Recall that California’s gas and oil industry has been shrinking for years. It’s a slow shrinkage, but in the present political clime—the green political clime—it’s been inexorable. This graph tells the tale (ignore, for this post the loud contrast with Texas).
Now this administration’s Bureau of Land Management, the agency responsible for leasing and permitting of Federal lands to oil and gas producers, is claiming that it’s helpless to reverse this trend—the sequester, you see. The BLM has announced that it
will stop scheduled oil and gas leasing on public lands for the rest of the fiscal year. At least two auctions of more than 3,000 acres with promising oil deposits have already been canceled.
As the WSJ put it,
The state and feds forfeit the money from the leases. The industry can’t move ahead with its planned drilling, which wastes money. And Californians—in a state where nearly one of 10 workers is jobless—lose the chance at hundreds and perhaps thousands of high-paying jobs.
Never mind that lease income, and future royalties from the extractions, are both money makers for the government. The sequester won’t let them make the money.
Nothing circular or political here. Mm, mm.