Drilling activity is at its highest level in 24 years, and the U.S. is about to become a net exporter of gasoline for the first time in 62 years. So naturally some energy companies are worried about their government handouts. According to Wyofile, Chesapeake Energy and other oil and gas companies are now talking about their own domestic energy plans. Their plans, though, seem to be a little shaky on facts. Luckily, Matt Garrington was available to set the record straight on a few points:
Domestic oil and gas drilling is more vigorous than ever; in October drilling peaked at a level not seen since the early Reagan administration. The U.S. rig count was 2,000 at the end of November, compared to 1,687 the same time a year ago, according to Baker Hughes.
That leaves little room to complain that the Obama administration is blocking the development of domestic oil and gas, said Matt Garrington, deputy director of Checks and Balances. Even in the West where the industry is closely regulated, some 7,000 permits to drill federal minerals still sit idle, and more than half of the federal minerals currently under lease by the industry still are not under development.
“I think it’s about a land grab,” Garrington told WyoFile. “They don’t have enough rigs to ramp up drilling in the Rockies like the Bakken (shale oil play in North Dakota). Really, this is about using the political climate to make a land grab and sit on millions of acres. It’s good for their books, it’s good for their investors.”
You can read the full story by Dustin Bleizeffer.
Wyofile is a nonprofit news service focused Wyoming people, places and policy.