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Surprise? Inhofe and Obama Admin Offical Appear to Agree on "All of the Above" Energy Policy
August 6, 2009

Posted by Matt Dempsey

Surprise? Inhofe and Obama Admin Offical Appear to Agree on "All of the Above" Energy Policy

Watch the exchange during the question-answer periord from today's EPW Committee hearing between Senator Inhofe and Tom Strickland Assistant Secretary for Fish, Wildlife, and Parks for the United States Department of the Interior. Apparently, at least in words, there is plenty to agree on.



Senator Inhofe: We've heard time and time again that America possesses just three percent of the world's oil reserves, that we use twenty-five percent of the world's oil. Yet, that three percent number refers only to the nation's twenty-one billion barrels of proven reserves. Now to prove reserves, you've got to drill. And if you can't drill, then you can't prove the reserves. Eighty-three percent of America's federal on-shore lands are either inaccessible or restricted, due to our policies here. Eighty-five percent of the off-shore continental United States is still off-limits. Now, more assessment, honest assessment, combines our twenty-one billions of proven reserves...and Senator Barrasso talked about this...with the MMS, the BLM, the USGS estimates of undiscovered, technically recoverable oil resources. That shows American oil resources equal to one hundred forty-nine billion barrels of oil, or seven times the number cited by the Democrats. Those are conservative government estimates. And you can say, don't forget coal, and methane hydrates, and oil shale. The RAND Corporation estimates up to 1.1 trillion recoverable barrels of oil from oil shale in the Green River Formation, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, and to put that into perspective, 1.1 trillion barrels equals more than two thousand years worth of imports from Saudi Arabia. So, I think it's clear that we have the resources, and I would say this, in the statement that you made saying there are two alternatives...this is your statement Mr. - Secretary Strickland, you said, "Either we can remain the world's leading importer of oil, or we can become the world's leading exporter of oil." I think there should be a third one, and that is: develop our own resources. We're the only country in the world that doesn't develop our own resources. I guess the question I would have is: do you agree with these analyses, do you think we ought to develop our own resources. Let's start with you, Secretary Strickland.

Strickland: It is the position of the Administration and Secretary Salazar supports this position, as do I, that we should actively and aggressively develop our conventional energy resources. And since this new Administration came into office on January 21, our first day at the Department of Interior, we have offered just under two thousand parcels for lease, 2.3 million acres. There were bids brought in on eight hundred forty-five thousand acres. I accompanied Secretary Salazar to New Orleans for one of the OCS bids in the spring. We have another bid coming up in August with respect to additional off-shore lands. We're actively looking at the whole OCS in its entirety. We believe there is substantial opportunity to continue to develop conventional oil and gas. We believe we need a balance. We also think there has been an under-valued and under-developed alternative in renewable resource on our public lands up to this point. So we're moving quickly to try and bring some balance, but that is not at the expense of our conventional commitment. We agree that there's additional opportunities.

Sen. Inhofe: Secretary Strickland, I really appreciate that response. In fact, I agree with your response. It's an all-of-the-above response, and I appreciate it. Thank you very much. Thank you, Madame Chairman.


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