Top Republican slams federal land energy report as ‘dismal’

Weak energy production on federal land will serve as “a pillar in President Obama's energy legacy of failure,” the top Republican on the House Natural Resources Committee said.

Rep. Rob BishopRobert (Rob) William BishopOvernight Regulation: Senate panel approves driverless car bill | House bill to change joint-employer rule advances | Treasury to withdraw proposed estate tax rule | Feds delaying Obama methane leak rule Overnight Energy: Dems take on Trump's chemical safety pick GOP chairman probes Zinke’s charter plane use MORE (R-Utah) slammed the Obama administration over a Friday report from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) that shows energy production on federal and Indian lands increasing just 0.2 percent in 2014. 

ADVERTISEMENT
Bishop said the government should encourage more energy production on those lands, especially given the prospect of Iranian oil entering the market after sanctions on the country are lifted.

“The government's report on energy production on federal lands is astonishingly dismal,” he said in a statement. “The EIA found minuscule growth in oil and natural gas production on federal land — less than a percentage point — the same week that the President welcomes Iranian oil to the market with open arms.”

The EIA reported an overall decrease in energy production on federal land in 2014, primarily in natural gas offshore and in Wyoming. That decrease was offset by a 5.7 percent increase in fossil fuel production on Indian land and a 7 percent rise in oil production, primarily in the Gulf of Mexico, North Dakota and New Mexico.

The small increase in federal land production comes as energy extraction on private land is booming. According to an April Congressional Research Service report, production of oil (an 89 percent increase since 2010) and natural gas (37 percent increase) on private land has surged even as federal land production has fallen.  

“Producers operating on private and state lands are powering our energy economy, but we deserve better from the federal government,” Bishop said. 

“The Obama administration should be expanding access to federal lands and offshore waters and opening up American oil markets — not only for the sake of our economy but for the sake of national security.”