WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today Senator Bob Bennett (R-Utah) commended the oil and gas report issued by the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and called for an increase in domestic production of energy resources.
“Today’s announcement from the BLM reaffirms what many of us already know about oil and natural gas in America: there is an abundant amount of untapped energy resources in our country,” said Bennett, a member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water. “If we are serious about reducing the price of gas at the pump we don’t do it by relying on more foreign oil; we do it by opening up our own capacities in an environmentally responsible manner without harming our public lands.”
“Public lands have a significant role to play in meeting our domestic energy needs securely and affordably,” said BLM Director Jim Caswell. “Current technology allows us to develop energy resources without adversely impacting the environment or permanently diminishing other non-energy resources found on public lands. With the means to make energy development a temporary use of the land, we don’t have to choose between energy security and healthy lands.”
The BLM oil and gas report estimates that 31 billion barrels of oil and 231 trillion cubic feet of natural gas exist on public lands in the United States. The study found that 62 percent of the oil and 41 percent of the natural gas on public land is inaccessible for development due to restrictions.
“At a time when average gas prices are around $4 per gallon, we need to focus on domestic energy resources and promote the development of new technologies,” added Bennett. “I find it interesting that some members of the Senate have asked the president to use his diplomatic power to increase foreign oil production while simultaneously opposing, on environmental grounds, domestic production of energy resources, such as oil shale.”
This report is the third in a series of congressionally mandated scientific studies of U.S. onshore federal oil and natural gas resources and limitations on their development. The report was prepared by the BLM and in coordination with the U.S. Geological Survey, the USDA-Forest Service, and the Department of Energy and its Energy Information Administration. The report and a related fact sheet are available online at (www.blm.gov).
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