tax receipts. 42 A2: Spending The aff could reduce direct spending by 800 million CBO 11 – (“H.R. 1231 Reversing President Obama’s Offshore Moratorium Act”, Congressional Budget Office, 5/2/2011, http://cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/ftpdocs/121xx/doc12175/hr1231.pdf)//js H.R. 1231 would direct the Department of the Interior (DOI) to auction leases for the development of oil and gas resources in the most geologically productive areas of the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). For the 2012-2017 leasing period, the bill would require leasing in areas that are projected to contain more than 2.5 billion barrels of oil or 7.5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Areas meeting those criteria include the Central, Western, and Eastern Gulf of Mexico; the Beaufort, Chukchi, and North Aleutian areas off Alaska; the North and Mid-Atlantic planning areas; and the Southern California planning area. Enacting H.R. 1231 would affect direct spending; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures apply. CBO estimates that enacting this legislation would reduce direct spending (by increasing offsetting receipts) by about $350 million over the 2012-2016 period and by $800 million over the 2012-2021 period. Enacting this legislation would not affect revenues. In addition, CBO estimates that the administrative costs of implementing the bill would total about $22 million over the 2011-2016 period, assuming appropriation of the necessary amounts. H.R. 1231 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) and would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal governments. Energy Security Solves energy security Hillegeist 13 – Prepared for the National Ocean Industries Association and American Petroleum Institute (Paul, “The Economic Benefits of Increasing U.S. Access to Offshore Oil and Natural Gas Resources in the Atlantic,” API and NOIA December 2013, http://www.api.org/~/media/Files/Oil-andNatural-Gas/Exploration/Offshore/Atlantic-OCS/Executive-Summary-Economic-Benefits-of-IncreasingUS-Access-to-Atlantic-Offshore-Resources.pdf)//js Allowing access to the Atlantic OCS for oil and natural gas exploration and production activities would increase employment, economic activity, and government revenues over the long-term with comparatively little additional spending required by federal and state governments. The nation as a whole, but especially the Atlantic coast states would likely see large employment increases, increased economic activity and increased government revenue as well as increased domestic oil and natural gas production, increasing the nation’s energy security. Lifting the moratorium is key to energy security and the economy Williams 13 – (Justin, “U.S. Offshore Oil Production”, Energy and Capital, 7/1/13, http://www.energyandcapital.com/articles/us-offshore-oil-production/3579)//js The battle over the global energy race is heating up. By now, you might even say it’s on fire. Every move is crucial, and time is of the essence. If the U.S. wants to reign supreme in oil production as forecasts predict – toppling Saudi Arabia and Russia – it must take advantage of every opportunity. U.S. offshore oil production and its future exploration is paramount in the U.S. undertaking of this global feat. It will also prove to be an integral part of the American economy. And so it goes. One Republican, Kevin Brady, seeks to put more power into state hands when it comes to oil and gas. Last month, he introduced the “More Energy More Jobs Act” that would grant states authority to designate areas off their coastlines to develop gas and oil as they see fit, and with it, create more jobs. Brady, a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee and chairman of the Joint Economic Committee, released this statement in regards to his plan, according to Chron.com: “America may never reach true energy security as long as 85% of our offshore areas remain off-limits to oil and gas development. This innovative approach allows willing states to nominate potential offshore areas for the federal draft 5-year lease plan. And it directs the Interior Department to conduct the economic and environmental studies that are the important first steps for inclusion in the lease plan. As a result, Washington will no longer be able to disqualify these important areas for purely political reasons.” It’s time to unlock the full potential of U.S. energy. By allowing state governments to offer suggested developments for offshore drilling, the bill would force the federal government to do environmental reviews and resource estimates, setting the stage for further production. Manufacturing I/L Uncertainty is undermining the manufacturing industry – opening OCS lands for drilling alleviates these concerns Hayward 11 (Stephen Hayward, Fellow at AEI, “The Gas Resolution”, http://www.aei.org/article/energy-and-the-environment/conventional-energy/the-gas-revolution/, ZS) When Andrew Liveris took over as CEO of Dow Chemical at the end of 2004, the company was in the midst of a wrenching reorganization that saw it shed 7,000 jobs--14 percent of its workforce--and close 23 older chemical plants in this country. Looking ahead to a new product cycle in a fast-growing global marketplace, Liveris faced a stark choice: Should Dow invest in new capacity in the United States, or should he locate more facilities in emerging markets? One factor made expanding overseas much more attractive--not labor costs but the price of natural gas. Dow and several other industrial manufacturing sectors use natural gas as a basic feedstock for much of their product line, not primarily as an energy source. As such there are few substitutes or efficiency strategies the company could use. As Liveris told the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee in the fall of 2005, "This [natural gas] price of $14, simply put, renders the entire U.S. chemical industry uncompetitive. We simply cannot compete with the rest of the world at these prices. When faced with a choice of investing in the United States at $14 gas versus $2 to $3 elsewhere, how can I recommend investing here?" Not long after, Dow Chemical announced plans for a major expansion in Kuwait and Oman, both of which were able to guarantee long-term rock-bottom natural gas prices. Other chemical companies followed suit, and a sector that was once among the nation's strongest export industries became a net importer. Between 1997 and 2005, overall industrial consumption of natural gas in the United States fell 22.4 percent. One of the less appreciated facts of the U.S. energy marketplace is that the price of natural gas has been much more volatile than the price of oil over the last 15 years. Unlike oil, which trades at globally uniform prices, natural gas has always been a more locally traded commodity, with wide price differences from region to region. And in the middle years of the last decade, when the U.S. natural gas price spiked to $14 per thousand cubic feet, up from $2 or less for most of the 1990s, both Middle Eastern and Russian gas could be had much more cheaply--if you were located in their neighborhood. Like domestic production of oil, U.S. production of natural gas had been relatively flat for years. All of the official public and private forecasts expected domestic gas production to decline, with the result that the United States, hitherto nearly self-sufficient in natural gas (we have been importing about 10 percent of our gas from Canada and Mexico), would have to import as much as 20 percent of our needs by the year 2020. Most of the new gas imports were expected to come from the Persian Gulf, extending American dependency on that politically sketchy region. The oil and gas industry argued that the only way to turn around our gas fortunes was to open up more areas for exploration and production, especially offshore on the continental shelf, but this ran into the same buzzsaw of political opposition that has hobbled domestic oil production. Now, within an astonishingly short time, the entire picture has changed. In midDecember the Energy Information Administration released new estimates of U.S. natural gas showing proved reserves at their highest level since 1967, up 33 percent in the last three years and 62 percent over the last 10 years. Natural gas production in the United States in 2009 (21.6 trillion cubic feet) was the highest since 1973, even though demand was down on account of the recession. The Department of Energy now predicts gas reserves will grow by at least another 20 percent over the next decade, though a number of energy forecasters think reserves will grow by much more, securing a 100-year supply for our needs. Even as oil and gasoline prices rise again to uncomfortable levels, the price of natural gas has declined 80 percent from its mid-recession level in the summer of 2008, to about $4 per thousand cubic feet, and it is likely to stay at this level or perhaps fall further. Although price volatility may not be a thing of the past, it is unlikely we'll see spikes to $14 again for a very, very long time. How did this startling turnabout occur? The phrase suddenly in every newsroom copybook (the cover of Time magazine last week, a series in the New York Times last month) is "unconventional gas," chiefly shale gas and coal-bed methane, produced through a technique known as hydraulic fracturing or "fracking." Fracking involves sending high pressure fluid deep into wells to force cracks in the surrounding rock formations, which releases gas (and also oil where oil deposits are mixed in rock). From the recent news reports you'd think shale gas and fracking had just been discovered, but neither is brand new. It has been known for decades that deep shale rock formations contain lots of natural gas, and oil drillers have employed fracking for years to enhance oil recovery. But fracking for shale gas was not economical until a second technology achieved major breakthroughs in the last decade and a half: directional drilling. It is possible today to drill several wells from a single platform in many different directions, often for several miles laterally, and navigational advances enable drillers to know their exact position down to a few inches from thousands of feet away. Combined with advances in underground geological surveying, directional drilling and fracking over the last decade have allowed us to tap into previously uneconomic shale gas deposits. At the present time shale gas accounts for about 20 percent of total U.S. gas production (up from 1 percent in 2000), but it is projected to account for nearly half of U.S. gas production by the year 2035. One remarkable aspect of the shale gas revolution is that it was not the product of an energy policy edict from Washington, or the result of a bruising political battle to open up public lands and offshore waters for new exploration. Although the Halliburtons of the world are now big in the field, its pioneers were mostly smaller risk-taking entrepreneurs and technological innovators. George P. Mitchell, an independent producer based in Houston, is widely credited as being the prime mover in shale gas, pushing the idea against skeptics. The technology was mainly deployed on existing oil and gas leaseholds or on private land beyond the reach of bureaucrats (for the time being, anyway). That is why shale gas seemed to sneak up unannounced to the media and Beltway elites, even though people inside the gas industry realized several years ago what was rapidly taking place. Mitchell worked the Barnett shale formation near Dallas, but the biggest shale gas "play" is the Marcellus--a massive deep shale formation stretching from West Virginia through upstate New York. Now that shale gas is front-page news, everyone wants a piece of the action. Environmentalists, who have supported natural gas as a "bridge fuel" to kill coal, are starting to turn against gas now that it looks more abundant. Regulators want to regulate it; state legislators want to tax it more. And politicians are eager to "help" the market decide how best to use this newfound bounty, which is music to the gas industry's ears, as they fear a glut might collapse prices and do to their industry what the collapse in oil prices in 1986 did to the small producers in the oil patch. In other words, the one thing that might disrupt this amazing success story has arrived on the scene: politics. The shale gas revolution presents two main issues. The first concerns fracking, which is currently unregulated or lightly regulated by state and local governments. Fracking is currently exempt from some sections of the Clean Water Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act, though it is subject to all of the wastewater and hazardous material rules and regulations. Fracking fluids, once they have done their work loosening the gas, contain some toxic chemicals (and can pick up low levels of radiation from deep underground). Environmentalists are raising a predictable hue and cry about threats to groundwater from well casing leaks or from water that returns to the surface. The environmental crusade against fracking has its own Inconvenient Truth-style documentary, Gasland, by Pennsylvania filmmaker Josh Fox, which was nominated for best documentary at the Academy Awards and aired on HBO. Gasland features dramatic footage of gasinfused well water that can be ignited at a kitchen tap, though it is not established that this is the result of nearby shale gas drilling. Hitting pockets of gas has been a well-known phenomena in shallow water wells in parts of Pennsylvania for decades. Most shale gas fracking is conducted as far as 5,000 feet underground, thousands of feet below the aquifer and beneath impermeable rock layers that separate it from drinking water. Still, spills and leaking well casings near the surface have caused some localized water pollution problems, providing just enough traction for environmentalist complaints. The EPA has launched a major study of fracking that is expected to report findings in 2014, and New York's outgoing governor David Paterson imposed a moratorium on new gas drilling last year in response to claim s that fracking threatened groundwater, even though New York's state geologist concluded fracking presented a low risk to the state's groundwater. Environmentalists used to love natural gas--so long as it was expensive and used in part as a backstop for intermittent wind and solar power. Now that it is suddenly cheap and practical for baseload generation, environmentalists are changing their minds. Politico's Bob King noted this about-face in a mid-February story, "Greens Sour on Natural Gas." The Environmental Defense Fund, ProPublica, and the Sierra Club are suddenly voicing opposition to the expansion of natural gas use. King quoted Sierra Club chairman Carl Pope calling for phasing out natural gas use in the United States entirely by the year 2050, and Sierra's deputy executive director Bruce Hamilton said, "We want people to know that natural gas is not a clean fuel." As recently as a December appearance with me on CNBC, Hamilton endorsed using "clean" natural gas "for a very long time." You might call this the theorem of environmental duplicity: namely, there is no form of "clean" or "alternative" energy that environmentalists won't decide to oppose if it becomes practical and affordable on a large scale. From the standpoint of the increasingly desperate and forlorn climate campaign, environmentalists have a point. Natural gas has long been regarded as the cleanest of the fos sil fuels because it is much lower in conventional air pollutants (that is, the emissions that cause ozone, particulates, and carbon monoxide) than coal or oil. But it is still a prodigious producer of carbon dioxide; climate change orthodoxy calls for reducing CO2 emissions to almost 1 billion tons by the year 2050, yet carbon dioxide emissions from current levels of natural gas use are 1.2 billion tons a year. There is no way to reach the targets of climate orthodoxy if we expand our use of natural gas. Still, it may be a mistake to adopt a dirigiste policy of pushing natural gas use in the electric power sector, because coal remains abundant and cheap, and neither climate hysteria nor conventional air pollution concerns are compelling enough reasons to suppress coal power deliberately. (Conventional air pollutants and mercury emissions from coal plants are falling steadily, and will continue to do so even without a new suite of EPA regulations.) Substituting natural gas for coal power plants would not reduce our imports of foreign oil by a single barrel. But adopting natural gas as a transportation fuel in our car and truck fleet would, if done on a large scale, and this is the most tantalizing prospect. T. Boone Pickens has been pushing this idea for the last two years, arguing that we should start with the trucking fleet. But the conversion costs are high. It costs about $50,000 or more to convert a diesel truck to run on compressed natural gas, and natural gas-powered autos would be considerably more expensive than gasoline-powered autos. The one commercial natural gas car currently available, a Honda Civic, costs about $10,000 more than a gasoline engine Civic. Natural gas vehicles would require a large compressed gas infrastructure that does not currently exist. Pickens and other natural gas transportation enthusiasts are lobbying for tax credits for truck fleet conversions and filling station gas compression upgrades--another subsidy the federal budget doesn't need right now. But federal subsidies may not be necessary. If diesel reaches $5 a gallon, the unsubsidized payback period for converting a high-mileage long-haul truck would be two years or less at current natural gas prices. That's why UPS is starting to expand its fleet of natural gas trucks. For comparatively low-mileage passenger cars, the price of gasoline would have to be much higher than it is today for gas conversion to look attractive, somewhere in the neighborhood of $8 or $9 a gallon. With all of the emphasis--and confusion--in the automotive industry about whether to develop hybrid-electric cars or other power sources, policymakers ought to tread carefully before piling on a new market-distorting tax credit or subsidy. Furthermore, natural gas can be converted to liquid fuels, especially methanol, that can be used in current gasoline-powered cars for a minimal extra conversion cost. At current natural gas prices, methanol can be it is not a slam dunk that newly abundant natural gas supplies should be used primarily for new energy production. Current low prices are inducing the chemical industry to begin looking to our shores again for expansion. Two weeks ago CP Chem, a joint venture of Chevron and ConocoPhillips, announced that it is considering a major expansion at a Gulf Coast facility that would utilize shale gas, a development Chemical Week called "the most significant yet related to the improved cost position of U.S. petro-chemicals." The chief fear of the chemical industry is that the price volatility that drove them overseas in the last decade might not be over. The chemical industry, like electric utilities, has been bit before by confident assurances that cheap gas was here to stay. produced at a cost of about $1.30 a gallon, though methanol has a lower energy content than gasoline, so the equivalent gasoline price would be closer to about $1.60 a gallon--attractive at current oil prices, but not if oil drops again to 2009 levels. Finally, OCS drilling solves employment and manufacturing Hillegeist 13 – Prepared for the National Ocean Industries Association and American Petroleum Institute (Paul, “The Economic Benefits of Increasing U.S. Access to Offshore Oil and Natural Gas Resources in the Atlantic,” API and NOIA December 2013, http://www.api.org/~/media/Files/Oil-and-Natural-Gas/Exploration/Offshore/Atlantic-OCS/ExecutiveSummary-Economic-Benefits-of-Increasing-US-Access-to-Atlantic-Offshore-Resources.pdf)//js Spending on goods and services to develop oil and natural gas in the Atlantic OCS is expected to provide large employment gains both nationally and regionally. Employment generally follows spending patterns. Employment effects are expected to steadily grow, reaching nearly 280 thousand jobs in 2035. Total Atlantic coast employment in 2035 is projected to reach over 215 thousand jobs in 2035, with employment spread across the region. U.S. states outside the east coast region are projected to see employment of approximately 65 thousand jobs in 2035, down from a peak of around 85 thousand jobs in 2030 as more employment shifts into the Atlantic coast region. (Figure 20) The largest impact on employment by number of jobs is expected to be seen in the Mid-Atlantic states of North and South Carolina and Virginia, while North Atlantic states such as Massachusetts, Maine, and New York are all also projected to see employment of over 10 thousand jobs by 2035. Over 10 thousand jobs in Atlantic coast states will be created by 2022. As the Atlantic OCS is developed, the oil and gas industry is expected to take advantage of the skilled workforce and extensive infrastructure in place within the region. The mix between east coast and other U.S. state employment effects are projected to be highly dependent on the type of activity taking place in a given year, as well as the projected in region supply chain shift over time. In the early years of the forecast period from 2017 to 2021, prior to the beginning of significant project development, an average of 53 percent of employment benefits are expected to accrue to the Atlantic coast region. As spending on items such as SURF equipment and platforms that will initially be produced outside the region increases, the percentage of overall employment effects in Atlantic coast states is expected to fall as low as 42 percent in 2023, albeit with overall employment in the region still growing rapidly. By 2035, the Atlantic coast states are projected account for 77 percent of the employment effects of Atlantic OCS development. (Figure 21) The opening of the Atlantic OCS to offshore oil and natural gas production is expected to increase employment not only through direct employment in the industry, but also indirectly. Indirect employment occurs through the purchases of needed goods and services and the induced employment impact of greater income in the economy. Direct employment by oil and natural gas companies and their suppliers is projected to reach nearly 95 thousand jobs in 2035. Jobs generated through the purchase of goods and services coupled with the income effects of increased employment are expected to contribute a further 185 thousand jobs. (Figure 22) Offshore oil and natural gas development in the Atlantic OCS is expected to benefit a diverse spectrum of industries both nationally and in Atlantic coast states. Industry sectors which are directly involved in oil and natural gas activities such as mining, which includes the oil and gas industry, manufacturing, professional, scientific, and technical Services (engineering), and Construction (installation) are expected to see the largest employment impacts with a combined 125 thousand jobs in 2035. Additionally, employment impacts expected to be significant for a variety of other industries outside oil and gas, with 155 thousand jobs projected outside of these four categories in 2035. (Figure 23) The manufacturing sector includes those businesses that manufacture and fabricate oil and gas equipment, platforms and otherwise produce the goods required to develop oil and natural gas fields. Manufacturing is projected to see some of the largest gains due to Atlantic OCS offshore oil and natural gas production, with around 30 thousand jobs created by 2035, with over 20 thousand jobs in Atlantic coast states and over nine thousand in the rest of the U.S. (Figure 24) Another employment sector expected to see large gains as a result of Atlantic OCS offshore oil and natural gas activity is the professional, scientific, and technical service sector which includes high value engineering employment. This sector is projected to see in excess of 32 thousand additional jobs in 2035, with nearly 24 thousand jobs in the Atlantic coast states and over eight thousand jobs in other U.S. states. (Figure 26) The construction sector, which includes industrial construction activities such as offshore installation and construction of natural gas processing infrastructure, is also expected to see large employment gains. Due to the cyclical nature of installation, construction employment is expected to be more variable than most other sectors. After 2027, employment in the construction sector is expected to fluctuate between 15 thousand and 30 thousand jobs though in 2035. (Figure 27) Many employment sectors of the economy outside oil and gas development or the direct supply chain will also be impacted, mainly due to greater income in the economy. The most affected sectors are projected to be retail with over 20 thousand jobs created in 2035, health care and social assistance with nearly 19 thousand jobs created, administrative and waste management services with over 17 thousand jobs, food services and drinking places with over 13 thousand jobs, and finance and insurance, and real estate, rental and leasing with both industries individually projected to see the creation of over 11 thousand jobs by 2035. As production increases along the coastline of the Atlantic OCS, employment relating to oil and gas production is expected to migrate towards the Mid-Atlantic states of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia with employment reaching around 55 thousand, 35 thousand, and 25 thousand jobs respectively in 2035. Large employment gains are also expected in the North Atlantic states of Massachusetts, New York, and Maine where employment in 2035 is projected to reach 15 thousand, 12 thousand and 10 thousand jobs respectively. (Table 10) The remaining east coast states are projected to reach a combined employment of over 62 thousand jobs in 2035, with other U.S. states employment at nearly 64 thousand jobs in 2035. Solves unemployment The plan solves unemployment – it affects every industry either directly or indirectly API 13 (American Petroleum Institute in partnership with the National Ocean Industries Association, December 2013, “The Economic Benefits of Increasing U.S. Access to Offshore Oil and Natural Gas Resources in the Atlantic”, http://www.api.org/~/media/Files/Oil-and-NaturalGas/Exploration/Offshore/Atlantic-OCS/Executive-Summary-Economic-Benefits-of-Increasing-USAccess-to-Atlantic-Offshore-Resources.pdf, ZS) 2 The resulting impact of Atlantic OCS development upon the economy will be widespread among industries. Industries which are directly involved in oil and natural gas activities such as the mining sector (which includes oil and gas development), manufacturing, professional, scientific, and technical services (engineering), and construction (installation) are expected to see the largest employment effects with a combined 125 thousand jobs in 2035. Of that total, employment in the oil and gas sector is projected to be 45 thousand jobs. By 2035, the manufacturing sector which includes businesses that manufacture and fabricate oil and gas equipment, platforms and otherwise produce the goods required to develop oil and natural gas fields is projected at around 30 thousand jobs, of which over 20 thousand of these jobs are expected in the Atlantic coast states. The professional, scientific, and technical service sector, which includes engineering employment, is expected to see employment in excess of 32 thousand additional jobs. Employment in the construction sector which includes offshore installation employment is projected to be around 19 thousand jobs in 2035. Sectors not directly related to oil and gas development or the supply chain will also see impacts, mainly due to a general increase of income in the economy. Retail sector employment is projected to increase by over 20 thousand jobs in 2035 due to Atlantic OCS development. Health care and social assistance could increase by nearly 19 thousand jobs, administrative and waste management services by over 18 thousand jobs, food services and drinking places by over 13 thousand jobs, and finance and insurance, and real estate, rental, and leasing are both projected to see the creation of over 11 thousand jobs in each sector by 2035. Coastal Economies Key Coastal economics are integral to the national economy Kildow et al 09 – (Judith T., Charles S. Colgan, Jason Scorse, “State of the U.S. Ocean and Coastal Economies,” National Ocean Economics Program, http://www.miis.edu/media/view/8901/original/NOEP_Book_FINAL.pdf)//js This nation's coasts and oceans contribute much to the United States economy. For the past ten years, the National Ocean Economics Program (NOEP) has com- piled time-series data that track economic activities, demographics, natural resource production. non-market values, and federal expenditures in the U.S. coastal zone both on land and in the water. On the website www.oceaneoonomics.org, the public-government officials, academics, industry, and advocacy groups-have had interactive access to this information and used it for many different purposes. This report features highlights from this collection to heighten appreciation for the value of the ocean and this nation's coasts among an even broader audience. Two economies were measured: the ocean economy. which includes all oceandependent activities in coastal states, and the coastal economy, which includes all economic activity in coastal states. with geographies such as codes. counties, and watersheds. Non-market values for goods and services not traded in the market place are also included for purposes of under- standing the often underestimated values of America's natural resources. Coastal Economy In 2007, four in live of those Americans living in coastal and Great lakes states generated 83% of the nation's output. The thirty coastal and Great Lakes states had 245.5 million people, employed 107.5 million people,' and contributed $11.4 trillion to the national GDP. The coastal economy included much of American manufacturing in the past, but it has changed, and is now dominated by service industries. Storeadjacent counties, where the real concentration of U.S. economic activity occurs, had 108.3 million people. 48.6 million jobs, and contributed $5.7 trillion to the U.S. economy. With only 18% of U.S. land area. These counties accounted for 36% of population and 42% of the national economic output in 2007. More than three-quarters of U.S. growth between 1997 and 2007 was in coastal states, whether measured by population, employment, or GDP. … The United States was founded on the coasts and moved inland, yet the coastal regions remain key to the U.S. economy. The coasts may be commonly defined as the areas nearest the shore, but an understanding of coastal ecosystems carries the definition of coasts well inland through estuaries and watersheds. It includes the fishing industry, Silicon Valley, the forests of Maine, and the vaca- tion centers of Hawaii. It contains America’s largest cities and some of its smallest and remote towns. To understand the diversity and geographic spread of the economic activities affecting the ocean, the coastal states are a starting point, as they are the political jurisdictions most commonly used for analyzing the regional dimen- sions of the American economy. The coastal states are divided into those counties imme- diately adjacent to the shoreline of the oceans, Gulf of Mexico (GOM), or a Great Lake (the shore-adjacent coun- ties); the watershed counties, which encompass coastal watersheds as defined by the U.S. Geological Survey for NOAA; and the inland counties, which are located outside the coastal watersheds. Additional geographic detail and Chapter 2: The Coastal Economy discussion of the definition of the regions within the coastal economy are available at www.oceaneconomics.org. An analysis of the coastal economy reveals three major themes: • Size The coastal economy of the United States is big by any absolute or relative standard; and it is the economy of the coastal states that, to a great extent, drives the U.S. economy. • Sprawl The coastal economy is primarily an urban economy and the distribution of economic activ- ity along the coasts is driven significantly by forces affecting urban regions, most notably the spreading of population and economic activity away from the central cities in the pattern that has come to be known as sprawl. • Services The coastal economy has been the core of much of U.S. manufacturing in the past, but this has changed greatly and the coastal economy now primarily is a place that produces services. AT: Dutch Disease Non unique – the US is dependent on domestic oil now Koch 13 (Wendy Koch, USA TODAY, Head Writer, 11/13/13, “Big milestone: U.S. producing more oil than it imports”, http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/11/13/us-oil-production-exceedsimports/3518245/, ZS) The United States tiptoed closer to energy independence last month when — for the first time in nearly two decades — it produced more crude oil than it imported, federal officials said Wednesday. The nation has been moving toward this milestone, because two trends are converging. Domestic oil production is at a 24-year high while foreign oil imports are at a 17-year low. The result: production exceeded net imports for the first time since February 1995, although the nation still imports 35% of the petroleum it uses. Production has been booming partly because of hydraulic fracturing or fracking, which extracts oil by blasting water mixed with sand and chemicals underground to break apart shale rock. Meanwhile, consumption has been falling as high gasoline prices have reduced how much people drive and more efficient cars and buildings have also lowered energy use. The White House sought to take partial credit for this "transformation," noting President Obama's near-doubling of fuel-efficiency standards for new cars and light trucks by model year 2025. Spokesman Jay Carney said this fuelefficiency standard has lowered both energy use and carbon pollution. "We do not need to choose between growing the economy and cutting pollution," Carney said, noting that economic output is up while U.S. greenhouse gas emissions are down. Carney said Obama's all-of-the-above energy strategy is promoting electric vehicles and biofuels as well as increased oil production, adding the administration is making more federal lands available for development. The oil industry said Obama hardly deserves credit. "Domestic oil and natural gas production is only on the rise, thanks to development on state and private lands," the American Petroleum Institute's Kyle Isakower said in a statement. "In areas controlled by the federal government, production has actually fallen on President Obama's watch." The non-partisan Congressional Research Service reported in March that on federal lands, oil production fell 6% and natural gas production fell 21% from the beginning of 2009 to the end of 2012. Energy experts welcomed the production-exceeds-consumption milestone. "It's a big deal," said Jim Burkhard, head of oil market research for Denver-based consulting firm IHS, noting U.S. oil production had been falling for nearly 40 years until 2008, when it started climbing. He said high global prices created demand for oil that fracking has been able to fill while Obama's higher fuel-efficiency standards — along with steep gas prices — lowered use. Some warn the oil boom might not last. "It's essential we continue to cut our oil use via modern, more efficient vehicles," said Daniel Weiss, director of climate strategy at the Center for American Progress, a progressive-oriented research group. "We must also grow investments in cleaner, non-oil-based transportation, including electric vehicles and public transit." The Energy Information Administration, which revealed the milestone in its "Short-Term energy Outlook," also reported that gas prices are falling. It said the average price for a gallon of regular gasoline fell to $3.27 per gallon Monday — from $3.68 July 22. It expects pump prices will average $3.24 per gallon for this year's fourth quarter. Dutch Disease does not harm the economy – no sufficient evidence Magud and Sosa 10 [Nicolas Magud and Sebastian Sosa; December 2010; IMF; when and why worry about Real Exchange Rate Appreciation; http://iepecdg.com.br/uploads/artigos/1012wp10271.pdf] Concerns about sustained adverse growth effects of real appreciation have been explored for many years, going back at least to the “Dutch disease” literature of the early 1980s. The debate continues today, including with a related recent literature that proposes further links from the real exchange rate to growth—but is still far from resolved. While the logic of some of the theoretical arguments for this link is clearly established, these arguments lean heavily on special assumptions about the nature of economic growth. And the evidence seems insufficient: to date, while there are a few exceptions, empirical studies of Dutch disease have focused mainly on how shocks that cause real appreciation may affect the level of traded goods production—rather than on whether this sector has a special role in economic growth, or on whether it is permanently damaged by temporary episodes of real appreciation. Moreover, while the literature on real exchange rate and growth suggests that an overvalued exchange rate hinders growth, DD is in principle an equilibrium phenomenon reflecting changes in fundamentals, and not necessarily implying an overvaluation. Our survey shows that on the one hand, DD does exist—as the real exchange rate appreciates, there is factor reallocation, and production switches away from manufacturing. On the other hand, exchange rate volatility hampers economic growth. Misalignment of the real exchange rate from its fundamental value also lowers growth. Overvaluations (however defined) are always negative for economic growth, while the evidence on undervaluation is inconclusive. Should policymakers worry about real exchange rate appreciation? Should they act to prevent an appreciation and potential DD symptoms? As discussed in this paper, the evidence on the impact of DD effects on growth is mainly inconclusive. Moreover, it is worth noting that shocks that cause DD—large capital inflows, export price booms, etc.—are usually associated with periods of economic bonanza. DD effects are an unintended consequence of foreign exchange abundance, but these negative effects would not necessarily offset the beneficial effects of the inflow. The challenge for policymakers is to adequately manage the boom and the risks they come with. Therefore, the optimal policy response would consist of taking advantage of the boom, while at the same time dealing with the undesired consequences that it may cause. When thinking about “what to do” about DD, policymakers should beware—in responding to the effects of the disease—of killing the goose that laid the golden egg. Holland concludes neg – the US is diverse and will never fully catch Dutch Disease Holland 12 (Andrew Holland, Washington-based expert on energy, climate change, and infrastructure policy, currently serves as Senior Fellow for Energy and Climate Policy at the American Security Project, 6/7/12, “Will Dutch Disease Follow-on the American Energy Boom?”, http://www.energytrendsinsider.com/2012/06/07/will-dutch-disease-follow-on-the-american-energyboom/, ZS) Fortunately, the U.S. economy is big and diverse; we are unlikely to become completely dependent upon commodities exports. And, fortunately for me, an appreciating dollar would be good for me: allowing me to drink more French wine and travel more frequently. Whether it is a good thing for a slowly recovering U.S. economy and manufacturing sector is another question. As the U.S. prepares export terminals for natural gas and continues to enjoy its boom in energy production, is there anything else that the government should do to alleviate or avoid a currency appreciation that harms manufacturing? Their internal link is based on manufacturing losses – but we solve that Hayward 11 (Stephen Hayward, Fellow at AEI, “The Gas Resolution”, http://www.aei.org/article/energy-and-the-environment/conventional-energy/the-gas-revolution/, ZS) When Andrew Liveris took over as CEO of Dow Chemical at the end of 2004, the company was in the midst of a wrenching reorganization that saw it shed 7,000 jobs--14 percent of its workforce--and close 23 older chemical plants in this country. Looking ahead to a new product cycle in a fast-growing global marketplace, Liveris faced a stark choice: Should Dow invest in new capacity in the United States, or should he locate more facilities in emerging markets? One factor made expanding overseas much more attractive--not labor costs but the price of natural gas. Dow and several other industrial manufacturing sectors use natural gas as a basic feedstock for much of their product line, not primarily as an energy source. As such there are few substitutes or efficiency strategies the company could use. As Liveris told the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee in the fall of 2005, "This [natural gas] price of $14, simply put, renders the entire U.S. chemical industry uncompetitive. We simply cannot compete with the rest of the world at these prices. When faced with a choice of investing in the United States at $14 gas versus $2 to $3 elsewhere, how can I recommend investing here?" Not long after, Dow Chemical announced plans for a major expansion in Kuwait and Oman, both of which were able to guarantee long-term rock-bottom natural gas prices. Other chemical companies followed suit, and a sector that was once among the nation's strongest export industries became a net importer. Between 1997 and 2005, overall industrial consumption of natural gas in the United States fell 22.4 percent. One of the less appreciated facts of the U.S. energy marketplace is that the price of natural gas has been much more volatile than the price of oil over the last 15 years. Unlike oil, which trades at globally uniform prices, natural gas has always been a more locally traded commodity, with wide price differences from region to region. And in the middle years of the last decade, when the U.S. natural gas price spiked to $14 per thousand cubic feet, up from $2 or less for most of the 1990s, both Middle Eastern and Russian gas could be had much more cheaply--if you were located in their neighborhood. Like domestic production of oil, U.S. production of natural gas had been relatively flat for years. All of the official public and private forecasts expected domestic gas production to decline, with the result that the United States, hitherto nearly self-sufficient in natural gas (we have been importing about 10 percent of our gas from Canada and Mexico), would have to import as much as 20 percent of our needs by the year 2020. Most of the new gas imports were expected to come from the Persian Gulf, extending American dependency on that politically sketchy region. The oil and gas industry argued that the only way to turn around our gas fortunes was to open up more areas for exploration and production, especially offshore on the continental shelf, but this ran into the same buzzsaw of political opposition that has hobbled domestic oil production. Now, within an astonishingly short time, the entire picture has changed. In midDecember the Energy Information Administration released new estimates of U.S. natural gas showing proved reserves at their highest level since 1967, up 33 percent in the last three years and 62 percent over the last 10 years. Natural gas production in the United States in 2009 (21.6 trillion cubic feet) was the highest since 1973, even though demand was down on account of the recession. The Department of Energy now predicts gas reserves will grow by at least another 20 percent over the next decade, though a number of energy forecasters think reserves will grow by much more, securing a 100-year supply for our needs. Even as oil and gasoline prices rise again to uncomfortable levels, the price of natural gas has declined 80 percent from its mid-recession level in the summer of 2008, to about $4 per thousand cubic feet, and it is likely to stay at this level or perhaps fall further. Although price volatility may not be a thing of the past, it is unlikely we'll see spikes to $14 again for a very, very long time. How did this startling turnabout occur? The phrase suddenly in every newsroom copybook (the cover of Time magazine last week, a series in the New York Times last month) is "unconventional gas," chiefly shale gas and coal-bed methane, produced through a technique known as hydraulic fracturing or "fracking." Fracking involves sending high pressure fluid deep into wells to force cracks in the surrounding rock formations, which releases gas (and also oil where oil deposits are mixed in rock). From the recent news reports you'd think shale gas and fracking had just been discovered, but neither is brand new. It has been known for decades that deep shale rock formations contain lots of natural gas, and oil drillers have employed fracking for years to enhance oil recovery. But fracking for shale gas was not economical until a second technology achieved major breakthroughs in the last decade and a half: directional drilling. It is possible today to drill several wells from a single platform in many different directions, often for several miles laterally, and navigational advances enable drillers to know their exact position down to a few inches from thousands of feet away. Combined with advances in underground geological surveying, directional drilling and fracking over the last decade have allowed us to tap into previously uneconomic shale gas deposits. At the present time shale gas accounts for about 20 percent of total U.S. gas production (up from 1 percent in 2000), but it is projected to account for nearly half of U.S. gas production by the year 2035. One remarkable aspect of the shale gas revolution is that it was not the product of an energy policy edict from Washington, or the result of a bruising political battle to open up public lands and offshore waters for new exploration. Although the Halliburtons of the world are now big in the field, its pioneers were mostly smaller risk-taking entrepreneurs and technological innovators. George P. Mitchell, an independent producer based in Houston, is widely credited as being the prime mover in shale gas, pushing the idea against skeptics. The technology was mainly deployed on existing oil and gas leaseholds or on private land beyond the reach of bureaucrats (for the time being, anyway). That is why shale gas seemed to sneak up unannounced to the media and Beltway elites, even though people inside the gas industry realized several years ago what was rapidly taking place. Mitchell worked the Barnett shale formation near Dallas, but the biggest shale gas "play" is the Marcellus--a massive deep shale formation stretching from West Virginia through upstate New York. Now that shale gas is front-page news, everyone wants a piece of the action. Environmentalists, who have supported natural gas as a "bridge fuel" to kill coal, are starting to turn against gas now that it looks more abundant. Regulators want to regulate it; state legislators want to tax it more. And politicians are eager to "help" the market decide how best to use this newfound bounty, which is music to the gas industry's ears, as they fear a glut might collapse prices and do to their industry what the collapse in oil prices in 1986 did to the small producers in the oil patch. In other words, the one thing that might disrupt this amazing success story has arrived on the scene: politics. The shale gas revolution presents two main issues. The first concerns fracking, which is currently unregulated or lightly regulated by state and local governments. Fracking is currently exempt from some sections of the Clean Water Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act, though it is subject to all of the wastewater and hazardous material rules and regulations. Fracking fluids, once they have done their work loosening the gas, contain some toxic chemicals (and can pick up low levels of radiation from deep underground). Environmentalists are raising a predictable hue and cry about threats to groundwater from well casing leaks or from water that returns to the surface. The environmental crusade against fracking has its own Inconvenient Truth-style documentary, Gasland, by Pennsylvania filmmaker Josh Fox, which was nominated for best documentary at the Academy Awards and aired on HBO. Gasland features dramatic footage of gasinfused well water that can be ignited at a kitchen tap, though it is not established that this is the result of nearby shale gas drilling. Hitting pockets of gas has been a well-known phenomena in shallow water wells in parts of Pennsylvania for decades. Most shale gas fracking is conducted as far as 5,000 feet underground, thousands of feet below the aquifer and beneath impermeable rock layers that separate it from drinking water. Still, spills and leaking well casings near the surface have caused some localized water pollution problems, providing just enough traction for environmentalist complaints. The EPA has launched a major study of fracking that is expected to report findings in 2014, and New York's outgoing governor David Paterson imposed a moratorium on new gas drilling last year in response to claims that fracking threatened groundwater, even though New York's state geologist concluded fracking presented a low risk to the state's groundwater. Environmentalists used to love natural gas--so long as it was expensive and used in part as a backstop for intermittent wind and solar power. Now that it is suddenly cheap and practical for baseload generation, environmentalists are changing their minds. Politico's Bob King noted this about-face in a mid-February story, "Greens Sour on Natural Gas." The Environmental Defense Fund, ProPublica, and the Sierra Club are suddenly voicing opposition to the expansion of natural gas use. King quoted Sierra Club chairman Carl Pope calling for phasing out natural gas use in the United States entirely by the year 2050, and Sierra's deputy executive director Bruce Hamilton said, "We want people to know that natural gas is not a clean fuel." As recently as a December appearance with me on CNBC, Hamilton endorsed using "clean" natural gas "for a very long time." You might call this the theorem of environmental duplicity: namely, there is no form of "clean" or "alternative" energy that environmentalists won't decide to oppose if it becomes practical and affordable on a large scale. From the standpoint of the increasingly desperate and forlorn climate campaign, environmentalists have a point. Natural gas has long been regarded as the cleanest of the fossil fuels because it is much lower in conventional air pollutants (that is, the emissions that cause ozone, particulates, and carbon monoxide) than coal or oil. But it is still a prodigious producer of carbon dioxide; climate change orthodoxy calls for reducing CO2 emissions to almost 1 billion tons by the year 2050, yet carbon dioxide emissions from current levels of natural gas use are 1.2 billion tons a year. There is no way to reach the targets of climate orthodoxy if we expand our use of natural gas. Still, it may be a mistake to adopt a dirigiste policy of pushing natural gas use in the elect ric power sector, because coal remains abundant and cheap, and neither climate hysteria nor conventional air pollution concerns are compelling enough reasons to suppress coal power deliberately. (Conventional air pollutants and mercury emissions from coal plants are falling steadily, and will continue to do so even without a new suite of EPA regulations.) Substituting natural gas for coal power plants would not reduce our imports of foreign oil by a single barrel. But adopting natural gas as a transportation fuel in our car and truck fleet would, if done on a large scale, and this is the most tantalizing prospect. T. Boone Pickens has been pushing this idea for the last two years, arguing that we should start with the trucking fleet. But the conversion costs are high. It costs about $50,000 or more to convert a diesel truck to run on compressed natural gas, and natural gas -powered autos would be considerably more expensive than gasoline-powered autos. The one commercial natural gas car currently available, a Honda Civic, costs about $10,000 more than a gasoline engine Civic. Natural gas vehicles would require a large compressed gas infrastructure that does not currently exist. Pickens and other natural gas transportation enthusiasts are lobbying for tax credits for truck fleet conversions and filling station gas compression upgrades--another subsidy the federal budget doesn't need right now. But federal subsidies may not be necessary. If diesel reaches $5 a gallon, the unsubsidized payback period for converting a high-mileage long-haul truck would be two years or less at current natural gas prices. That's why UPS is starting to expand its fleet of natural gas trucks. For comparatively low-mileage passenger cars, the price of gasoline would have to be much higher than it is today for gas conversion to look attractive, somewhere in the neighborhood of $8 or $9 a gallon. With all of the emphasis--and confusion--in the automotive industry about whether to develop hybrid-electric cars or other power sources, policymakers ought to tread carefully before piling on a new market-distorting tax credit or subsidy. Furthermore, natural gas can be converted to liquid fuels, especially methanol, that can be used in current gasoline-powered cars for a minimal extra conversion cost. At current natural gas prices, methanol can be it is not a slam dunk that newly abundant natural gas supplies should be used primarily for new energy production. Current low prices are inducing the chemical industry to begin looking to our shores again for expansion. Two weeks ago CP Chem, a joint venture of Chevron and ConocoPhillips, announced that it is considering a major expansion at a Gulf Coast facility that would utilize shale gas, a development Chemical Week called "the most significant yet related to the improved cost position of U.S. petro-chemicals." The chief fear of the chemical industry is that the price volatility that drove them overseas in the last decade might not be over. The chemical industry, like electric utilities, has been bit before by confident assurances that cheap gas was here to stay. produced at a cost of about $1.30 a gallon, though methanol has a lower energy content than gasoline, so the equivalent gasoline price would be closer to about $1.60 a gallon--attractive at current oil prices, but not if oil drops again to 2009 levels. Finally, 2AC Energy Security Backlines Plan K2 Energy Security Lifting the moratorium is key to energy security and the economy Williams 13 – (Justin, “U.S. Offshore Oil Production”, Energy and Capital, 7/1/13, http://www.energyandcapital.com/articles/us-offshore-oil-production/3579)//js The battle over the global energy race is heating up. By now, you might even say it’s on fire. Every move is crucial, and time is of the essence. If the U.S. wants to reign supreme in oil production as forecasts predict – toppling Saudi Arabia and Russia – it must take advantage of every opportunity. U.S. offshore oil production and its future exploration is paramount in the U.S. undertaking of this global feat. It will also prove to be an integral part of the American economy. And so it goes. One Republican, Kevin Brady, seeks to put more power into state hands when it comes to oil and gas. Last month, he introduced the “More Energy More Jobs Act” that would grant states authority to designate areas off their coastlines to develop gas and oil as they see fit, and with it, create more jobs. Brady, a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee and chairman of the Joint Economic Committee, released this statement in regards to his plan, according to Chron.com: “America may never reach true energy security as long as 85% of our offshore areas remain off-limits to oil and gas development. This innovative approach allows willing states to nominate potential offshore areas for the federal draft 5-year lease plan. And it directs the Interior Department to conduct the economic and environmental studies that are the important first steps for inclusion in the lease plan. As a result, Washington will no longer be able to disqualify these important areas for purely political reasons.” It’s time to unlock the full potential of U.S. energy. By allowing state governments to offer suggested developments for offshore drilling, the bill would force the federal government to do environmental reviews and resource estimates, setting the stage for further production. Offshore oil solves energy dependency and prices UCOR 07 – University Corporation for Ocean Research (“Offshore Energy Development”, MidAtlantic Ocean Research Plan, http://www.midatlanticoceanresearchplan.org/offshore-energydevelopment)//js In an effort to reduce dependency on foreign sources of fossil fuels and to mitigate the effects of climate change, the U.S. is now looking towards its own continental shelf areas for new sources of renewable and non-renewable energy. The Mid-Atlantic region has been shown to possess a vast energy potential in the form of oil and gas, wind power, and hydrokinetic energy (tidal, ocean current, and wave power), among others. These industries represent a great opportunity for economic benefits, energy security, and job creation. However, issues related to negative impacts on aquatic ecosystems and habitats, user conflicts over ocean space, technological constraints, and financial and regulatory uncertainty, require additional research. According to resource estimates based on a 2006 Assessment data of undiscovered and recoverable resources from the Minerals Management Service, there are roughly 0.42-3 billion barrels of oil and roughly 5-28 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in the offshore areas of the Mid-Atlantic region (MMS 2006). Providing new sources of fossil fuels will reduce dependencies on foreign sources, thereby increasing national security and lowering domestic prices for oil and gas. Economic gains will also be substantial and job creation will result from the need for manpower to drive this industry. However, there will be significant risks to aquatic ecosystems of the region from the potential normal operations as well as from oil spills and natural gas explosions. The expansion of the fossil fuel industry will also serve to increase the concentration of atmospheric greenhouse gases in the U.S., which are believed to be a major cause of climate change. Asia scenario Dependence causes US-Sino conflict over SLOC’s Glaser 11 (Charles, Professor of Political Science and International Relations Elliot School of International Affairs The George Washington University , Reframing Energy Security: How Oil Dependence Influences U.S. National Security, http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CF8QFjAA&url=http%3A %2F%2Fdepts.washington.edu%2Fpolsadvc%2FBlog%2520Links%2FGlaser_-_EnergySecurity-AUGUST2011.docx&ei=Wf0qUPXYGIrc9ASht4GYDQ&usg=AFQjCNHTus7nNaD7coupoSU7c3LGSu7tg&sig2=Xt_iWePfWtNRvDmeYR1Hlw&cad=rja, August 2011, PC) Energy dependence might be most dangerous if it brings the United States into conflict with another major power. A key path along which this could occur is an energy-driven security dilemma between China and the United States. As noted above, U.S. oil supplies are not vulnerable to interruption by China, but China’s are vulnerable to the U.S. navy. Consequently, China faces this type of security dilemma, which has the potential to generate a variety of peacetime and crisis dangers. China began importing oil in the early 1990s and its imports have grown significantly since then. Chinese oil consumption doubled from 1995-2005 and is expected to double again by 2020. During this period Chinese domestic production is expected to remain flat; the amount of oil that it imports will grow rapidly, making up somewhere between 60 and 80 percent of Chinese demand. The vast majority of this imported oil—more than 85% —will cross the Indian Ocean and pass through the Strait of Malacca. The problem that China faces is that its sea lanes of communication for transporting this oil are dominated by the U.S. navy. Chinese experts are well aware of the potential implications of this vulnerability. The following statement by a Chinese scholar succinctly captures the situation: China cannot have control over development goals without corresponding control over the resources to fuel the economy. The simple fact is that China does not possess that control. More than half of U.S. oil imports are shipped via the sea lanes. The crucial difference is that China is almost helpless to protect its overseas oil import routes. This is an Achilles heel to contemporary China, as it has forced China to entrust its fate (stable markets and access to resources) to others. Therefore, it is imperative that China, as a nation, pay attention to its maritime security and the means to defend its interests through sea power (a critical capability in which China currently lags behind). In fact, the key danger facing China is likely not during peacetime, but instead during a severe crisis or war. Another Chinese scholar observes, “In the scenario of war across the Taiwan Straits, there is no guarantee that the United States would not enlist the assistance of its principal ally in northeast Asia (Japan) and other lesser allies (Singapore, the Philippines, and South Korea) to participate in another oil blockade against China.” Although China has been modernizing its navy for a couple of decades, it not only remains quite far from having the ability to challenge U.S. control of the SLOCs from the Persian Gulf to the Strait of Malacca, but the programs it could build in the medium term (10-15 years) would still leave this mission beyond reach. The near-term focus and top priorities for China’s naval modernization have been improving its ability to blockade Taiwan, and to deny and deter U.S. intervention in a Taiwan conflict. Beyond these top priorities, acquiring the ability to protect its SLOCs to the Persian Gulf is among the rationales for China’s naval modernization. However, apparently China’s leaders are still deciding whether to devote massive resources to this mission. There is the possibility that China could start to challenge U.S. dominance in the Indian Ocean by developing a string of land-based capabilities from which it could both launch attacks and base naval forces; China has started to develop the type of base structure required for these capabilities. In addition, China could try to weaken U.S. naval dominance by deploying sea-based assets that threaten, but do not match, U.S. forces—for example, a large attack submarine force. In any event, well before China’s navy can reach effectively into the Indian Ocean, its efforts to protect Taiwan and its territorial claims in the East China and South China Seas will pose a threat to U.S. allies, including Japan. The extent of U.S. concern about China’s growing naval capabilities will depend on future Chinese decisions about how much to invest in protecting its SLOCs, as well as the overall state of U.S.-China relations. Assuming that the United States retains its commitment to security and stability in Northeast Asia, some increased U.S. insecurity seems likely even if China does not make a large commitment to protecting its Indian Ocean SLOCs. On the other hand, a major Chinese investment in this mission will generate greater U.S. insecurity and likely larger U.S. reactions. The United States will question whether China’s investment reflects purely defensive motives or instead a desire to expand its influence throughout Asia and the Middle East, and will adjust it assessment of China’s motives accordingly. Arguably, this type of concern is already taking hold. In recent congressional testimony, the U.S. admiral who heads Pacific Command noted that “China’s interest in a peaceful and stable environment that will support the country’s development goals is difficult to reconcile with the evolving military capabilities that appear designed to challenge U.S. freedom of action in the region or exercise aggression or coercion of its neighbors, including U.S. treaty allies and partners.” The result could be a negative political spiral in which military actions and reactions lead both the United States and China to conclude the other is more likely to be a greedy hostile state. Especially in combination with other possible strains in U.S.-China relations, a shift toward more negative assessments of each other’s motives could increase the probability of crisis and war. Most obviously, China will see the United States posing a larger threat to its goal of unification with Taiwan, which could further harden China’s policies, including its deployment of anti-access capabilities for preventing U.S. intervention in a China-Taiwan conflict. At the same time, the United States could become more determined to protect Taiwan, among other reasons because the importance of preserving its credibility for defending allies would grow with its assessment of China’s greed and because control of Taiwan would increase Chinese military capabilities, not only by extending its geographical reach, but also by freeing up its military forces for other missions. Consequently, although China’s oil dependence drives this security dilemma, the increased probability of conflict would be over issues not directly related to oil. Dependence causes US-Russia war- NATO-Georgian alliance sparks conflict Glaser 11 (Charles, Professor of Political Science and International Relations Elliot School of International Affairs The George Washington University , Reframing Energy Security: How Oil Dependence Influences U.S. National Security, http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CF8QFjAA&url=http%3A %2F%2Fdepts.washington.edu%2Fpolsadvc%2FBlog%2520Links%2FGlaser_-_EnergySecurity-AUGUST2011.docx&ei=Wf0qUPXYGIrc9ASht4GYDQ&usg=AFQjCNHTus7nNaD7coupoSU7c3LGSu7tg&sig2=Xt_iWePfWtNRvDmeYR1Hlw&cad=rja, August 2011, PC) An alliance formed to protect access to energy can draw a state into a conflict that it would otherwise have avoided. Expanding NATO to include Georgia runs this risk, including increasing the probability of a conflict between NATO and Russia. The United States’ interest in including Georgia partially reflects its desire to maintain secure access to oil and gas resources that need to transit the Caspian Sea region. Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the United States initially showed little interest in the Caspian region, but started to pay greater attention as the extent of the region’s energy resources became clearer. Relatively quickly, the United States came to see the Caspian region playing an important role in helping diversify the sources of U.S. energy, reducing western reliance on the Persian Gulf. A key component of U.S. strategy focused on development of pipelines that could transport oil and gas from the region’s landlocked countries, while not crossing Russian territory. The United States became the leading proponent of a pipeline that ran from Baku to the Turkish city of Ceyhan by way of the Georgian capital, Tbilisi. The United States did not invest directly in these energy projects, but did devote diplomatic and institutional financial resources to help accomplish them. In addition, the United States made broader investments in the stability and security of the region, providing economic and military assistance, with Georgia being the largest recipient of these forms of U.S. aid. As a continuation of these policies, energy considerations have influenced what is likely to be among the most potentially consequential decision the United States is going to make concerning the security of the region—including Georgia in NATO. The debate over NATO expansion has been divisive from the outset and proponents have advanced a variety of arguments, including the value of spreading democracy, contributing to domestic stability and hedging against a resurgent Russia. In addition, however, energy considerations are a significant factor in the case that is now being made for bringing Georgia into the alliance, as evidenced by the following quote from Ronald Asmus, who has been an influential and long-standing supporter of NATO expansion: many Europeans do not feel the same historical or moral commitment to them or see a compelling strategic need to integrate them. Thus, in addition to moral and political arguments, the United States and Europe need to articulate a strong strategic rationale for anchoring them to the West. That argument is straightforward. The challenge of securing Europe's eastern border from the Baltics to the Black Sea has been replaced by the need to extend peace and stability along the southern rim of the Euro-Atlantic community -- from the Balkans across the Black Sea and further into Eurasia, a region that connects Europe, Russia, and the Middle East and involves core security interests, including a critical energy corridor. Working to consolidate democratic change and build stability in this area is as important for Western security today as consolidating democracy in central and eastern Europe was in the 1990s. NATO agreed in 2008 that Georgia would become a member of the alliance and reconfirmed this decision 2010. Without entering into the entire debate over NATO expansion, a strong case can be made that including Georgia in NATO would likely increase the probability of war between the United States and Russia. Russia and Georgia fought a short war in August of 2008, Russia has recognized the separatist Georgian provinces of South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent states, and Russia continues to play an active role in these provinces. Including Georgia in NATO would likely contribute to deterring Russia from launching another war against part of Georgia. At the same time, however, if deterrence fails, NATO’s security commitment would greatly increase the probability of its actually fighting against Russia. Among other factors, the prospects for deterrence are reduced by the complications created by Russia’s recognition of the provinces and the West’s rejection of this new status. Fully analyzing the decision to include Georgia in NATO is beyond this article’s scope. My point here is more limited: the value that the United States places on Caspian energy is contributing to a policy that would increase the probability of conflict with Russia. If war were to occur, it is unlikely that it would result directly over energy, but energy would have contributed significantly to defining the context in which this conflict occurred. That goes nuclear Bandow 12 (Doug, Senior fellow at CATO, How NATO Expansion Makes America Less Safe, http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/how-nato-expansion-makes-america-less-safe, 8/13/12, PC) Worse, NATO expansion brings the political and territorial disputes of new members with each other and Russia into the alliance. The organization then threatens to act as a transmission belt of rather than firebreak to war. Countries reliant on their own resources are more likely to compromise. In contrast, having a superpower in their corner makes them more likely to be intransigent. Although most of the new NATO members, and especially the most recent additions like Albania and Croatia, are money pits for American aid, at least these nations are geopolitically irrelevant. Moscow has no reason to pay them any mind. Georgia, bordering Russia and home to the independence-minded provinces of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, matters much more to Moscow. While renewed conflict is unlikely, it is possible. If Tbilisi was a NATO member, the U.S. would be obligated to come to Georgia's defense. The result would be a possible nuclear confrontation with Russia over issues of negligible importance to America. Such a policy would be madness. Terror scenario Oil Dependence increases chances of terrorist strike, but reducing dependence combats it Zuckerman 6 (Mortimer B., Owner & Publisher of the New York Daily News, Editor-in-Chief of U.S News and World Report, “Let’s Get Serious About Oil. Four Key Steps Can Stop America from Fueling Hate, One Barrel At A Time,” New York Daily News, July 31, Lexis) IF Here's a nasty thought: Every day you and I subsidize the propagators of terrorism. To import oil for our cars, homes and workplaces, America now spends and borrows a staggering $1 billion every single day. In the past four years alone, oil producers' revenues have grown from $300 billion a year to $800 billion. When oil goes up by a dollar a barrel, it costs us an additional $7.¶ 4 billion! An increasing share of that money goes to countries in the Middle East, especially Saudi Arabia, and through that nation to extremist religious groups who support Islamist militancy throughout the Middle East and beyond, disseminating a message of hatred and violence against Western influence and ideas. Small wonder, then, that the overwhelming judgment from a hundred foreign policy experts polled in Foreign Policy magazine is that the highest priority in fighting terrorism must be to reduce America's dependence on foreign oil. Everyone knows that over the past three years the price we pay at the pump has doubled. The populist rant that this is the fault of "rapacious" oil companies is a glib and false response, and it's especially unattractive when it comes from Democrats, who have systematically blocked attempts to increase domestic oil production. Oil prices, in fact, are determined by a complex, and increasingly competitive, global market. Extinction Hellman 8 (Martin E. Hellman, emeritus prof of engineering @ Stanford, “Risk Analysis of Nuclear Deterrence” SPRING 2008 THE BENT OF TAU BETA PI, http://www.nuclearrisk.org/paper.pdf) The threat of nuclear terrorism looms much larger in the public’s mind than the threat of a full-scale nuclear war, yet this article focuses primarily on the latter. An explanation is therefore in order before proceeding. A terrorist attack involving a nuclear weapon would be a catastrophe of immense proportions: “A 10-kiloton bomb detonated at Grand Central Station on a typical work day would likely kill some half a million people, and inflict over a trillion dollars in direct economic damage. America and its way of life would be changed forever.” [Bunn 2003, pages viii-ix]. The likelihood of such an attack is also significant. Former Secretary of Defense William Perry has estimated the chance of a nuclear terrorist incident within the next decade to be roughly 50 percent [Bunn 2007, page 15]. David Albright, a former weapons inspector in Iraq, estimates those odds at less than one percent, but notes, “We would never accept a situation where the chance of a major nuclear accident like Chernobyl would be anywhere near 1% .... A nuclear terrorism attack is a low-probability event, but we can’t live in a world where it’s anything but extremely low-probability.” [Hegland 2005]. In a survey of 85 national security experts, Senator Richard Lugar found a median estimate of 20 percent for the “probability of an attack involving a nuclear explosion occurring somewhere in the world in the next 10 years,” with 79 percent of the respondents believing “it more likely to be carried out by terrorists” than by a government [Lugar 2005, pp. 14-15]. I support increased efforts to reduce the threat of nuclear terrorism, but that is not inconsistent with the approach of this article. Because terrorism is one of the potential trigger mechanisms for a fullscale nuclear war, the risk analyses proposed herein will include estimating the risk of nuclear terrorism as one component of the overall risk. If that risk, the overall risk, or both are found to be unacceptable, then the proposed remedies would be directed to reduce which- ever risk(s) warrant attention. Similar remarks apply to a number of other threats (e.g., nuclear war between the U.S. and China over Taiwan). his article would be incomplete if it only dealt with the threat of nuclear terrorism and neglected the threat of full- scale nuclear war. If both risks are unacceptable, an effort to reduce only the terrorist component would leave humanity in great peril. In fact, society’s almost total neglect of the threat of full-scale nuclear war makes studying that risk all the more important. The cosT of World War iii The danger associated with nuclear deterrence depends on both the cost of a failure and the failure rate.3 This section explores the cost of a failure of nuclear deterrence, and the next section is concerned with the failure rate. While other definitions are possible, this article defines a failure of deterrence to mean a full-scale exchange of all nuclear weapons available to the U.S. and Russia, an event that will be termed World War III. Approximately 20 million people died as a result of the first World War. World War II’s fatalities were double or triple that number—chaos prevented a more precise deter- mination. In both cases humanity recovered, and the world today bears few scars that attest to the horror of those two wars. Many people therefore implicitly believe that a third World War would be horrible but survivable, an extrapola- tion of the effects of the first two global wars. In that view, World War III, while horrible, is something that humanity may just have to face and from which it will then have to recover. In contrast, some of those most qualified to assess the situation hold a very different view. In a 1961 speech to a joint session of the Philippine Con- gress, General Douglas MacArthur, stated, “Global war has become a Frankenstein to destroy both sides. … If you lose, you are annihilated. If you win, you stand only to lose. No longer does it possess even the chance of the winner of a duel. It contains now only the germs of double suicide.” Former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara ex- pressed a similar view: “If deterrence fails and conflict develops, the present U.S. and NATO strategy carries with it a high risk that Western civilization will be destroyed” [McNamara 1986, page 6]. More recently, George Shultz, William Perry, Henry Kissinger, and Sam Nunn4 echoed those concerns when they quoted President Reagan’s belief that nuclear weapons were “totally irrational, totally inhu- mane, good for nothing but killing, possibly destructive of life on earth and civilization.” [Shultz 2007] Official studies, while couched in less emotional terms, still convey the horrendous toll that World War III would exact: “The resulting deaths would be far beyond any precedent. Executive branch calculations show a range of U.S. deaths from 35 to 77 percent (i.e., 79-160 million dead) … a change in targeting could kill somewhere between 20 million and 30 million additional people on each side .... These calculations reflect only deaths during the first 30 days. Additional millions would be injured, and many would eventually die from lack of adequate medical care … millions of people might starve or freeze during the follow- ing winter, but it is not possible to estimate how many. … further millions … might eventually die of latent radiation effects.” [OTA 1979, page 8] This OTA report also noted the possibility of serious ecological damage [OTA 1979, page 9], a concern that as- sumed a new potentiality when the TTAPS report [TTAPS 1983] proposed that the ash and dust from so many nearly simultaneous nuclear explosions and their resultant fire- storms could usher in a nuclear winter that might erase homo sapiens from the face of the earth, much as many scientists now believe the K-T Extinction that wiped out the dinosaurs resulted from an impact winter caused by ash and dust from a large asteroid or comet striking Earth. The TTAPS report produced a heated debate, and there is still no scientific consensus on whether a nuclear winter would follow a full-scale nuclear war. Recent work [Robock 2007, Toon 2007] suggests that even a limited nuclear exchange or one between newer nuclear-weapon states, such as India and Pakistan, could have devastating long-lasting climatic consequences due to the large volumes of smoke that would be generated by fires in modern megacities. While it is uncertain how destructive World War III would be, prudence dictates that we apply the same engi- neering conservatism that saved the Golden Gate Bridge from collapsing on its 50th anniversary and assume that preventing World War III is a necessity—not an option. AT: Alt Energy Solves Alt energy doesn’t solve – too long-term Tillier, 6/23 – Energy contributor for OilPrices.com (Martin, “Surprising Facts About U.S. Energy Consumption,” OilPrice.com, 6-23-14, http://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Surprising-FactsAbout-U.S.-Energy-Consumption.html, SMS) Even within the 8.75 percent of consumption that renewable sources account for, neither wind nor solar power are particularly significant. Nuclear power comes in fourth behind the big three and accounts for as much production as every other renewable energy source combined; wind and solar, on the other hand, together account for 1.39 percent of supply. Solar alone supplies less than one-tenth of one percent of the total. I don’t have exact numbers, but I would bet whatever I could lay my hands on that it accounts for a higher percentage of energy-related media coverage than that. It’s not that solar and other alternative energy sources aren’t going to be extremely important in the future. It’s just that the future is not here yet. The big three; oil, natural gas, and coal still dominate. Within those three, things are shifting quite rapidly. Coal is losing ground and natural gas usage is increasing. Energy usage, particularly for electricity generation, is clearly cleaner than in the past and that trend is likely to continue, but anybody who tries to tell you that we are close to the end for companies with a focus on traditional energy sources is way off the mark. Of course coal, oil and gas are finite and it is only logical that a shift to renewable energy is coming. The numbers show that that is happening, but it is still a long way off. All of this leaves the U.S. with two obvious implications for energy investors. Firstly, don’t give up yet on oil and gas producers; they are still expanding to meet growing demand and will continue to do so in the near future. Secondly, if you look at certain solar or wind energy stocks and believe you have missed the boat, you are probably wrong. There is still a long way to go if either is to fulfill its potential. Recent advances in cost control and the potential for an eventual solution to the problem of storing the energy generated from alternative sources mean that we may not be far from an acceleration of that process, but if we trust the data, rather than the impression that media coverage leaves us with, it is obvious that that has not yet begun. Yes Oil General The OCS has 3.3 billion barrels of oil Kuhr, 14- journalist (Elizabeth, “To Drill Or Not to Drill—Debate Over Offshore Testing and Drilling in the Atlantic”, Time, 1/14/14, http://time.com/3249/to-drill-or-not-to-drill-debate-over-offshore-testingand-drilling-in-the-atlantic/)//TL Why the Atlantic? The Atlantic Ocean’s floor has remained off-limits to oil drilling since 1982, due to congressional and presidential orders. In 2011, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), an agency within the US Department of the Interior, estimated a mean of 3.30 billion barrels of oil—approximately half of what the US consumes each year—sit under the ocean’s floor. Where exactly is that oil? The BOEM’s estimate applies to the entirety of America’s eastern seabed, usually called the ocean’s Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). As of now, BOEM marked the area between Delaware and central Florida, along a line about 200 nautical miles from shore, for seismic testing. That is, if the government lifts the testing ban. Arctic There’s tons of oil and gas in the Arctic – prefer our studies Hobson ’13 (Margaret Kriz Hobson, 7/18/13, E&E reporter, “Is Arctic oil exploration dead in the U.S.?”, http://www.eenews.net/stories/1059984582, ZS) The report estimated that the territory north of the Arctic Circle holds 90 billion barrels of oil and 1,669 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, with a staggering 84 percent of those hydrocarbons located offshore. The vast majority of the oil and gas is located in the West Siberian Basin, Alaska's Arctic and the East Barents Basin. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has estimated that Alaska's offshore region contains 23 billion barrels of oil. At the time the USGS assessment was released, the Interior Department had already held several lease sales in the American Arctic, including a record-breaking 2008 sale in the Chukchi Sea that brought in $2.7 billion. AT: Offcase Topicality AT: T-Leases Leases are part of Federal Government development Rosenbusch 11 (Walt Rosenbusch has served as Director of the Minerals Management Service at the U.S. Department of the Interior, where he was directly responsible for the management of federal mineral revenue and outer continental shelf (OCS) leasing and administration programs, November 16, 2011, IAGC, “BOEMRE now officially two agencies: BOEM and BSEE”, http://www.iagc.org/articles/boemre-now-officially-two-agencies-boem-and-bsee/) IF In 1 October 2011, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) completed the reorganization of the Minerals Management Service (MMS) when BOEMRE was dissolved and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) took its place. See Press Release. As reported in a previous newsletter article, Department of the Interior (DOI) Secretary Ken ¶¶ Salazar requested and received an implementation plan for restructuring MMS in the aftermath of the Macondo blowout and oil spill. This reorganization comes as part of a series of fundamental changes made by the Obama administration to reform the government’s regulation of offshore energy development and the agency responsible for it while ensuring that responsible oil and gas drilling and production continues on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf. ¶ BOEM will be led by Director Beaudreau and will be responsible for managing environmentally and economically responsible development of the nation’s offshore resources. Its functions will include offshore leasing, resource evaluation, review and administration of oil and gas exploration and development plans, renewable energy development, National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) analysis and environmental studies. ¶ Part of the development process includes leasing Tierney 13 (Susan F. Tierney has a Ph.D. and M.A., regional planning, public policy, Cornell University; B.A., Scripps College, Dr. Tierney is an expert on energy policy and economics, specializing in the electric and gas industries. Dr. Tierney is a former Assistant Secretary for Policy at the U.S. Department of Energy, state cabinet officer for environmental affairs, and state public utility commissioner; she chairs the External Advisory Board of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, is a director of the World Resources Institute, and serves on other boards., “Planning for Offshore Energy Development: How Marine Spatial Planning Could Improve the Leasing/Permitting Processes for Offshore Wind and Offshore Oil/Natural Gas Development”, Analysis Group, Pg. 7, http://www.analysisgroup.com/uploadedFiles/Publishing/Articles/Planning_for_Ocean_Energy_Development_Complete.pdf) IF Federal government approvals are required for private companies’ access to develop the resource: ¶ Private firms seeking to develop energy resources in the US OCS must request and receive the right ¶ to do so from the federal government, which ¶ manages the area extending outward from the states’ ocean territories (typically three miles out from shore) to the edge of the United States’ 200-¶ mile “exclusive economic zone” (EEZ). BOEM ¶ administers the leasing, permitting and ¶ development processes for both offshore oil/gas and wind. ¶ ¶ ¶ Gaining access occurs through different processes for wind as compared to oil/natural gas. However, both involve multi-year processes that start with high-level decisions about which areas of the OCS will be open for development, then continue through issuance of leases to specific companies, and finally move to review/approval of operators’ exploration/site assessment plans, to review/approval of specific project development plans. ¶ ¶ ¶ ¶ ¶ ¶ ¶ ¶ We meet – leasing is a form of development US Code 3 Legal Information Institute, “41 USC § 131 – Acquisition”, November 24, http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/41/131?quicktabs_8=1#quicktabs-8 the term “acquisition”—¶ (1) means the process of acquiring, with appropriated amounts, by contract for purchase or lease, property or services (including construction) that support the missions and goals of an executive agency, from the point at which the requirements of the executive agency are established in consultation with the chief acquisition officer of the executive agency; and¶ (2) includes—¶ (A) the process of acquiring property or services that are already in existence, or that must be created, developed, demonstrated, and evaluated;¶ (B) the description of requirements to satisfy agency needs;¶ (C) solicitation and selection of sources;¶ (D) award of contracts;¶ (E) contract performance;¶ (F) contract financing;¶ (G) management and measurement of contract performance through final delivery and payment; and¶ (H) technical and management functions directly related to the process of fulfilling agency requirements by contract. In division B, The government develops and explores the oceans via leases to the private sector BOEM, no date – Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (“Pacific OCS Region Lease Management,” BOEM, http://www.boem.gov/Oil-and-Gas-Energy-Program/Leasing/Regional-Leasing/PacificRegion/Index.aspx, SMS) The Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act authorizes the Federal Government, through the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), to grant leases to the highest bidder for the exploration, development and production of oil and gas on the Outer Continental Shelf (generally defined as the submerged lands lying around and outside three geographical miles off each state). These rights are conveyed by contracts referred to as leases. Each lease covers up to 5,760 acres and is generally a square measuring 3 miles by 3 miles. Under a lease, a company may explore and develop the mineral resources within that area. Before approving plans for exploration or development, BOEM carefully reviews them to ensure that the proposed activities will be conducted in a safe and environmentally sound manner and that the interests of key stakeholders are effectively addressed. The aff is on federal lands – that makes it topical Walsh 13 (Kevin M., law clerk for the Superior Court of Connecticut, LLM in taxation candidate, New York University School of Law, JD from Suffolk University Law School, April 24, 2013, “Renewable Energy Financial Incentives: Focusing on Federal Tax Credits and the Section 1603 Cash Grant: Barriers to Development,” http://environs.law.ucdavis.edu/issues/36/2/walsh.pdf, alp) Usually, federal permits are needed to construct a renewable energy project.112 These federal permits are almost always required for large-scale renewable energy projects.113 Pursuant to the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976, Title I, public lands are subject to federal control.114 Under Title II of the same Act, the Secretary can “issue regulations necessary to implement the provisions of this Act with respect to the management, use, and protection of the public lands.”115 Thus, renewable projects on federal land are “federal.” Federal oversight through leases makes us T – means the government has influence Walsh 13 (Kevin M., law clerk for the Superior Court of Connecticut, LLM in taxation candidate, New York University School of Law, JD from Suffolk University Law School, April 24, 2013, “Renewable Energy Financial Incentives: Focusing on Federal Tax Credits and the Section 1603 Cash Grant: Barriers to Development,” http://environs.law.ucdavis.edu/issues/36/2/walsh.pdf, alp) Something that is federal “encompasses not only actions by the federal government, but also actions by nonfederal actors ‘with effects that may be major and which are potentially subject to Federal control and responsibility.’”109 Further, “the distinguishing feature of ‘federal’ involvement is the ability to influence or control the outcome in material respects.”110 Renewable energy developments that take federal tax credits/grants appear to qualify as “federal” projects. Without the federal tax credit/grant, renewable energy projects would not be financially attractive for investors. This would lead to a lack of sufficient funding for renewable energy construction. Therefore, the federal government affects the outcome of renewable energy development through the availability of tax credits/grants. Hence, when the federal government provides a tax credit/grant for a renewable energy project, the project qualifies as a “federal” project. If a tax credit/grant is not used, however, then the only way a renewable energy development can be deemed “federal” is if it is subject to federal responsibility or control. Most of the federal regulations for renewable energy relate to renewable energy consumption. These regulations do not apply. For example, the Energy Policy Act of 2005 mandates renewable energy consumption requirements for federal buildings.111 Even if drilling isn’t T, leases to oil companies is a form of development Stemp, 91 – former judge on the Superior Court of the State of Alaska, Third Judicial District (Ralph, "Kenai Borough v. Cook Inlet Region & Salamatov Native Assoc.", Alaska Supreme Court Opinoins, P. 487, www.touchngo.com/sp/html/sp-3671.htm) One indication of congressional intent is the ordinary meaning of the words used in the statute. In the context of raw land,8 the common meaning of "developed" includes subdivided property which is ready for sale. Webster's Third New International Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged (1968), defines "develop"in a land context as follows: to make actually available or usable (something previously only potentially available or usable) . . . .: as (1): to convert (as raw land) into an area suitable for residential or business purposes &nbsp;they ~ed several large tracts on the edge of town¤; also: to alter raw land into (an area suitable for building) &nbsp;the subdivisions that they ~ed were soon built up¤ . . . . Cases dealing with the term "developed"in the context of land confirm that "develop" connotes conversion into an area suitable for use or sale. Winkelman v. City of Tiburon, 108 Cal. Rptr. 415, 421 (Cal. App. 1973) ("The term `developed' connotes the act of converting a tract of land into an area suitable for residential or business uses."); Muirhead v. Pilot Properties, Inc., 258 So.2d 232, 233 (Miss. 1972) (same holding); Prince George's County v. Equitable Trust Co., 408 A.2d 737, 742 (Md. Ct. Spec. App. 1979) ("Develop [is defined as] the conversion of raw land into an area suitable for residential or business uses." (Quoting Webster's New International Dictionary, (2d Ed. 1959)); Best Building Co. v. Sikes, 394 S.W.2d 57, 63 (Tex. App. 1965) (court approved trial court finding based in part on extrinsic evidence that "developed"included subdividing, building streets, and installing utilities). It is “its development” – leases are still for public land under federal authority Nibert, 92 – resident partner in the Roswell, New Mexico, office of Hinkle, Hensley, Shanor & Martin, L.L.P., and is assigned to the firm's Oil and Gas Department. Mr. Nibert's practice is primarily limited to oil and gas law, including title examination, financing, contract preparation, acquisitions and divestitures, division orders, oil and gas administrative agency matters and all other aspects of oil and gas law. He is a New Mexico Board of Legal Specialization recognized specialist in oil and gas law (Gregory J., “ADMINISTRATION OF FEDERAL OIL AND GAS LEASES IN NEW MEXCIO,” Hinkle, Hensley, Shanor & Martin, LLP*, 1992, http://www.landman.org/docs/white-papers/greg-nibert.pdf, SMS) Status of Federal Land: The MLA authorizes the leasing of deposits of oil and gas on lands owned by the United States. The MLA governs those lands designated as public domain. Public domain lands are those lands or mineral deposits owned by the United States which have not been disposed of under any of the public land laws. The public domain includes lands acquired by cessation or conquest, lands exchanged for domain lands, lands that reverted to the United States, lands that have never left the ownership of the United States, and all other lands specifically designated as public domain. Public domain lands do not, however, include all lands in public ownership. For example, lands subject to railroad or other rights-of-way may be governed by the 1930 Right-of-Way Leasing Act (Right of Way Act, 30 U.S.C. ''301-306), not the MLA. However, BLM has subjected some types of rights of way to leasing under the MLA under regulations promulgated in 43 C.F.R. '3109.1 (53 Fed. Reg. 22,840 June 17, 1988). Lands withdrawn from the public domain cannot be leased. Acquired lands may be leased under the MLA, if the surface management agency consents. It is common for the surface management agency to impose lease stipulations to limit the rights of the oil and gas lessee and address potential conflicts over the use of the surface for oil and gas exploration and development operations. Although most of the land in the national forests remain public domain land, the Secretary of Agriculture is responsible for leases of lands within the national forests and has promulgated its own regulations codified in 36 C.F.R. '' 228.100 - 228.116. Its definition Its just means associated with Dictionary.com, 9 (based on Collins English Dictionary, http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/its?s=t) its (ɪts) — determiner a. of, belonging to, or associated in some way with it: its left rear wheel b. ( as pronoun ): each town claims its is the best AT: Navy DA 2AC – Navy DA Sea power solves nothing Goure 10—Vice President, Lexington Institute, PhD (Daniel, 2 July 2010, Can The Case Be Made For Naval Power?, http://www.lexingtoninstitute.org/can-the-case-be-made-for-naval-power?a=1&c=1171) This is no longer the case. The U.S. faces no great maritime challengers. While China appears to be toying with the idea of building a serious Navy this is many years off. Right now it appears to be designing a military to keep others, including the United States, away, out of the Western Pacific and Asian littorals. But even if it were seeking to build a large Navy, many analysts argue that other than Taiwan it is difficult to see a reason why Washington and Beijing would ever come to blows. Our former adversary, Russia, would have a challenge fighting the U.S. Coast Guard, much less the U.S. Navy. After that, there are no other navies of consequence. Yes, there are some scenarios under which Iran might attempt to close the Persian Gulf to oil exports, but how much naval power would really be required to reopen the waterway? Actually, the U.S. Navy would probably need more mine countermeasures capabilities than it currently possesses. More broadly, it appears that the nature of the security challenges confronting the U.S. has changed dramatically over the past several decades. There are only a few places where even large-scale conventional conflict can be considered possible. None of these would be primarily maritime in character although U.S. naval forces could make a significant contribution by employing its offensive and defensive capabilities over land. For example, the administration’s current plan is to rely on sea-based Aegis missile defenses to protect regional allies and U.S. forces until a land-based variant of that system can be developed and deployed. The sea ways, sometimes called the global commons, are predominantly free of dangers. The exception to this is the chronic but relatively low level of piracy in some parts of the world. So, the classic reasons for which nations build navies, to protect its own shores and its commerce or to place the shores and commerce of other states in jeopardy, seem relatively unimportant in today’s world. No challengers to the Navy – we’re too far ahead Tillman 9 (Barrett Tillman, Historian specializing in naval and aviation topics, 2009. U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings Magazine, “Fear and Loathing in the Post-Naval Era,” http://www.usni.org/magazines/proceedings/story.asp?STORY_ID=1896) In attempting to justify a Cold War force structure, many military pundits cling to the military stature of China as proof of a possible large conventional-war scenario against a pseudo-peer rival. Since only China possesses anything remotely approaching the prospect of challenging American hegemony—and only in Asian waters—Beijing ergo becomes the "threat" that justifies maintaining the Cold War force structure. China's development of the DF-21 long-range antiship ballistic missile, presumably intended for American carriers, has drawn much attention. Yet even granting the perfection of such a weapon, the most obvious question goes begging: why would China use it? Why would Beijing start a war with its number-two trading partner—a war that would ruin both economies?10 Furthermore, the U.S. Navy owns nearly as many major combatants as Russia and China combined. In tonnage, we hold a 2.6 to 1 advantage over them. No other coalition—actual or imagined—even comes close. But we need to ask ourselves: does that matter? In today's world the most urgent naval threat consists not of ships, subs, or aircraft, but of mines-and pirates.11 Link turn – fuel costs wreck Naval budgets – only the plan makes it effective Freed 12 (Josh Freed, Vice President for Clean Energy, Third Way, “Improving capability, protecting 'budget”, http://energy.nationaljournal.com/2012/05/powering-our-military-whats-th.php, ZS) As Third Way explains in a digest being released this week by our National Security Program, the Pentagon’s efforts to reduce energy demand and find alternative energy sources could keep rising fuel costs from encroaching on the budgets of other important defense programs. And the payoff could be massive. The Air Force has already been able to implement behavioral and technology changes that will reduce its fuel costs by $500 million over the next five years. The Army has invested in better energy distribution systems at several bases in Afghanistan, which will save roughly $100 million each year. And, using less than 10% of its energy improvement funds, the Department has begun testing advanced biofuels for ships and planes. This relatively small investment could eventually provide the services with a cost-effective alternative to the increasingly expensive and volatile oil markets. These actions are critical to the Pentagon’s ability to focus on its defense priorities. As Secretary Panetta recently pointed out, he’s facing a $3 billion budget shortfall caused by “higher-than-expected fuel costs.” The Department’s energy costs could rise even further if action isn’t taken. DOD expects to spend $16 billion on fuel next year. The Energy Information Administration predicts the price of oil will rise 23% by 2016, without a major disruption in oil supplies, like the natural disasters, wars, and political upheaval the oil producing states have seen during the last dozen years. Meanwhile, the Pentagon’s planned budget, which will remain flat for the foreseeable future, will require significant adjustment to the Department’s pay-any-price mindset, even if sequestration does not go into effect. Unless energy costs are curbed, they could begin to eat into other budget priorities for DOD. In addition, the Pentagon’s own Defense Science Board acknowledges that using energy more efficiently makes our forces more flexible and resilient in military operations, and can provide them with greater endurance during missions. Also, by reducing energy demand in the field, DOD can minimize the number of fuel convoys that must travel through active combat zones, reducing the chances of attack to avoiding casualties and destruction of material. At our domestic bases, DOD is employing energy conservation, on-site clean energy generation, and smart grid technology to prevent disruptions to vital activities in case the civilian grid is damaged by an attack or natural disaster. The bottom line is, developing methods and technologies to reduce our Armed Forces’ use of fossil fuels and increase the availability of alternative energy makes our military stronger. That’s why the Pentagon has decided to invest in these efforts. End of story. Oil and gas development won’t impede readiness The Hill 10 – (“Eastern Gulf of Mexico Oil and Gas Exploration and Military Readiness”, The Hill Issue Brief, Jan 2010, http://thehill.com/images/stories/blogs/gulfdrilling.pdf)//js It became apparent during our research that DoD’s ability to assess the impacts of encroachment on its training and testing ranges has only in the past year reached a level whereby the department could, for ranges in specific locations, credibly assert that non-military activities may or may not be detrimental to national security. Furthermore, we found the following factors to be of significance in our analysis of current military operations in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico and the potential effect of expanding oil and gas exploration east of the Military Mission Line: 1. Most, if not all, missile and target drone flight paths and intercepts in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico take place over the confines of two warning areas. These areas are being used most extensively (80 percent of scheduled hours) for training missions, while being used only intermittently for air-to-air or air-to-surface weapons testing. Total naval surface ship activity accounted for a total of just 20 vessel days of usage across all GOMEX OPAREAs. 2. Current military aircraft, ship and weapon performance parameters and projected future capabilities can be developed and tested in existing joint special use airspace and OPAREAs in the Gulf of Mexico.67 3. The DoD 2009 Sustainable Range assessment repeatedly showed minimal impact to mission areas by encroachment, even in those areas in which there is already significant ongoing oil and natural gas exploration. 4. Military control agencies that are responsible for scheduling, coordinating, and monitoring surface and airborne operations within the confines of special use airspace and OPAREAs are capable of tracking commercial and civil aircraft and vessels by radar or communicating with the platforms via two-way radio. 5. To operate in special use airspace and OPAREAs concurrently with military units, commercial and civil entities must comply with applicable rules and regulations pursuant to agreements with appropriate military control agencies.68 6. The services are assessing their training range requirements and are in search of innovative approaches to accommodating and managing oil and gas exploration in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico.69 We contend, then, after reviewing the most recent DoD assessment of training operations Sustainable Range assessment data and environmental impact studies accomplished by DoD agencies and the services, that previous assertions on the part of the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the services regarding civilian encroachment impinging on military ranges and readiness were, and continue to be, not credible, specifically in reference to the Eglin Water Test Areas and the Navy’s GOMEX and Key West Range Complexes. We do not believe that current and future military testing and training requirements necessitate the maintenance of offshore areas in the Gulf of Mexico intended to exclude specific classes of commercial airborne, surface, or subsurface activities. Therefore, after conducting extensive research on the issues and completing a thorough analysis of the data, it is our conclusion that opening further portions of the Gulf of Mexico east of the Military Mission line to oil and gas field exploration and development will not come at the expense of feasibly, sufficiently, and adequately accomplishing military training and testing missions. We do not believe that expanding oil and gas exploration on the Outer Continental Shelf within the Gulf of Mexico and pursuing national security goals are mutually exclusive actions. Zero interference with the military---DoD says so Dale Eisman 10 is AOL News Staff, “How Offshore Drilling Affects US Military,” Mar 31, 2010,http://www.aolnews.com/2010/03/31/how-offshore-drilling-affects-us-military/ Accessed Date: 28-13 WASHINGTON (March 31) -- President Barack Obama's decision to expand offshore energy development could put oil platforms in the middle of some of the military's prime East Coast training areas, tracts of open ocean and airspace now largely reserved for ship maneuvers, bombing runs and naval gunfire. And the armed forces, which have long zealously guarded their training grounds, apparently are fine with it. Environmentalists howled Wednesday about the administration's plan to push oil and gas drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico and off the Virginia coast. "Drilling our coasts will do nothing to lower gas prices or create energy independence," said Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club. The Obama plan "continues our reliance on dirty fossil fuels," complained Maggie L. Fox, president of the Alliance for Climate Protection. The Pentagon, meanwhile, signaled that it's willing to share the waters with energy companies. The Defense Department was "tightly connected" with Interior Department officials who developed the administration's proposal and is "comfortable with the efforts" to develop energy resources offshore, said Lt. Cmdr. Wendy Snyder, a Pentagon spokeswoman. Cmdr. Danny Hernandez, a Navy spokesman, cautioned that "it's too early to assess the potential impacts on our training" but added that the Navy is "fully committed" to the administration's energy initiatives. Three years ago, as the Bush administration announced plans to sell oil and gas leases off Virginia, the Pentagon declared that drilling in the area "is not acceptable ... because of its incompatibility with the military training and testing conducted in that area." The military's stance then heartened drilling foes and helped preserve a congressionally imposed moratorium on Atlantic drilling. It also figured in successful efforts by Florida lawmakers to ban drilling in the Gulf of Mexico within 100 miles of the Florida coast. Air Force, Navy and Marine jets based in Hampton Roads and eastern North Carolina use ranges off Virginia to practice bombing runs and air-toair combat. Navy ships based in Norfolk also train in the area. In the gulf, the Air Force and Navy share several ranges, training pilots based at Eglin and Tyndall Air Force bases and the Pensacola Naval Air Station. The Obama plan announced Wednesday keeps oil rigs at least 125 miles off Florida, far enough to win at least a tentative endorsement from the state's senior senator, Democrat Bill Nelson. Before signing off on the proposal, Nelson said he wants Defense Secretary Robert Gates "to look me in the eye" and provide assurances that military training will not be compromised. The services see oil rigs as "just one more thing they will have to plan for avoiding," said Martin J. Sullivan, a retired Marine Corps aviator. "These are structures that will be permanently in areas used for training." But Sullivan, who now works as a defense consultant and early this year co-authored a study backing drilling in the gulf, said offshore energy development and military training can easily co-exist. The Navy already has to be on the alert for commercial ships moving through its training areas, Sullivan said. There are tighter restrictions on military airspace offshore, but the services routinely permit airliners to cross their ranges when military planes aren't using them, he said. 1AR – No Impact Naval power does not solve conflict – prefer our empirical evidence that it leads to war not prevent it Robert S. Ross is Professor of Political Science at Boston College and Associate of the John King Fairbank Center for East Asian Research at Harvard University. His current research focuses on Chinese security policy, East Asian security, and U.S.-China relations, International Security, Vol. 34, No. 2 (Fall 2009), pp. 46–81 , “China’s Naval Nationalism” , The financial restraints on naval power have not always prevailed on a land power ’s strategic choices. Naval nationalism has frequently encouraged conti- nental powers to seek battle-capable surface ºeets. Naval nationalism is one manifestation of “prestige strategies,” whereby governments seek international success to bolster their domestic popularity. Prestige-seeking govern- ments sometimes provoke war in the pursuit of a popular military victory.10 But governments also can seek greater prestige by developing defense policies and acquiring weaponry that do not provoke war but nonetheless destabilize great power relations. Naval nationalism is one example of a potentially de- stabilizing prestige strategy. During the nineteenth century, with the emergence of European popular nationalism, naval nationalism became a prominent prestige strategy and a critical source of maritime rivalries. Napoleon’s acquisition of capital ships and his challenge to Britain’s maritime superiority and presence in North Africa were the ªrst steps toward realizing his maritime ambition to oust the British from India and reºected his insatiable need for military successes to sustain his domestic nationalist legitimacy.11 Nationalism drove the French na- val buildup in the 1860s, when there was popular widespread support for en- hancing French prestige and grandeur through possession of large capital ships. Louis Napoleon’s legitimacy depended on his satisfying this nationalist desire, and he personally participated in developing France’s naval policy. In six years, France’s naval budget grew by more than 30 percent and strained the country’s ªnances. French naval nationalism reemerged in the 1880s, when widespread interest in enhancing France’s prestige demanded large colonial possessions and a large navy to protect them.12 Naval nationalism drove German development of the dreadnought and the Anglo-German arms race in the early twentieth century. Tirpitz’s “risk ºeet” was not subjected to rigorous military analysis before it was developed, and it was resisted by many German military ofªcers. Nevertheless, Tirpitz secured funding for the dreadnoughts because Kaiser Wilhelm II valued the German Navy as the personal ºotilla of a world leader and as the foremost ex- pression of Germany’s power and mission to achieve its “place in the sun.” Just as the “Greeks and the Romans each had their time, the Spaniards had theirs and the French also”; now it was Germany’s turn.13 Thus, not only did Germany devote insufªcient resources to its ground forces, but the kaiser ’s preoccupation with capital ships prevented it from developing adequately its submarine force until 1916.14 Russia’s drive into the North Paciªc in the late nineteenth and early twenti- eth centuries and its war with Japan in the North Paciªc in 1904–05 reºected the impact of nationalism on Russian defense policy. Russian leaders, includ- ing Czar Nicholas II, were acutely aware of Russian vulnerability to Japanese naval supremacy; they believed it was imperative for Russia to avoid war. Russia’s belligerence reºected excessive conªdence in Russian cultural superi- ority over Asians and its resistance to suggesting weakness or humiliation in the face of Japanese pressure, especially in the context of early twentieth- century domestic political instability.15 Soviet maritime policy in the late twen- tieth century similarly reºected naval nationalism. The Soviet Union began development of a large surface ºeet in 1972, just as its ground forces incurred the cost of a second front with China.16 It laid the keel of its ªrst aircraft carrier in 1983, just as it was entering into a comprehensive arms race with the United States and its economy began to stagnate. Yet the Soviet Union was not a trad- ing country, and it relied on domestic sources of energy. Russian nationalism and the intrinsic militant ideology ingrained in the Communist Party of the Soviet Union led to a maritime policy that aimed to establish the superiority of the country’s communist political and economic system.17 Nationalism drove Japan’s simultaneous pursuit of continental and mari- time empires in East Asia in the early twentieth century. The Meiji effort to cre- ate a national identity fostered a nationalist culture that sought validation for Japan through empire and forced industrialization. Once unleashed, this na- tionalism dictated Japan’s security agenda and, in the context of economic de- pression and social instability, became the foundation of the government’s legitimacy. Japan thus pursued a relentless expansionist agenda even as it en- countered growing economic difªculties and diminished resources.18 Ulti- mately, naval nationalism led to Japan’s pursuit in the 1930s of an East Asian maritime empire even as its ground forces occupied China and maintained a continental empire. The Navy is ineffective at deterring conflicts Farley 7 (Roberts, Assistant Professor @ the Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce, "The False Decline of U.S. Navy," Oct 23, http://prospect.org/cs/articles?article=the_false_decline_of_the_us_navy, We live in strange times. While the United States is responsible for close to 50 percent of aggregate world military expenditure, and maintains close alliances with almost all of the other major military powers, a community of defense analysts continues to insist that we need to spend more. In the November issue of The Atlantic, Robert Kaplan asserts that United States hegemony is under the threat of “elegant decline,” and points to what conventional analysts might suggest is the most secure element of American power; the United States Navy. Despite the fact that the U.S. Navy remains several orders of magnitude more powerful than its nearest rival, Kaplan says that we must beware; if we allow the size of our Navy to further decline, we risk repeating the experience of the United Kingdom in the years before World War I. Unfortunately, since no actual evidence of U.S. naval decline exists, Kaplan is forced to rely on obfuscation, distortion, and tendentious historical analogies to make his case. The centerpiece of Kaplan’s argument is a comparison of the current U.S. Navy to the British Royal Navy at the end of the 19th century. The decline of the Royal Navy heralded the collapse of British hegemony, and the decline of the U.S. Navy threatens a similar fate for the United States. The only problem with this argument is that similarities between the 21st century United States and the 19th century United Kingdom are more imagined than real. It’s true that the relative strength of the Royal Navy declined at the end of the 19th century, but this was due entirely the rise of the United States and Germany. But the absolute strength of the Royal Navy increased in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, as the United Kingdom strove to maintain naval dominance over two countries that possessed larger economies and larger industrial bases than that of Great Britain. In other words, the position of the Royal Navy declined because the position of the United Kingdom declined; in spite of this decline, the Royal Navy continued to dominate the seas against all comers until 1941. Britain’s relative economic decline preceded its naval decline, although the efforts to keep up with Germany, the United States, and later Japan did serious damage to the British economy. The United States faces a situation which is in no way similar. Returning to the present, Kaplan takes note of the growth of several foreign navies, including the Indian, Chinese, and Japanese. He points out that the Japanese Navy has a large number of destroyers and a growing number of submarines. He warns that India “may soon have the world’s third largest navy” without giving any indication of why that matters. Most serious of all, he describes the threat of a growing Chinese Navy and claims that, just as the Battle of Wounded Knee opened a new age for American imperialism, the conquest of Taiwan could transform China into an expansionist, imperial power. The curious historical analogies aside, Kaplan is careful to make no direct comparisons between the growing navies of foreign countries and the actual strength of the United States Navy. There’s a good reason for this oversight; there is no comparison between the U.S. Navy and any navy afloat today. The United States Navy currently operates eleven aircraft carriers. The oldest and least capable is faster, one third larger, and carries three times the aircraft of Admiral Kuznetsov, the largest carrier in the Russian Navy. Unlike China’s only aircraft carrier, the former Russian Varyag, American carriers have engines and are capable of self-propulsion. The only carrier in Indian service is fifty years old and a quarter the size of its American counterparts. No navy besides the United States’ has more than one aircraft carrier capable of flying modern fixed wing aircraft. The United States enjoys similar dominance in surface combat vessels and submarines, operating twenty-two cruisers, fifty destroyers, fifty-five nuclear attack submarines, and ten amphibious assault ships (vessels In every category the U.S. Navy combines presumptive numerical superiority with a significant ship-to-ship advantage over any foreign navy. This situation is unlikely to change anytime soon. The French Navy and the Royal Navy will each expand to two aircraft carriers over the next decade. The most ambitious plans ascribed to the People’s Liberation Army Navy call for no more than three aircraft carriers by 2020, and even that strains credulity, given China’s inexperience with carrier operations and the roughly equivalent to most foreign aircraft carriers). construction of large military vessels. While a crash construction program might conceivably give the Chinese the ability to achieve local dominance (at great cost and for a short time), the United States Navy will continue to dominate the world’s oceans and littorals for at least the next fifty years. In order to try to show that the U.S. Navy is insufficient in the face of future threats, Kaplan argues that we on are our way to “a 150 ship navy” that will be overwhelmed by the demands of warfighting and global economic maintenance. He suggests that the “1,000 Ship Navy” proposal, an international plan to streamline cooperation between the world’s navies on maritime maintenance issues such as piracy, interdiction of drug and human smuggling, and disaster relief, is an effort at “elegant decline,” and declares that the dominance of the United States Navy cannot be maintained through collaboration with others. It’s true that a 600 ship navy can do more than the current 250-plus ship force of the current U.S. Navy, but Kaplan’s playing a game of bait and switch. The Navy has fewer ships than it did two decades ago, but the ships it has are far more capable than those of the 1980s. Because of the collapse of its competitors, the Navy is relatively more capable of fighting and winning wars now than it was during the Reagan administration. Broadly speaking, navies have two missions; warfighting, and maritime maintenance. Kaplan wants to confuse the maritime maintenance mission (which can be done in collaboration with others) with the warfighting mission (which need not be). A navy can require the cooperation of others for the maintenance mission, while still possessing utter military superiority over any one navy or any plausible combination of navies on the high seas. Indeed, this is the situation that the United States Navy currently enjoys. It cannot be everywhere all at once, and does require the cooperation of regional navies for fighting piracy and smuggling. At the same time, the U.S. Navy can destroy any (and probably all, at the same time) naval challengers. To conflate these two missions is equal parts silly and dishonest. The Navy has arrived at an ideal compromise between the two, keeping its fighting supremacy while leading and facilitating cooperation around the world on maritime issues. This compromise has allowed the Navy to build positive relationships with the navies of the world, a fact that Kaplan ignores. While asserting the dangers posed by a variety of foreign navies, Kaplan makes a distortion depressingly common to those who warn of the decline of American hegemony; he forgets that the United States has allies. While Kaplan can plausibly argue that growth in Russian or Chinese naval strength threatens the United States, the same cannot reasonably be said of Japan, India, France, or the United Kingdom. With the exception of China and Russia, all of the most powerful navies in the world belong to American allies. United States cooperation with the navies of NATO, India, and Japan has tightened, rather than waned in the last ten years, and the United States also retains warm relations with third tier navies such as those of South Korea, Australia, and Malaysia. In any conceivable naval confrontation the United States will have friends, just as the Royal Navy had friends in 1914 and 1941. Robert Kaplan wants to warn the American people of the dangers of impending naval decline. Unfortunately, he’s almost entirely wrong on the facts. While the reach of the United States Navy may have declined in an absolute sense, its capacity to fight and win naval wars has, if anything, increased since the end of the Cold War. That the United States continues to embed itself in a deep set of cooperative arrangements with other naval powers only reinforces the dominance of the U.S. Navy on the high seas. Analysts who want to argue for greater U.S. military spending are best advised to concentrate on the fiascos in Iraq and Afghanistan. 1AR – No Challengers Naval primacy inevitable – US will adapt and is too far ahead Harris 8 (Stuart, BEc (Sydney) and PhD (The Australian National University), is Professor in the Department of International Relations at the Australian National University, “China's "new" diplomacy: tactical or fundamental change?”, Google Books, pg 20) The United States also keeps a close eye on Chinas military modernization. It believes that by 2020 "China will be, by any measure, a first rate military power."6 It will therefore take whatever steps it sees as necessary to maintain its military superiority, notably in the seas in and around the region. Nor is this superiority being challenged directly by China. That Chinas concept for sea-denial capability is limited to the seas around Taiwan and against Chinas eastern coast has been acknowledged by the United States.7 Outside of that, although President Hu Jintao has spoken of the need to develop Chinas naval capabilities, overwhelming U.S. naval superiority will remain for a long time. 1AR – No Link There’s no link – they can coexist Snow 10 (Nick Snow, Head Writer Oil & Gas Journal (OGJ), 1/25/10, “SAFE: Industry, military can coexist in eastern gulf”, Cites SAFE (Secruing America’s Future Energy, http://www.ogj.com/articles/print/volume-108/issue-3/general-interest/safe--industry-military.html, ZS) Oil and gas activity in the eastern Gulf of Mexico will not encroach on US military missions in the area, a report commissioned by Securing America's Future Energy (SAFE) concluded. The report, produced in collaboration with Commonwealth Consulting Corp., examined claims of potential impacts dating from 2005 before the US Department of Defense put systems in place to evaluate such claims. It concluded such tools clearly show oil and gas production will not interfere with military missions in the eastern gulf. The finding is significant since the US Minerals Management Service estimates the eastern gulf contains 3.9 billion bbl of recoverable crude and 21.5 tcf of recoverable natural gas. "If expanded energy production in the gulf put our armed forces or our nation's readiness in danger, we would never support it," said Charles F. Wald, a retired US Air Force general on SAFE's Energy Security Leadership Council. "But this report makes clear that there is no conflict in the overwhelming majority of cases," he continued. "We can improve our energy security and remain at peak military readiness at the same time." 'Totally confident' Wald said he frequently flew and fired missiles in the eastern gulf; he said there never have been any conflicts with surface activity in the area. "I for one am totally confident that drilling and military missions can coexist in the eastern Gulf of Mexico," he stated. In a teleconference with reporters, US Sen. Byron L. Dorgan (D-ND), a senior member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said the report's conclusion supports an amendment he sponsored authorizing oil and gas development in the eastern gulf, which became part of the energy bill approved by the committee last year. "It's my assessment that we'll not do climate change this year, but do an energy bill instead, which is friendly to climate," he said. "Today, the question is can we, should we, will we open the [eastern gulf] to additional oil and gas production. My answer to that is 'yes.'" Former Naval generals prove – there’s no conflict AND link turn – the plan solves foreign oil dependence which is key to military readiness Klas 10 (Mary Ellen Klas, Head Writer, Tampa Bay Tribune, 1/19/20, “Report claims oil rigs, military can share gulf”, http://www.tampabay.com/news/politics/stateroundup/report-claims-oil-rigs-military-canshare-gulf/1066617, ZS) TALLAHASSEE — Oil drilling proponents attempted to refute one of the most potent arguments against oil drilling off Florida shores Tuesday with a new report that suggests that weapons testing and pilot training is compatible with oil rigs and pipelines. "I am totally confident that … drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico and military missions can (co-)exist as we speak today," said Charles Wald, a retired Air Force general and a member of Securing America's Future, a nonprofit, pro-drilling group that compiled the report. The report, discussed during a conference call Tuesday, concluded that new measures by the Defense Department show that oil and natural gas drilling in the gulf would pose minimal interference with the military missions at Eglin and Tyndall Air Force bases in the Panhandle. The two bases share more than 134,000 square miles of restricted air space in the eastern Gulf of Mexico. Sen. Byron Dorgan, the North Dakota Democrat who is pushing federal legislation to end the ban on oil drilling off Florida shores and allow exploration starting at 45 miles out, said the report will give him the evidence he needs to counter a 2005 letter by then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. Then, Rumsfeld warned that oil drilling in the eastern gulf could pose a threat to military operations. The new evidence compiled by Martin Sullivan, a retired Marine Corps colonel, shows that there "is no credible evidence to support that," Dorgan said. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Florida, immediately challenged the conclusions of Dorgan and the retired military officers. "It should come as no surprise that a group that touts drilling off Florida should produce a study saying drilling there is okay," Nelson said in a statement. John Lehman, secretary of the Navy under President Ronald Reagan, said Tuesday that he strongly supports drilling in the eastern gulf because of the national security implications of relying on foreign oil. He said there is a “well-established process” to work out any potential conflicts for military operations, "if any difficulties arise." AT: Environment DA AT: Fisheries Offshore oil drilling has no effect on fisheries – alt causes overwhelm Lynch 14 – president of Strategic Energy and Economic Research, president of the US Association for Energy Economics, former researcher @ MIT (Michael, “Opposition To Atlantic Oil Exploration: A Fishy Tale”, Forbes, 2/28/14, http://www.forbes.com/sites/michaellynch/2014/02/28/opposition-to-atlantic-oil-exploration-a-fishytale/)//js Supposedly, back in the 1960s, President Johnson’s daughter was visiting my home town and one of the local politicians introduced her with a version of an old joke, viz., “My friend told me if I voted for Goldwater, we’d have half a million men in Vietnam. Well, he was right: I voted for Goldwater, and now we have half a million men in Vietnam!” My father, who related this anecdote, didn’t mention her reaction but presumably it was, at best, one of chagrin. (And yes, I greatly admire President Johnson for his primary efforts, especially his masterful advocacy of civil rights legislation.) We see something similar in the opposition to Atlantic offshore oil drilling. Jacqueline Savitz, vice president of Ocean, a conservation group, was quoted today as saying “allowing exploration ‘could be the death sentence for many marine mammals, and is needlessly turning the Atlantic Ocean into a blast zone.’” The Atlantic hasn’t seen any drilling in decades, and yet fisheries are grossly depleted, just as we would up with half a million men in Vietnam. In fact, in the 1970s, when the industry first suggested drilling off New England, fishery catches were still robust, about 15-30 thousand metric tonnes brought in from Georges Bank. Now, the catch is restricted to about 2 thousand tonnes. Without any wells being drilled there. This suggests the opposition is much more reflexive than logical, automatically opposing any petroleum operations while ignoring the 500 pound cod in the room, namely human activity, specifically those rotten fishers and farmers—oops, political correctness alert. I have great sympathy for New England fisherman, but overfishing is clearly driving fishery depletion, along with, in too many areas, fertilizer runoff. And it’s a funny case of renewable being insufficient, as the oceans are, theoretically, renewable through rainfall, but finite in terms of size and thus, there ability to absorb certain kinds of abuse, including the dumping of garbage. Could offshore drilling (or even seismic, as is now being proposed and opposed) have a significant impact on marine impact? To quote the story by Michael Wines, “Decades of seismic exploration worldwide have yet to yield a confirmed whale death, the government says.” In other words, the opposition appears to be of the kneejerk variety, opposing any activity, especially by the petroleum industry, and discounting what appears to be a scientific consensus in favor of worst-case analysis. Saving the ocean’s wildlife is a noble cause, although I suspect developing an artificial shark fin substitute would make a much greater contribution. Alt causes to fisheries MMS 07 – Mineral Management Service, DOI (“Outer Continental Shelf Oil & Gas Leasing Program: 2007-2012, Final Environmental Impact Statement April 2007,” Department of the Interior, Volume II, http://www.boem.gov/Oil-and-Gas-Energy-Program/Leasing/Five-YearProgram/IntroChapter4Cthru4OImpactsAlternativesCumulative.aspx)//js Along with the impacts associated with oil and gas activity, cumulative impacts on fish resources result from the following activities and events: commercial, industrial, and residential coastal development resulting in habitat loss and pollution in coastal areas; ocean dumping of dredge spoil; military activity; beach renourishment programs; commercial and recreational fishing; and large accidental hydrocarbon spills. Accidental spills may result from non-OCS tanker traffic involving transportation of domestic and imported crude oil and refined products along the Atlantic coast. Still another potential non-OCS impact in the mid-Atlantic is military activity. AT: Spills Low risk of oil spills – extensive protocols are in place Collins Center 10 – report for the Century Commission for a Sustainable Florida (“POTENTIAL IMPACTS OF OIL & GAS EXPLORATION IN THE GULF,” February 2010, Collins Center for Public Policy, http://www.wusf.usf.edu/sites/default/files/Century-Commission-Drilling-Report.pdf)//js What can be done to mitigate the impacts of accidental spills if and when they occur? ANSWER: Spill mitigation occurs on two fronts: prevention and response. Both were profoundly influenced after 11 million gallons of oil spilled from the Exxon Valdez into Prince William Sound in 1989. The spill and its aftermath spurred passage of the Oil Pollution Act (OPA) of 1990, which established prevention, response, liability and compensation protocols. OPA set new standards for vessel construction, mandated contingency planning and broadened enforcement authority and liability limits for companies. A significant drop over the past two decades in the incidence of accidents involving the transport of oil is widely attributed to OPA. On the prevention front, the federal government requires companies operating offshore facilities and tankers to prepare spill response plans. As part of those plans, the owners of the facilities and vessels have contracts with oil spill response teams that react on the owner’s behalf. Tanker owners must maintain evidence of insurance to cover cleanup costs. OPA makes companies liable for all cleanup costs associated with a spill, including damage to natural resources, the loss of personal property and economic losses to states and private entities affected by a spill. Cleanup equipment and procedures are required by law to be in place at offshore facilities. The federal government maintains a trust, funded by a tax on every barrel that is dedicated to cleanup costs in the event of a significant spill. As the federal government moved to pass OPA, Florida was adopting laws to address spill prevention, preparedness and response. However, the state has no rules for offshore activities and would need to create a body of regulations addressing contingency plans and bonding requirements specific to accidents off its shoreline. There is an offshore precedent in Florida, created when Coastal Petroleum was required by the state to post a $4 billion bond when seeking a Gulf permit in the 1990s. That bond was ultimately reduced to $225 million after an administrative hearing, but it was never posted and the drilling never occurred. The state has requirements for contingency plans and bonding for onshore activities, but the rules and the bonding amounts are inadequate for offshore activities. On the response front, every spill is unique and presents its own set of variables that influence the cleanup. The first priority is to contain the spill, followed by a cleanup. A variety of methodologies exist to mitigate the impacts of a spill. They range from booms to situational burning off of the oil, to skimmers and dispersants like foam, among other options. The method used depends on the spill and on-scene conditions such as weather. A dispersant might be used to lessen the impact on mangroves, for example, or booms to contain heavy, floating oil. The strategy would have to be approved by the federal on-scene coordinator. OPA enhanced the federal government’s authority during emergencies. The federal government takes the lead when an accidental spill occurs, working closely with state responders. Under both federal and state law, the company spilling the oil is responsible for the cleanup. However, if the company does not respond appropriately there are procedures in place to have the government take over. The United States Coast Guard is the lead agency in responding to accidental spills both in the Outer Continental Shelf and closer to shore where states control submerged lands. The Coast Guard prepares area contingency plans in conjunction with state agencies like the FDEP and the Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission, local agencies, and the industry. The Coast Guard is ultimately responsible for ensuring that all the oil is removed after a spill and the discharge is stopped. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) assists by collecting data and assessing environmental damage. To ensure that money is readily available and that private parties are compensated for damages, OPA created the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund in 1991, and established the National Pollution Funds Center to manage it. An 8-cents-per-barrel tax is assessed to maintain the spill fund. The fund is expected to reach $3.5 billion by 2016, a year before the tax is set to terminate. At the state level, a 2 cents-per-barrel fee assessed on all petroleum entering the state supports the Florida Coastal Protection Fund. The fund has a $50 million ceiling that under current law could be expanded to $100 million if offshore activities are allowed. Safety measures and spill clean-up check the impact Milito, 14 - group director of upstream and industry operations for the American Petroleum Institute (Erik, “Offshore Drilling is Safer”, API, 4-25-14, http://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/2014/04/25/offshore-drilling-is-safer/, SMS) Four years after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, we’re well into a new era of safety for offshore energy exploration. Even before cleanup in the Gulf of Mexico was complete, the oil and natural gas industry started working with federal regulators on a comprehensive review of offshore operations. We in the industry clearly understand that the future of offshore drilling depends on our ability to conduct operations safely. Federal regulators and the public should rest assured. Despite claims to the contrary, the oil and natural gas industry and the federal government have together taken great strides to enhance the safety of offshore operations. Four joint industry task forces have now reexamined every aspect of offshore drilling, from equipment and operating procedures to subsea well control and oil spill response. Working with experienced regulators from the Department of Interior, industry experts developed new recommendations and standards for operations in both deep and shallow water exploration. One of the most urgent needs was clearly to boost the rapid response capability for containment in case of a leak. New collaborative containment companies established after the 2010 spill now stand ready to deploy state-of-the-art containment technology at the first indication of a spill at the wellhead. Our task forces found room for improvement in numerous other areas. The industry is now following newly established or revised standards in areas ranging from well design and cementing to blowout prevention, subsea equipment for capping wells, and protections for workers responding to a spill. The American Petroleum Institute maintains more than 600 industry standards covering all aspects related to production, and more than 100 have been incorporated into federal regulations. Even before the Deepwater Horizon accident, spills were rare. Over the past decade, 99.999% of oil shipped to the United States reached its destination without incident. More than 40,000 total wells have been drilled in the Gulf of Mexico, and at the time of the spill, 699 wells were operating at depths of 5,000 feet or greater, while more than 3,900 were in production at 1,000 feet or more. It’s a common and understandable misconception that deep water operations are inherently more risky. While deep water wells present greater technical challenges in some cases, safety standards also change to reflect the difference. As a result, working in deeper water does not equate to greater risk. Obviously, even one incident is too many, let alone one on the scale of the 2010 crisis. That’s why the industry has also created the Center for Offshore Safety (COS). Its mission is to work with independent third-party auditors and government regulators to create an industry-wide culture of continuous safety improvement. The federal Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) has already incorporated a number of guidelines COS devised into its own regulations. BSEE is one of three new agencies formed from the reorganization of the former Minerals Management Service in response to the Gulf spill. In recent congressional testimony, Director Brian Salerno noted that 25 of the 33 BP Deepwater Horizon Commission recommendations have been acted upon or are in the process of being addressed. COS is also working on a major initiative on prevention. The Center collects and analyzes data to better detect potential problems before they occur. The prevention protocol includes a “blind source” reporting system, which allows companies to provide data without incurring punitive action, enabling us to learn more and faster. Safe and responsible offshore development is an essential part of America’s energy security. According to new projections from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, domestic production has been increasing so quickly that by 2040, the United States can be entirely energy self-sufficient. Improved energy security has been the goal of every American president since Richard Nixon and the 1973 oil embargo. Energy security on a scale that now seems likely was unthinkable as recently as 10 years ago. Making energy independence a reality requires the ability to unlock our abundant natural resources safely. The oil and natural gas industry understands and accepts that challenge. Their ev’s biased – regulations make drilling super sage Bradley, 13 - CEO and founder of the Institute for Energy Research (Robert, “Oil & Gas Isn't Just One Of The Richest Industries, It's Also One Of The Safest”, Forbes, 3-25-13, http://www.forbes.com/sites/robertbradley/2013/03/25/oil-gas-isnt-just-one-of-the-richest-industriesits-also-one-of-the-safest/, SMS) You wouldn’t know it from the major media coverage, but the American oil and natural gas industry is one of the safest sectors in operation. These businesses have established smart protocols to minimize the dangers to their personnel and prevent catastrophe. Of course, there are exceptions to the industry’s sterling track record. But they’re exceedingly rare and not at all indicative of the way the average energy project operates. Visitors to an offshore drilling rig or production platform receive safety training and are outfitted with steel-toed boots, safety goggles, gloves, hearing protection, and a helmet. Once on the rig, their conduct is carefully monitored. Adherence to safe practices is mandatory, greatly reducing risk to life, property, and the environment. Accidents do happen. Three incidents — Santa Barbara (1969), Exxon Valdez (1989), and the Deepwater Horizon (2010) — illustrate the oil and natural gas business is not risk-free. Unanticipated, tragic incidents have resulted in very high private and public costs. But the industry has responded to these failures by developing new technologies and improved safety systems. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, a most reluctant friend of oil and gas, said as much at a recent Gulf of Mexico lease sale: “People of industry stood up and said, ‘We are going to get it right,’ and we are getting it right.” The industry does not have to hang its head. In 2011, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 2.3 incidents of injury and illness per 100 oil and gas workers. That’s compared with 3.5 incidents per 100 for the entire private sector. The U.S. offshore industry experienced an even lower rate of 0.8 incidents per 100 full-time workers. In oil refining, the injury and illness rate was 1.1 per 100 full-time workers versus 4.4 per 100 for the U.S. manufacturing sector overall. A comparison of U.S. pipeline transportation data versus the U.S. transportation and warehousing sector shows that precisely zero pipeline workers experienced injuries and illnesses in 2011. This accomplishment is all the more impressive given that trillions of cubic feet of natural gas and billions of gallons of oil traverse United States pipelines every year Meanwhile, the rest of the transportation sector clocked in a rate of 5.0 safety incidents per 100 full-time employees. Federal data also show improvements in spill rates. A 2012 Interior Department report examined spill records from 1996 through 2010 (the year of the Deepwater Horizon incident). Researchers found that offshore spill frequency was actually “relatively low” despite the fact that Gulf of Mexico deepwater oil production had risen sharply over that time. Spills from oil tankers continued their precipitous decline due in part to the double-hull requirement instituted after the Valdez spill. Unfortunately, environmental groups refuse to acknowledge the oil and gas industry’s excellent safety and environmental record. Frances Beinecke, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council, recently opined: “We need stronger safeguards and increased oversight to reduce the risk of accidents.” She went on to argue that “we need to prioritize safer forms of energy that don’t threaten the lives of our workers and foul our waters. Until then, we’ll remain stuck on this collision course with disaster.” AT: Seismic Guns Alt causes to marine mammals – collisions are the primary source MMS 07 – Mineral Management Service, DOI (“Outer Continental Shelf Oil & Gas Leasing Program: 2007-2012, Final Environmental Impact Statement April 2007,” Department of the Interior, Volume II, http://www.boem.gov/Oil-and-Gas-Energy-Program/Leasing/Five-YearProgram/IntroChapter4Cthru4OImpactsAlternativesCumulative.aspx)//js Non-OCS oil and gas activities continue to impact marine mammals both directly and indirectly. Collisions with vessels represent the primary source of potential lethal impacts. Species which are particularly vulnerable include the right, fin, and humpback whales. Routine oil and gas activities would have small contributions to the potential for lethal and sublethal whale-vessel collisions. Non-OCS vessel traffic, which could also impact marine mammals, includes military and commercial shipping, fishing vessels, and a growing number of recreational craft. Aircraft-induced startle reactions due to private, military, and commercial flights are another source of potential impacts on marine mammals. Entanglement in fishing gear can also result in lethal and debilitating impacts. In addition to entanglement, commercial fishing activities may also be affecting marine mammal populations by direct competition and by physical alteration of habitat, in particular the community structure of whale feeding grounds. Chemical pollutants are known to contaminate tissues, and persistent debris also affects animals. The assumed oil spills in the cumulative case are not expected to result in measurable impacts to marine mammal populations on the Atlantic OCS. Taken separately, routine and accidental impacts from projected oil and gas activities are not expected to produce any measurable changes in the distribution, population size, or behavior of marine mammal populations on the Atlantic OCS. However, cumulative impacts from non-OCS and OCS oil and gas activities over the 40-year life of the Proposed Program, unless abated, could result in measurable diminishing of some marine mammal populations, particularly the right whale. Proper mechanics means there’s no effect on wildlife Snyder 14 (Jim Snyder, Staff Writer for Bloomberg, “Review Clears Path for Seismic Tests of U.S. Atlantic Oil”, http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-02-27/review-clears-path-for-seismic-tests-of-u-satlantic-oil.html, ZS) Seismic measuring of oil and gas off the U.S. Atlantic coast can be done safely under certain conditions, the government said in a report that marks a critical step toward drilling in an area off limits for decades. Measures to minimize the effects on wildlife, such as a pause in testing during whale migrations and sea turtle nestings, could make oil exploration feasible in the stretch of Atlantic Ocean that runs from Delaware to Florida, the U.S. Interior Department said today in a final environmental impact report. No link – surveys are safe – Interior Department statements prove Cikanek 14 (Zachary Cikanek, Staff writer for the America Petroleum Institute, 5/7/14, “API recommends fixes in seismic surveying analysis”, http://www.api.org/news-andmedia/news/newsitems/2014/may-2014/api-recommends-fixes-in-seismic-surveying-analysis, ZS) “Seismic surveys are safe, highly regulated, and an essential step for exploring for oil and natural gas offshore,” said Erik Milito, API director of upstream and industry operations. “We support BOEM’s plan to authorize seismic surveys to explore the Atlantic OCS but have serious concerns about the restrictions proposed. “Alternative B, which BOEM currently favors, places arbitrary and unnecessary restrictions on exploration. The only basis for these restrictions is a fundamentally flawed projection of animal impacts that BOEM itself says is totally unrealistic. In its current state, this alternative could discourage investment in essential data gathering efforts. BOEM should either drop Alternative B or make substantial improvements to it.” “The government’s analysis should be based on real-world observations from many decades of research and experience. The best science and research, including the Interior Department’s own studies, show that seismic surveys have little-to-no effect on marine mammal populations. “We fully support the use of existing measures that are proven to protect marine life during survey operations, and BOEM’s Alternative A presents the option that is most supported by the best available science." Fiber optic airguns solve the impact BOEM 14 – Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Department of the Interior (“Atlantic OCS Proposed Geological and Geophysical Activities,” BOEM 2014-001, Volume I: Chapters 1-8, Figures, Tables, and Keyword Index, http://www.boem.gov/BOEM-2014-001-v1/)//js Short of replacing seismic airguns, improvements in fiber optic sensing and telemetering could allow use of smaller airguns and airgun arrays in the future (Nash and Strudley, 2010). Fiber optic receivers are receivers that incorporate optical fibers to transmit the received acoustic signal as light. They are most frequently used in the petroleum industry for seismic permanent reservoir monitoring, a 4D reservoir evaluation application. The optical receivers are permanently placed on the seafloor, ensuring consistency and repeatability of the 4D surveys, better signal-to-noise ratios, and quality of subsequently collected data. Fiber optic systems are not new. Fiber optical components have been used by the military for years in similar applications for antisubmarine warfare and area surveillance and have proven to be highly reliable. Fiber optic receivers are more sensitive than standard receivers, which allows for smaller airgun arrays to be used. While these receivers offer a benefit to the environment through a decrease in airgun noise, this technology is not presently available for towed-streamer surveys. Research concludes that environmental impacts would be negligible BOEM 14 – Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Department of the Interior (“Atlantic OCS Proposed Geological and Geophysical Activities,” BOEM 2014-001, Volume I: Chapters 1-8, Figures, Tables, and Keyword Index, http://www.boem.gov/BOEM-2014-001-v1/)//js *This card applies to all seismic mapping turns as well as a generic defense of the way that oil is extracted and the low impact of oil spills on marine life Impact analyses presented in Chapters 18.104.22.168 and 22.214.171.124 determined that activities projected to occur under Alternative B would result in impacts ranging from negligible to moderate for MPAs and the associated resources present, depending on the activity, as a result of active acoustic sound sources, seafloor disturbance, and accidental fuel spills. The cumulative activities scenario for MPAs, as outlined in Chapter 126.96.36.199, includes (1) oil and gas development, (2) renewable energy development, (3) marine minerals use, (4) geosequestration, (5) LNG terminals, (6) commercial and recreational fishing, (7) military range complexes and civilian space program use, (8) shipping and marine transportation, (9) dredged material disposal, and (10) new cable infrastructure. Three broader cumulative impact sources also were identified: (1) climate change, (2) cumulative noise in the sea, and (3) cumulative vessel activity. The IPFs that would contribute to the cumulative activities scenario under Alternative B include active acoustic sound sources, seafloor disturbance, trash and debris, and accidental fuel spills. The cumulative impact analysis identified negligible to minor incremental increases in impacts from all IPFs under Alternative A. The additional time-area closures for NARWs and sea turtles included in Alternative B, as discussed above, would change the timing of seismic airgun surveys in certain areas. Overall, however, these time-area closures would not appreciably change the cumulative impacts noted under Alternative A. Therefore, impacts would be unchanged under the cumulative scenario for Alternative B for all IPFs. Limits on concurrent seismic airgun surveys would change the timing of these surveys in certain areas but would not alter the impacts of active acoustic noise from seismic airgun surveys on MPAs and the resources present. Therefore, the impacts to MPAs and the associated resources would remain unchanged under the Alternative B cumulative scenario. Cumulative impacts under Alternative B would be unchanged by limits on concurrent seismic airgun surveys for all IPFs. The use of PAM in Alternative B would not change any MPA cumulative impacts determined under Alternative A. Alternative B would change the timing of certain surveys because of additional time-area closures and limits on concurrent seismic airgun surveys. However, spills from seismic survey vessels could occur in the closure areas during times outside the closure period. Spills from other survey vessels could also occur during the closure period if surveys were authorized under the HRG Survey Protocol (Chapter 188.8.131.52). A change in survey timing because of limits on concurrent seismic airgun surveys would not substantially change the risk of a small fuel spill. Overall, the risk of a small fuel spill and the potential cumulative impacts to MPAs and the associated resources would be the same under Alternative B as determined under Alternative A and would result in a negligible incremental increase in risk of a collision-based fuel spill. Therefore, the cumulative impacts from a small spill at the sea surface would be unlikely to affect benthic communities, sea turtles, and marine mammals in MPAs; however, impacts to marine and coastal birds, recreational resources, and archaeological resources could range from negligible to minor, depending on the location of the spill. AT: Arctic Alt causes to the arctic environment Goodyear 12 – Ph.D. oceanographer and marine ecologist (Jeff, “Environmental Risks with Proposed Offshore Oil and Gas Development off Alaska’s North Slope,” NRDC Issue Paper, August 2012, http://www.nrdc.org/land/alaska/files/drilling-off-north-slope-IP.pdf)//js With the decline of ice cover, vessel traffic has begun to increase, and various interests—shipping, tourism, and mining—are promoting rapid growth in commercial ventures besides oil and gas drilling.85 Ships and smaller vessels already navigate regularly through the Bering Strait.86 In 2009, the Arctic Council issued the first major report focusing on Arctic vessel traffic and cited several environmental concerns:87 “The most significant threat from ships to the Arctic marine environment is the release of oil through accidental or illegal discharge. Additional potential impacts of Arctic ships include ship strikes on marine mammals, the introduction of alien species, disruption of migratory patterns of marine mammals and anthropogenic noise produced from marine shipping activity. Changes in Arctic sea-ice will not only provide for possible longer seasons of navigation, but may also result in increased interaction between migrating species and ships. Black carbon emissions from ships operating in the Arctic may have regional impacts by accelerating ice melt. Other ship emissions during Arctic voyages, such as SOx and NOx, may have unintended consequences for the Arctic environment and these emissions may require the implementation of additional IMO environmental regulations.” AT: Politics 2AC – Plan Popular The plan would receive bipartisan support Mufson 10 – (Steven, “Offshore drilling policy reversed”, WP, December 2, 2010, m/wpdyn/content/article/2010/12/01/AR2010120107185.html)//js The Obama administration announced Wednesday that it will not allow offshore oil drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico or off the Atlantic Coast through 2017, reversing two key policy changes the president embraced in late March. The revised Interior Department drilling plan, which took industry officials and many environmentalists by surprise, will also delay the next two lease sales in the central and western Gulf of Mexico. It marks a sharp political shift by the White House - yanking concessions to conservatives and oil companies - in the wake of the massive BP oil spill and the collapse of comprehensive climate legislation. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar told reporters that the decision to remove large swaths from the 2012-17 offshore lease plan was "based on our nation's experience with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill." Instead of opening up new areas to oil and gas exploration, Salazar said, the United States should "focus and expand our critical resources on areas that are currently active." Salazar said the department would also gather new environmental information about drilling off the coast of Alaska, potentially postponing activity there. The move eliminates the prospect of any drilling taking place off the coast of Virginia for several years, although as recently as eight months ago state and federal officials had envisioned holding a lease sale there in 2011. On March 31, President Obama declared that his administration would study the prospect of energy exploration off the Atlantic Coast from Delaware to Florida, along with areas in the eastern gulf and in Alaska's Chukchi and Beaufort seas. Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R), who spoke to Salazar by phone Wednesday, called the new policy "an irresponsible and shortsighted decision." "It demonstrates a complete lack of confidence in the entrepreneurial spirit of American industry and its ability to fix the problems experienced in the gulf spill, and no confidence in the ability of the U.S. government to better plan for and react to offshore emergencies," said McDonnell, who had made drilling off Virginia's coast one of his top priorities. "The cost of today's decision will be seen in major lost job opportunities, surrendered economic growth and increased dependence on foreign sources of energy, from nations often hostile to American interests," he said. Criticism was bipartisan. A spokesman for Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) said that "while it is appropriate to take the time to incorporate lessons learned from the gulf disaster, Senator Warner sees no reason to delay this process for what realistically could be another seven years or more." Offshore oil production from state and federal waters accounts for 9 percent of U.S. liquid fuel consumption and 32 percent of U.S. crude oil production. The Interior Department draws up five-year plans for lease sales to companies seeking to explore federal waters, which begin three miles from shore. If oil or gas is discovered, commercial production can begin some years later. The next five-year plan starts in 2012. House loves the plan – they already passed bills for oil drilling Doggett 11 (Tom Doggett is an energy correspondent for Reuters, April 14, 2011, Reuters, Republicans push bills to boost offshore oil drilling, http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/04/14/us-usa-oil-drilling-idUSTRE73D07O20110414) IF the House of Representatives on Wednesday pushed a trio of bills through a congressional committee that would boost offshore oil drilling and ease some regulations on oil companies.¶ Republicans said the bills would (Reuters) - Republican lawmakers in reverse the Obama administration energy policy of the last two years that they claimed has reduced domestic oil production and made the United States more reliant on foreign suppliers and vulnerable to oil price spikes.¶ "Congress must take action to increase energy production," said Representative Doc Hastings, who chairs the House Natural Resources Committee that approved the three bills.¶ The legislative action comes as oil and gasoline prices are soaring and the Energy Department forecasts U.S. oil production in the Gulf of Mexico will decline by 190,000 barrels per day this year and in 2012. GOP loves the plan United Press International, 7/1/2011 (Plan for refilling strategic oil reserves?, p. http://www.upi.com/Business_News/Energy-Resources/2011/07/01/Plan-for-refilling-strategic-oilreserves/UPI-28661309537073/) A group of Republican lawmakers have called on President Obama to release a plan on how the administration intends to refill the U.S. emergency oil stockpile. They denounced Obama's June 23 decision to provide half of the 60 million barrels released by International Energy Agency countries in response to the disruption of Libyan sweet crude, saying it raises "serious concerns" about the administration's energy policy. GOP wants more oil production for the SPR Rampton 12 (Roberta, “US Republicans seek drilling boost if oil reserves tapped”, 3/28, http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/28/us-oil-reserves-congress-idUSBRE82R1HI20120328) (Reuters) - Republicans in the U.S. Congress are proposing measures that would require President Barack Obama to allow more domestic oil production if he decides to tap emergency oil reserves. The proposals are unlikely to become law, but they give Republicans another opportunity to slam Obama's energy policy as consumers fret about high gasoline prices leading up to November's presidential election. France is in talks with the United States and Britain on a possible release of strategic oil stocks that could happen "in a matter of weeks," France's energy minister said on Wednesday. The White House said no decisions nor specific proposals had been made. Many Democrats in Congress have said they would support using the SPR to help alleviate surging gasoline prices caused by fears that Western sanctions constricting Iran's oil exports at a time of tight supplies could hurt the economy. In the Democraticcontrolled Senate, David Vitter, a Louisiana Republican, has proposed that any sale from the U.S. strategic petroleum reserve should trigger expedited leases for oil shale resources. "Any short-term impact that may come from opening our or any country's SPR would not resolve broader market concerns or energy security concerns here in the U.S.," Vitter said. In the House of Representatives, Republican Cory Gardner on the Energy and Commerce Committee has proposed that the "quick fix" of drawing down the SPR be paired with a "longer-term approach" of increasing oil and gas leases on land owned by the federal government. The idea was panned as "burdensome" by a senior Energy Department official at a Capitol Hill hearing on Tuesday, who said it would make it harder to quickly respond to supply interruptions. "Draw-downs are already complicated procedures," said Chris Smith, deputy assistant secretary for oil and natural gas. "This bill, if enacted, will make it more difficult for the SPR to achieve its mission to respond promptly to supply interruptions with emergency crude oil," Smith said. But Fred Upton, the committee's chairman, said he hopes the legislation will advance after a two-week break in April. "If we're going to take oil out of the SPR, we're going to make sure there's the offset," Upton said. The Republican-controlled House already has passed a suite of bills that would reduce regulatory hurdles and boost U.S. oil production offshore and in protected areas of Alaska. Plan prevents GOP backlash Dlouhy, 6/23/2011 (Jennifer A. – covers energy policy and other issues for the Houston Chronicles, Obama boosts oil supply, feels political heat already, Fuel Fix, p. http://fuelfix.com/blog/2011/06/23/feds-to-release-30m-barrels-of-oil-from-emergency-stockpile/) The Obama administration pitched its decision Thursday to release 30 million barrels of oil from emergency stockpiles as a way to bolster the U.S. economy, soothe consumers’ concerns and make up for a decline in crude supplies from Libya. But Republicans decried the move as purely political and poorly timed, given that gasoline and oil prices are down from peaks a few weeks ago, and some independent analysts argued that whether justified or not, the extra oil in the market won’t have much effect at the pump. The announcement of the sale of oil from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve coincided with a 30 million-barrel release by other International Energy Agency member countries and sent oil prices to a four-month low in trading Thursday. The administration insisted the move was essential to restoring stability to the market and offsetting the loss of 1.5 million barrels of high-quality light, sweet crude oil daily from Libya during the summer driving season. “We are taking this action in response to the ongoing loss of crude oil due to supply disruptions in Libya and other countries and their impact on the global economic recovery,” said Energy Secretary Steven Chu. The U.S. coordinated the action with the International Energy Agency, whose 28 member countries pledged to release a total of 60 million barrels of oil in coming months – half from the U.S., 30 percent from Europe and 20 percent from Asia. IEA Executive Director Nobuo Tanaka said the decision – only the third like it in the agency’s nearly four-decade history – would help ensure “a soft landing for the world economy.” Effects hard to calculate Daniel J. Weiss, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank, said that if stockpiled oil sales do reduce gasoline prices, it “will act like a tax cut for American families.” Weiss estimated that the sale of U.S. stockpiles should generate at least $2.5 billion for the federal treasury, while lowering gasoline prices 25 cents per gallon, based on previous reserve releases. But the short-term and long-term effects on gasoline prices are tough to calculate, said Craig Pirrong, a finance professor and commodities expert at the University of Houston. “Releasing oil from storage increases supply today but decreases potential supply tomorrow,” Pirrong said. There may be “some initial relief, perhaps, but it’s not a long-term palliative.” Former Bush administration energy official Randa Fahmy Hudome also was skeptical that the Strategic Petroleum Reserve sale would lower gasoline prices, because, she said, the market is already well supplied. “The only thing I can assume is that this was done for a political need to satisfy consumers,” she said. “It creates a slippery slope. The SPR is supposed to be used for an emergency situation.” She questioned whether gasoline prices constitute an emergency. “Gas prices are high, yes,” she said, “but they’re not so unbearably high that this is the only thing affecting the economy today.” Stock markets have been down broadly amid poor U.S. job figures, and concerns about softening demand already have sent benchmark crude down from more than $110 a barrel in late April. After Thursday’s SPR announcement, West Texas Intermediate crude for August delivery fell $4.39 to $91.02 in trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Amy Myers Jaffe, a senior fellow at Rice University’s Baker Institute of Public Policy, said the release is both politically and economically motivated but is still the right thing to do. “Given the instability in the Middle East it is important to signal that the SPR is on the table and that a supply crisis can be avoided,” Jaffe said. Because Libyan unrest has disrupted deliveries of the light sweet crude preferred by most refiners, a reserve release was the only way to inject that high-quality oil into the market, Jaffe said. The stockpiled oil could be in the hands of refiners in less than two weeks, following an Energy Department auction. The government historically has contacted refiners to gauge interest before a sale, companies said they heard nothing ahead of Thursday’s surprise announcement. Buyers not lined up yet Some of the nation’s biggest refiners, including Shell, Exxon Mobil Corp. and BP – citing competitive concerns – declined to say if they would they would be interested in buying the stockpiled oil. Valero Energy said it was still getting information about the plan. U.S. officials said they had been in talks with IEA countries about releasing reserves for some time. The discussions may have picked up earlier this month when members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries angered Western nations by refusing to boost production. The reserve sell-off now is meant to send a message to the cartel, said U.S. Rep. Even backers uncertain Even some supportive lawmakers questioned the timing of the move, given that oil and gasoline prices have backed off recent highs. Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., noted that “the decision would have been more timely if made when the disruption in Libyan oil supplies first occurred.” Republicans said reducing the stockpiles could weaken U.S. security in case of a natural disaster or other market-disrupting emergency. “Tapping the SPR simply to manipulate oil prices defeats the purpose of the reserve,” said Rep. Pete Olson, RSugar Land, adding that it “looks like a politically motivated move to avoid implementing a sound energy policy that will reduce our dependence on Middle East oil.” Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas called the SPR release “a public relations strategy.” Gene Green, D-Houston. “The joint move sends a message to OPEC that we will not be held captive by their pricing,” Green said.