Whiplash effect on energy policy

When news contains complaints from corporate entities that government restrictions on their activities are not based in scientific fact, are unnecessarily expensive, could force companies to stop activity and waste a good deal of time and money, somemight expect to see the names of coal companies mentioned.

They also would expect to see a paragraph in which the Obama administration explained the need for the eventual death of the industry, in order to save the environment.

But when the companies in question are searching for different non-renewable energy sources, and the infrastructure for said search would benefit the economies of more politically favorable states along the East Coast, surprise! Obama is fully on board.

Recently, Obama signed an order that would reopen the Eastern Seaboard to offshore oil and gas exploration, approving seismic surveys that use sonic cannons conservationist groups say will harm whales, dolphins, turtles and any other marine life in the path of sound waves 100 times louder than a jet engine.

Obama tried once before to end the moratorium on offshore Atlantic drilling activity, but was thwarted by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010. He reacted to the spill by having Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announce a ban on drilling in federal waters off the Atlantic coast through 2017.

Now, with nine oil and gas companies interested in drilling off the East Coast, the Obama administration is putting together a plan for selling offshore energy leases, beginning in late 2017.

Conservationists are appalled, saying the effort will, among many other dangers, threaten the 500 remaining North Atlantic right whales.

It is a whiplash-inducing about face that should have residents of states that have fallen victim to the Obama administration’s war on coal and affordable electricity scratching their heads – and angry.