In the long-running “Friday the 13th” horror film our economy has become, the shale gas industry just got up from the campfire to go and fetch more beer, heedless of the local legends about a job-killing hockey-masked President lurking in the woods. They won’t be back.
As reported by the Washington Examiner, the Department of Agriculture just scuttled shale gas drilling in the Wayne National Forest of Ohio to appease environmentalists, a move that will cost 204,500 jobs over the next five years.
“Conditions have changed since the 2006 Forest Plan was developed,” announced [Wayne National Forest] Supervisor Anne Carey on Tuesday. “The technology used in the Utica & Marcellus Shale formations need to be studied to see if potential effects to the surface are significantly different than those identified in the Forest Plan.” The study will take up to six months to complete. The WNF study reportedly “will focus solely on how it could affect forest land,” despite the significance of hydraulic fracturing to united proponents of the delay, “and not how it could affect groundwater.”
Speaking of the WNF gas drilling, one environmentalist group spokesman suggested that moving forward with drilling “could turn the Ohio Valley into Ozone Alley,” even though Wayne National Forest already has nearly 1300 oil and gas wells in operation.
(Emphasis mine.) Oh well, it doesn’t matter if the pretext is flimsy, as long as environmentalists get what they want, and no jobs are created. The Agriculture Department really isn’t fooling anyone:
“The President’s plan is to simply say ‘no’ to new energy production,” House Natural Resources Committee chairman Doc Hastings, R-Wash, said to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar during a hearing pertaining to hydraulic fracturing. “It’s a plan that is sending American jobs overseas, forfeiting new revenue, and denying access to American energy that would lessen our dependence on hostile Middle Eastern oil.”
If you haven’t picked up on the growing media narrative against “fracking” launched by the no-growth, no-jobs, no-energy crowd, just be patient. It’s the new global warming. Your kids will soon be chanting the propaganda when they come home from school.
Coincidentally, today also brings us a story from Fox News about just how reliable those Obama Administration “environmental analysts” are:
The Obama administration pressured analysts to change an environmental review to reflect fewer job losses from a proposed regulation, the contractors who worked on the review testified Friday.
The dispute revolves around proposed changes to a rule regulating coal mining near streams and other waterways. The experts contracted to analyze the impact of the rule initially found that it would cost 7,000 coal jobs.
But the contractors claim they were subsequently pressured to not only keep the findings under wraps but “revisit” the study in order to show less of an impact on jobs.
In fact, the contracting firm in question, Kentucky-based ECSI, refused to knuckle under to Administration pressure and hide those job-loss estimates… and their contract was not renewed.
Add the 204,500 jobs lost in Ohio to the tens of thousands destroyed by Obama’s Keystone XL pipeline debacle, and it’s been a pretty busy week, even by President Zero Growth’s standards. Add the 75,000 layoffs that were just announced by the big banks Democrats and their Occupy Wall Street subsidiary have been at war with, and we might be in banner headline territory… assuming the media was in the mood to write the sort of headlines that would be on display if a Republican president was wiping out jobs with half of Obama’s gusto.