Sen. Murkowski blames Obama for drop in federal land energy production

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) blamed the Obama administration’s policies for reductions in energy production on federal and Indian land and water.

Murkowski, the top Republican on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee said the federal government needs to do more to provide access to energy resources.

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“When we talk about generating revenue and creating jobs, we’re really talking about increasing production; and when we talk about increasing production, we’re really talking about increasing access,” Murkowski said Tuesday at a committee hearing on the untapped potential for revenue and jobs in further developing the country’s natural resources.

She cited data from the Energy Information Administration that said fossil fuel production on federal and Indian land has fallen 21 percent in the last decade.

Murkowski also called for more timber production in federal forests, saying that has dropped off as well.

“Federal environmental policy, regulations, the 2001 Clinton Roadless Rule, the listing of the northern spotted owl and the ensuing litigation — halted timber harvesting on our national forests, crippling the timber industry,” she said.

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) agreed that resource production on federal land is falling but did not blame Obama.

“That’s been going on for quite some time, way before President Obama came into office. The issue of reduction of timber started back in the 1970s,” she said. “So not all of that lays at this president’s feet.”

House Republicans have also blamed Obama for the decrease in energy production on federal lands and have passed legislation to expand production.