API Chief Comments on Additional Regulatory Hurdles

American Petroleum Institute President and CEO Jack Gerard issued the following statement on Interior Secretary Ken Salazar's announcement that he would impose additional regulatory hurdles before allowing companies to drill for oil and gas on federal lands:

"In what has become increasingly familiar double-talk from this administration, Interior Secretary Salazar today again spoke of the importance of domestic oil and natural gas, while making it more difficult to produce American oil and gas, put more Americans back to work and help restore our nation's economy. Under the guise of offering certainty for investors, Interior Secretary Salazar has taken steps to further delay and limit American energy resources for all Americans.

"Since Secretary Salazar has taken his position, revenues from federal onshore oil and gas leasing in the five states that make up the Inter-Mountain West (Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming) have plummeted over 80 percent, and the amount of total acreage leased by the government has shrunk to the lowest level on record. In Wyoming alone, nearly 70 percent fewer lease acres were issued by the federal government in 2009 than in 2008.

"This troubling trend of hobbling companies' ability to develop much-needed domestic energy supplies will not create certainty for investors, as Secretary Salazar suggested today. Instead it will make America more dependent on foreign energy and continue to constrain government budgets. About 9.2 million Americans rely on the oil and gas industry for their jobs. By imposing these unnecessary additional hurdles, American jobs will be threatened along with the economic opportunities afforded by oil and gas development."