Chris Stewart on Energy & Oil
We, the people of Utah, are capable of protecting our own backyard from abuse or exploitation. We are capable of protecting the true wilderness that we love without cutting off so many of our lands to multiple use.
De-federalizing public lands is vital to a coherent energy strategy. It will lead to greater energy independence, an issue that is critical to our national security.
And at a time when the rising cost of energy is devastating middle-class families, our leaders in Washington DC are making it more and more difficult to develop energy on public lands. Over the last two years, oil development on federal lands is down 13%, while natural gas development is down 10%. This is a direct result of Pres. Obama's unwillingness to allow drilling on public lands.
Congressional Summary:Authorizes a state to establish a program covering the leasing and permitting processes, regulatory requirements, and any other provisions by which the state would exercise its rights to develop all forms of energy resources on available federal land in the state.
Proponent's argument for bill: (The Heritage Foundation): This important piece of legislation would allow state control of energy resources on federal lands. America has harnessed technological advances in recent years in drilling and extracting energy resources that have caused a surge in domestic oil and gas in several areas of the country. Most of that production has occurred on private and state-owned lands, not federal lands where output has been on decline. The benefits of transferring power to the states over their own energy decisions: States have an interest in both boosting their economies by tapping into the energy resources available to them and protecting the environment. More importantly, they are best suited to fulfill these two goals, not the federal government.
Opponent's argument against bill:(The Wilderness Society): Oil and gas development can do serious damage to wildlands and waters, especially when it takes place in sensitive areas. The federal government began leasing public lands for energy development in 1920. We see energy development as a valid use of some public lands, but there are some wild places that must be protected. We work to ensure that the most stringent environmental precautions are applied when oil and gas development occurs on our public lands and that development does not happen in fragile wild areas. The Wilderness Society also makes sure that our most ecologically sensitive areas, such as the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, remain permanently off limits to oil and gas companies.
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