President’s Stated Goal Conflicts with Record
Federal Bureaucracy Preventing Jobs, Investment in the West
(DENVER) – Small independent oil and natural gas producers throughout the West were pleased to hear President Obama tout the benefits of increased domestic natural gas production in tonight's State of the Union address. However, Westerners remain cautiously optimistic because the President's oft-repeated pledge to reduce government regulations has yet to be realized.
"Despite the President's promise of reducing regulations on American businesses, the reality is that his own administration's bureaucracies and broken policies are making energy development in the West increasingly difficult, time consuming, and cost prohibitive. It's actually delaying the economic recovery he seeks," said Tim Wigley, President of Western Energy Alliance.
"Killing the Keystone XL Pipeline is only the latest example of how job-creating energy initiatives have been stopped by this administration. With delays, backlogs and duplicative analysis, there are thousands of jobs and billions in investment waiting on the sideline," said Wigley. "American oil and natural gas producers have been able to increase domestic production from projects that started years ago, but this upward trend cannot continue unless we seriously reform the federal bureaucracy.
"Fortunately for the President, western oil and natural gas producers have already identified how to put 70,000 Americans to work and spark more than $58 billion in investment, all the while making our country less dependent on foreign energy. When the President comes to Colorado this week, I hope he'll take an opportunity to see first hand how oil and natural gas producers are creating jobs while impacting less than 0.07% of our public lands. Western producers have projects that could help this country get back on its feet immediately, but government red tape is standing in the way," said Wigley.
The Blueprint for Western Energy Prosperity outlines specific actions that must be taken if America is to realize the full benefit of western energy. Among the study's key findings are five, budget-neutral policy recommendations the President should consider:
- Comprehensive reform of the entire federal onshore process, including leasing, project environmental analysis, and permitting
- Moratorium on new and expanded layers of federal regulation
- Limits to litigation that unreasonably obstruct domestic energy production and economic growth
- Changes to renewable portfolio standards to allow natural gas to compete for electricity generation capacity on the basis of fuel-neutral performance criteria such as cost and emissions profile
- Market-based policies that are fuel and technology neutral to remove barriers preventing natural gas from fully competing as a transportation fuel
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 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 www.westernenergyalliance.org.