The Campaign Spot

Salazar Lied About Oil Production on Federal Lands

Yesterday I pointed out that the production of fossil fuels on federal lands is down from fiscal 2010 to fiscal 2011 (October 1, 2009, to September 30, 2010, compared to October 1, 2010, to September 30, 2011).

This is significant because the administration is . . . well, lying. Not long ago, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said, “The fact of the matter is we are producing more from public lands — both oil and gas, both onshore as well as offshore, than any time in recent memory.”

Not only is Salazar wrong, he’s wrong for every type of fossil fuel produced on federal lands.

Crude-oil production? Down from 739 million barrels to 646 million barrels in FY 2011.

Natural-gas production? Down from 5,415 billion cubic feet (Bcf) to 4,859 billion cubic feet (Bcf) in FY 2011.

Natural-gas plant liquids? Down from 115 million barrels to 111 million barrels in FY 2011

Coal production? Down from 478 million short tons to 470 million short tons in FY 2011.

Taken altogether, the total amount of fossil fuels produced from federal land hit 18.6 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu), lower than every year since 2003.

Senator Lisa Murkowski (R., Alaska) recently asked Bureau of Land Management director Bob Abbey about the discrepancy between administration claims and the most recent figures from the Energy Information Agency.

“The oil production from onshore federal minerals was down last year from previous years,” Abbey said. He pointed out that oil producers decide where to produce and develop and emphasized that there are many approved permits that are not being utilized right now.

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