Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Fossil Fuel Production on Federal Land Down 4% in 2012

    The U.S. Energy Information Administration reports today that sales of fossil fuels produced on federal and Indian land continue to decline, dropping 4% in fiscal year 2012.  The slide continues a decade-long trend that accelerated in 2010, as the chart accompanying the report shows:

    The report explains:
Sales of fossil fuels from production on federal and Indian lands in fiscal year (FY) 2012 dropped 4% from FY 2011, according to data from the Department of the Interior compiled and summarized in a recent EIA report. This decline was largely driven by declines in offshore oil and natural gas production and coal production. In 2012, sales of fossil fuels on federal and Indian lands accounted for about 27% of total fossil fuel sales in the United States.
In FY2012, sales from production on Indian lands of crude oil and lease condensate, natural gas plant liquids (NGPL), natural gas, and coal ranged from 3% to 6% of the totals from federal lands. Since FY 2003, fossil fuel sales volumes on federal and Indian lands dropped 15%, driven by declines in offshore natural gas production and to a smaller extent by offshore oil production. However, that decline was outweighed by the 27% increase in fossil fuel production on nonfederal, non-Indian lands from 2003 to 2012, so that total U.S. fossil fuel production increased 11% over that period. 
    In June, the Obama administration expressed opposition to the Offshore Energy and Jobs Act introduced in the House by Rep. Hastings (R-WA) that "would require the Department of the Interior to open a number of new areas on the OCS [Outer Continental Shelf]."  The White House said that its opposition was based on, among other things, the legislation's lack of
Secretarial discretion to determine whether those areas are appropriate for leasing through balanced consideration of factors such as resource potential, State and local views and concerns, and the maturity of infrastructure needed to support oil and gas development, including response capabilities in the event of an oil spill.

Note: A version of this article first appeared at The Weekly Standard

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