The oil companies and the President and McCain talk about the need for more leasing of your public lands to big oil, but big oil is appearently sitting on the leases it has.

Democrats Say Oil Companies Should Lose Leases They Don’t Use. By Susan Decker. Bloomberg.

Related. Drilling ban is a myth, figures show. By Ken Ward Jr. Staff writer. Charleston Gazette.

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

5 Responses to Big Oil told "use it or lose it" by House Natural Resources Committe chair

  1. avatar natehobbs says:

    the longer they sit on there reserves the more valuable it becomes, its simple business wisdom to hold onto what you have…buy low sell high. Yet another example of how thesse businesses have little care for America’s prosperity or its resources and lands.

  2. avatar SmokyMtMan says:

    Bush purposely leased far more public land to the energy extraction companies than they can drill on right now. The reason is that once an oil or gas lease is signed and made official, it is almost impossible to reverse the lease.

    It was a way of providing the oil and gas companies control of as much land as possible as quickly as they could.

    I don’t know how the Democrats can force the companies to give up those contracts. I have read Democrats can increase the fees for land not being actively drilled, but lack the legal authority to over-turn the leases.

    “…..the leases, which companies can lock up for 10 years with annual rents of only $2 to $3 an acre.”

    “Democrats introduced legislation that would force producers to pay $5 a year for every acre the companies hold but are not working on to produce oil and gas. By the fourth year, the fees would jump to $25 an acre and rise to $50 an acre every year thereafter.”

    http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/business/5833333.html

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5111184

  3. avatar john weis says:

    of course the same deal is part of the off shore drilling hysteria. only a fraction of currently leased drilling leases are actually being drilled due, in part, to a major shortage of the drilling ships required for the deep water drilling. providing more leases won’t create more wells or pump more oil or lower the price of gas, it just ties up more land for “future considerations”.

  4. avatar Brian Ertz says:

    today i watched a local news program in SE Arizona – they had a representative of the oil industry – as if he was on staff – giving a presentation/newscast about how fringe environmentalists were preventing our friends at the oil companies from alleviating gas prices.

    they’re putting resource into local media all the way up attempting to frame/associate high gas prices with environmentalists.

  5. avatar dbaileyhill says:

    A similar scenario exists here in Oregon with the timber industry. It’s the enviro’s fault that Oregon’s economy is so bad. “Timber” communities that once were booming (according to industry (un)employees) because of logging, are not very busy anymore. Folks are mad that there are trees still standing, ‘doing nothing’ when they could be making money chopping them all down. (Clear cutting). Darn old trees!, just standing idle!

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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