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Category — Federal Lands

Federal Oil Lands Lockdown: Disingenuous Obama at Work

“The President has bragged that ‘we produce more oil at home than we have in 15 years.’ Indeed domestic production rose from 5.6 to 6.4 million daily barrels in 2012 from the year before (12.5%). However, production from federal onshore and offshore areas has fallen significantly under his watch – and 96% of the above production increase was on state and private lands.”

President Obama insists he is determined to create jobs in America. He recently announced the creation of “promise zones” for five communities around the nation and a “manufacturing institute” aimed at fostering more high-paying jobs in energy efficiency.

He’s also said he has “a pen and a phone” to “sign executive orders and take executive actions that move the ball,” where Congress has failed to implement policies he believes are needed.

Unfortunately, the executive orders and actions Mr. Obama seems to have in mind will do little to create jobs beyond the Washington Beltway – and much to do the opposite. An obvious example is his determination to have EPA impose additional carbon dioxide emission restrictions, if Congress fails to enact taxes on hydrocarbon use, to save the planet from manmade global warming, climate disruption, extreme weather, or whatever term Arctic and Antarctic alarmists are using these days.

Another is to issue regulations and spend billions more to mandate and subsidize expensive energy efficiency, wind and solar, biofuel, alternative-fuel vehicles and other technologies, companies and financing schemes, while also promoting some natural gas activities and restricting others.

Green Jobs, Crony Jobs

That is what some “green” energy business leaders have recommended in an extensive report that they recently presented to the White House, promoting a “clean energy future,” regardless of what Congress or the American people might support, or what reflects genuine science and the overall national interest. [Read more →]

January 24, 2014   4 Comments

U.S. Energy Innovation (Part III: Federal Land Potential)

“Onshore development on federal lands – which is roughly estimated at 700 million acres of subsurface mineral estate – is extremely limited and is increasingly so. In 2009, for example, the current administration leased fewer onshore acres for energy development than in any preceding year on record.”

“Offshore development on 1.76 billion acres of mineral lands has suffered from a de-facto administration embargo, with lease plans cancelled, moratoria imposed, and cumbersome regulatory activity that serve to discourage exploration.”

“Today, permitting delays by federal regulators have driven the wait to more than 300 days before drilling can begin on federal lands, about twice as long as it took in 2005. By contrast, states like North Dakota are now turning permits in 10 days; Ohio, 14 days; Colorado, 27 days.”

The United States is an energy-rich country with large quantities of U.S. energy resources found on federal lands. The federal government owns 28 percent of the land in the United States, and a majority of the land in the energy-rich western states. [1]

The federal government also controls oil and natural gas leasing on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS)—the submerged area between land and the deep ocean. Developing oil and natural gas production on federal lands is becoming more difficult and time consuming. As a result, oil production is decreasing in the federally-controlled offshore areas and Alaska, but increasing on state and privately-controlled onshore areas.

Furthermore, the federal government offers very little of its land for energy exploration or production. In fact, the federal government has leased less than 2.2 percent of federal offshore areas [2] and less than 6 percent of federal onshore lands for oil and gas production. [3]

The extent of the government’s energy holdings is little understood. The United States owns roughly 700 million acres of subsurface mineral estate onshore throughout the nation. Additionally, it owns 1.76 billion acres of offshore mineral lands, for a total of 2.46 billion acres.

The U.S. government’s mineral estate acreage holdings therefore are larger than the land masses of all nations on earth except Russia and Canada.

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February 8, 2013   3 Comments