Addressing Energy Distortions in the Presidential Debate

October 3, 2012

Accuracy of Administration's Role in Increased Oil and Natural Gas Production Questioned

(DENVER) – Western Energy Alliance was pleased to see the attention energy issues received in the Presidential debate, but calls on the media to thoroughly fact-check statements made by both candidates about the development of America's abundant oil and natural gas resources.

"While America's total oil and natural gas production has increased during President Obama's term, on federal lands where he had the most control, production is down. America's huge energy success story is in spite of, not because of the President's policies. The real credit should go to private sector investment, technical innovation by industry, and pro-business state regulatory environments that encourage safe, responsible development. Mr. Obama has virtually no control over these factors and is distorting the truth when he implies otherwise," noted Tim Wigley, President of Western Energy Alliance following tonight's debate.

In the West, where the federal government owns more land than the states and private citizens do, federal restrictions disproportionately impact key oil and natural gas producing states. The economic and energy production bright spot in the West and main source of America's increase in domestic oil production is North Dakota's Bakken formation. With the lowest unemployment rate in the country and $1.6 billion state budget surplus, North Dakota has become a model for local, state and federal policymakers should strive to replicate in other energy-rich areas throughout the U.S. The primary reason North Dakota has been so successful is that most of its oil production comes from state and private lands.

The Romney Energy Plan draws from the North Dakota model by empowering states with a greater role in conducting environmental review and issuing permits. Western Energy Alliance supports Romney's efforts to re-open federal lands for energy production and inject some overdue common sense policy changes rooted in western principles. These policy changes would allow states with significant federal lands to emulate some of the economic and employment success already experienced in North Dakota.


About Western Energy Alliance
Western Energy Alliance, founded in 1974 as the Independent Petroleum Association of Mountain States, is a non-profit trade association representing more than 400 companies engaged in all aspects of environmentally responsible exploration and production of oil and natural gas in the West. More information on Western Energy Alliance and its members is available at