Price and geology have incentivized oil and gas companies to drill on nonfederal lands in recent years.  Yet this fact hasn’t stopped industry group Western Energy Alliance (WEA) and Congressmen Ed Whitfield (R-KY.), who chairs the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power, from mischaracterizing a recent Congressional Research Service (CRS) report on fuel production.

“Once again, House Republicans are spinning tall tales about oil and gas production. Technology, geology and price are the big drivers that determine where and how much industry drills. The industry is following the oil and no amount of rhetoric changes that fact.” said the Checks and Balances Project’s Ellynne Bannon.

Key facts from the recent CRS report that refute claims made by House Republicans and Western Energy Alliance:

  • “Any increase in production of natural gas on federal lands is likely to be easily outpaced by increases on non-federal lands, particularly because shale plays are primarily situated on nonfederal lands and is where most of the growth in production is projected to occur.”
  • “The big shale gas plays are primarily on non-federal lands and are attracting a significant portion of investment for natural gas development.” – pg. 1
  • “But having more lands accessible may not translate into higher levels of production on federal lands, as industry seeks out the most promising prospects and highest returns.” – Pg. 3
  • “After a lease has been obtained, either competitively or non-competitively, an application for a permit to drill (APD) must be approved for each oil and gas well…in 2006 it took the BLM an average of 127 days to process an APD, while in 2011 it took BLM 71 days. In 2006, the industry took an average of 91 days to complete an APD, but in 2011, industry took 236 days.  – Pg. 8