The Federal Government: Obstacle to Domestic Energy

Paul Chesser writes about several energy issues at American Spectator. He notes that “based on government data…Ninety four percent of federal onshore lands are off-limits to oil and gas exploration, while 97 percent of offshore federal lands are off-limits.”

Also noteworthy is the fact, not mentioned by many, that North Dakota is booming. One reason for this is that their resources are not owned by the federal government. See this useful map of where federally-owned lands are located.

Last, but not least, while New Mexico unfortunately suffers from lots of federal land ownership, the folks at the State Land Office have seen an uptick in leases in recent months. This is some good news for the state economy.

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2 Replies to “The Federal Government: Obstacle to Domestic Energy”

  1. One of the great things about living in NM and the West is all the government owned land. I for one love the open spaces and mostly free access.

    Most federal lands fall under the BLM and forest service. Most of these lands are multi-use with rights granted for grazing, mining, timber and recreational uses. The military too has large tracts of land tied up which is needed for basing and training. One of the reasons the Air Force has such a large presence in NM is the large tracts of restricted areas necessary for low level flights and bombing.

    While I do support increased leasing for oil exploration I do expect that it be done responsibly. I would like to see America produce more oil but our country does not have the capability of oil independence that some like to sell. We supply half our daily needs now and there are no known oil fields within our country that can make up the balance. America gets about 20% of our oil from Middle East sources. Canada is our biggest supplier.

    Even if all oil was produced from US sources it wouldn’t impact pricing much given oil is a commodity, subject to supply, demand and speculation. It would help our balance of payments but not our wallets. A US oil company is motivated by high oil prices thus making drilling and oil recovery enhancements more enticing.

    1. I don’t disagree with any of your points on oil prices etc., but I wish the federal government would sell off some of its lands. I like open space and recreation as much as the next person, but I just think that market forces and private entities will manage the land better and with more economic benefit for all.

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