Interior official defends oil program amid federal lands production dip

A top Interior Department official is rebutting GOP allegations that the agency is throttling oil-and-gas development, calling the recent dip in oil production from federal lands the result of industry decisions, not a lack of permits or leases.

“Where the industry decides to produce or where they decide to develop is up to them,” Bureau of Land Management Director Robert Abbey told a Senate Appropriations subcommittee. “It’s a decision … that is being driven by the market.”

Abbey’s Wednesday comments continue an intense political thrust-and-parry between the Obama administration and Republicans over U.S. oil production increases that President Obama touts constantly.

Overall production has been steadily increasing, reversing declines that began in the mid-1980s, and federal Energy Information Administration (EIA) data show that it’s now at the highest level since 2003. But federal data show that production from federal lands and waters — the areas regulated by Interior — dipped in fiscal year 2011 after years of gains.

GET MORE STORIES LIKE THIS

IN YOUR INBOX!

Sign up for our daily email and get the stories everyone is talking about.

Uncategorized

Previous post

Will Newt Gingrich drop out?

Next post

DEM POLLSTER: 'People are stupid'

Join the conversation!

We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, vulgarity, profanity, all caps, or discourteous behavior. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain a courteous and useful public environment where we can engage in reasonable discourse.