Natural Resources Committee hearing likely to favor rhetoric over fact
Denver – The U.S. House of Representatives’ Natural Resources Committee is meeting today to discuss the movement of oil and gas production from federal to nonfederal lands. If past is prologue, a majority of committee members will ignore the market and geological realities behind the shift, and instead use the hearing to score political points against the Obama Administration.
The recent Follow the Oil report by the Center for Western Priorities documents the real reasons behind the shift. A collapse in natural gas prices has led companies away from natural gas, which is found on federal lands in the West, and toward shale oil, which happens to be located almost exclusively on private lands. A number of experts have echoed these findings.
“Oil and gas companies willingly explain to their investors and stockholders that they’re moving to nonfederal lands because that’s where the most profitable shale oil happens to be. But the story changes when it comes time to discuss the move in a political setting,” said Center for Western Priorities Policy Director Greg Zimmerman. “However, the facts don’t change. The collapse in natural gas prices, which the oil and gas industry itself created through oversupply, is what is pushing drilling to private lands.”
Excerpts from Follow the Oil (Read the full report):
Media and expert coverage of Follow the Oil
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