This month, the Western Congressional Caucus held their first “class” for their sham oil and gas PR effort dubbed the ‘Western Caucus University.’ The amount of oil and gas contributions to caucus members is stunning. No wonder this “Frackademia” appears to have curriculum based on industry talking points.

Below were some of the lowlights and our grades for their content.

This is the first in a series of report cards we’ll be doing on “Frackademia.” It’s a shame taxpayer dollars are being used to push blatant industry talking points.

Western Caucus University   Academic Credibility Report Card

  WCU Claim  Accuracy    Grade   Fact
“Federal lands contain 46% of the proved crude reserves in the United States.”


Currently, 93% of all shale oil and mixed plays – which are the most viable and actively sought resources by industry – are located on non-federal lands. Even in the Rocky Mountain West, where more federal land is located, there are just 11% of all shale oil and mixed oil and gas plays on federal lands.
“The amount of time it takes to process a permit to drill on federal lands increased from 212 days to 228 days between 2008-2012.”


What the Western Congressional Caucus fails to mention is that oil and gas companies are the hold up on drill permits. According to a recent Congressional Research Service report, it took industry an average of 236 days to process an application to drill permit on federal lands, while it took the Bureau of Land Management just 71 days.  
“Local governments in the West miss out on substantial tax revenues from potential energy extraction, mining, timber harvesting and other forms of economic development.”


A recent economic study found that western non-metropolitan counties with more than 30 percent of their land in federal protected status such as national parks, monuments and wilderness increased jobs by 345 percent over the last 40 years. By comparison, similar counties with no protected federal public lands increased employment by only 83 percent. In 2010, per capita income in western non-metropolitan counties with 100,000 acres of protected public lands was on average $4,360 higher than per-capita income in similar counties with no protected public lands.In 2012, the outdoor recreation industry alone accounted for $646 billion in annual spending and nearly $80 billion in local, state and federal tax revenues in the United States