Bologna Does Fear the Grinder
o Independent, American oil and gas businesses – not BIG OIL – develop 90 percent of the nation’s oil and gas wells.
o There are 5,000 independent oil and natural gas companies in the U.S. with, on average, 12 employees.
o These independent businesses also hold the majority of the nation’s federal oil and natural gas leases onshore and offshore.
o American oil and natural gas companies are developing more oil and gas wells than at any other time since 1985.
o There are many reasons why federal oil and natural gas leases aren’t currently producing – including the need for exploration, federal permits, environmental studies, financing — or possibly there is no oil and gas to be found in commercial quantities!
o Developing leases requires many steps both technical and procedural. Technically, areas must be analyzed and exploratory wells drilled. Procedurally, the federal permitting process must be navigated.
o Protests and lawsuits – UP 700 PERCENT from 2001 to 2007 – also delay development. [Maybe Paulson can tell Brad Heavner to do something about this!]
o “Use it or Lose it” – the Democratic leadership’s proposal to not allow any new areas for oil and gas exploration current leases are developed or risk losing those leases – is already the law.
o Prior to 1992, the lease term was 5 years; the Energy Policy Act of 1992 (under a Democrat House) extended it to 10 years.
o For Federal offshore oil and gas leases, an oil company must produce energy between 5 to 10 years (in the government’s discretion). This is from the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act. (Source: 43 U.S.C. 1337(b)).
o Most of the drilling on Federal leases has been for natural gas, and natural gas production was up – way up, last year, and so was demand.
o In fact, industry is producing more gas under these leases but they cannot keep up with demand because Democrats and their radical environmental allies will not allow the leasing of new areas.
o 97 percent of Federal offshore areas are not leased.
o 92 percent of Federal onshore areas are not leased.
Of course, Paulson ducks any serious debate, just look at his comments. He is a living answer to
William F. Buckley’s rhetorical question: Why does bologna fear the grinder?