The moral of the story is that Johnson's relationship with the oil industry is checkered, at best.
Most of this oil business happened during the early months of summer 2010, when no one was paying attention, and as a result domestic drilling never really become much of an issue. Since Johnson took office, however, he's made it a point to champion domestic oil production in most of communiques with the masses. It's not terribly surprising since it's been a pet cause among conservatives for the last decade, and it might be seem odd coming from Johnson given his political past with the issue and the fact that he has no expertise with the matter at all, so why does Johnson appear to be making domestic drilling his issue de jour?
First of all, Johnson's drilling agenda is about five years old. He accuses the President of "limiting energy development" in the U.S. in his column in yesterday's Wall Street Journal and adds:
The administration has squandered billions of dollars on politically connected, green-energy boondoggle projects, while at the same time maintaining a de facto moratorium on off-shore drilling, and dragging its feet on granting permits for other energy utilization projects such as the Keystone XL Pipeline and restricting and limiting leases for offshore energy production. Republicans could propose a plan to utilize crucial domestic resources, including oil, natural gas and coal, to produce energy and create jobs.(For the record, Obama has actually pledged to to increase lease sales both off-shore and in Alaska.)
He elaborated on that thought in an interview with Newsmax today:
Johnson accused Democrats of being beholden to extreme environmentalists in their rejection of both drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) and the construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada to Texas.
Alaskans want drilling and their view about their own environment is more important than those of people in California, New York or Massachusetts, he said, declaring: “If Alaskans want to drill in ANWR, we should let Alaskans drill in ANWR.”
The pipeline will be built unless Obama declares it against the national interest, Johnson said. “If you take a look at the 20,000 jobs the construction would create; you take a look at the $20 billion in private sector investment; you take a look at the hundreds of thousands of jobs that would be created long-term; and the impact on our energy prices, I think it will be very difficult for President Obama to make that determination.”