The White House continues to engage in “Nyah, nyah, I’m not touching you!” games when it comes to domestic oil production:
Obama has cited it as an example of areas where the oil companies could drill but are reluctant to, knowing full well his administration has walled off preferred areas offshore and in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska.
The problem is that at least one oil company, Conoco Phillips, has said it will go after the oil and gas in the NPRA, estimated by the U.S. Geological Survey to hold 2.7 billion barrels of oil and 114.36 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.
To get it out, Conoco Phillips wants to build a road bridge and pipeline over the Colville River on the edge of the NPRA to get drilling supplies in and the oil and gas out.
The Army Corps of Engineers, backed by the usual environmental suspects, says a pipeline under the river, which is frozen half the year, is preferred even though the oil company has said it would be less safe.
The oil firm argues that since the pipeline will carry a mix of oil, gas and water, it would be at greater risk of corrosion and leaks under the water. An above-ground pipeline would be easier to monitor and maintain.
But Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, who has impeded domestic energy production anywhere he can on environmental grounds, supports the Corps’ decision.
Message: You can drill there — if you can get there, suckers.