Oil & Gas 360®’s chart of the week points to the differences in the average number of days to acquire a permit to drill on federal lands vs. various states. The Feds require 45 times longer to issue a permit than the State of Texas. Federal permitting time increased by almost 50% between 2005 and 2012.
Congressman Fred Upton offered his opinion about the energy boom, greenlighting the Keystone XL Pipeline, and drilling on federal lands in an emailed press release from the House Energy and Commerce Committee this week:
The Truth Behind America’s Energy Boom
President Obama on Wednesday attempted to side step questions about his position on the Keystone XL pipeline, hiding behind America’s recent success in oil and gas production. Instead of answering whether or not he would sign a bill authorizing the landmark job-creating project, he responded:
“I will note, while this debate about Canadian oil has been raging — keep in mind this is Canadian oil, this isn’t U.S. oil — while that debate has been raging, we’ve seen some of the biggest increases in American oil production and American natural gas production in our history. We are closer to energy independence than we’ve ever been before — or at least as we’ve been in decades. We are importing less foreign oil than we produce for the first time in a very long time. We’ve got a 100-year supply of natural gas that if we responsibly tap puts us in the strongest position when it comes to energy of any industrialized country around the world. When I travel to Asia or I travel to Europe, their biggest envy is the incredible homegrown U.S. energy production that is producing jobs and attracting manufacturing, because locating here means you’ve got lower energy costs. So our energy sector is booming. And I’m happy to engage Republicans with additional ideas for how we can enhance that. I should note that our clean energy production is booming as well. And so Keystone I just consider as one small aspect of a broader trend that’s really positive for the American people.”
The president often points to our newfound energy boom to distract attention away from his failing polices, yet America’s impressive energy success has occurred in spite of the president’s policies, not because of them. A nonpartisan CRS report released earlier this year details that all of the increases in energy production have occurred on non-federal lands, where the administration plays little or no role. Under President Obama’s watch, oil and gas development on federal lands has actually decreased dramatically, and the administration has issued a barrage of new regulations that will make energy more expensive and less reliable.
The president is right to herald America’s energy success, but he should be honest about how we achieved this position of a global energy superpower. The American energy boom is a product of American ingenuity and innovation, not new government mandates. If the president is truly ready to engage on solutions to enhance America’s energy boom, he should start by embracing the policies passed by the House in the 113th Congress that seek to allow this ingenuity and innovation to continue to thrive. This includes solutions to expand energy production on federal lands, cutting red tape to keep energy affordable, and, yes, approving the Keystone XL pipeline.
House Republicans agree that our energy strategy should be broader than just one pipeline, which is why we have passed more than a dozen other bills to support the American energy boom and unleash the benefits. But Keystone XL still remains an important part of any comprehensive energy plan so we will keep fighting for its approval, along with other solutions to harness America’s energy abundance. We welcome the president to join us.
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