STATEMENT: CAP’s Christy Goldfuss on the Oil and Gas Lease Utilization Report
Washington, D.C.–Christy Goldfuss, Director of the Public Lands Project at the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement today on the Department of the Interior’s report regarding unused oil and gas leases:
To chart a path to a clean energy future means breaking our addiction to oil and creating sustainable sources of clean energy.
The Department of the Interior’s report shows that oil and gas companies are once again taking the public for a ride. Approximately 70 percent of the recoverable resources currently under lease in the Gulf of Mexico are not producing, and they do not have approved or pending exploration or development plans. On shore the story is similar. More than 50 percent of the total onshore acres under lease are not conducting production or exploration activities. In other words, the companies have the leases, but they aren’t spending the money to explore or produce energy on those leases.
Instead, Big Oil and its allies were happy to spend $146 million lobbying Congress last year. The Republican leaders they support are now helping to pad their pockets further. Chairman Doc Hastings of the House Natural Resources Committee introduced three legislative proposals that would give Big Oil access to more leases, but would in no way impact gas prices.
The real solution to rising gas prices is developing a broad energy portfolio that includes clean renewable sources that benefit the American public, not just Big Oil.