Among the many points of contention during the presidential debates was the status of energy production across the United States. President Obama argues that more oil and natural gas are being produced today than when he took office. Governor Romney argues that less of it is being produced on public land.
Who’s right depends, to a large degree, on how you look at the issue. Tim Wigley represents the oil and gas producers who are part of the Western Energy Alliance. They say much more energy could be produced in the West if the federal government would just get out of the way and expedite leasing, permits and environmental reviews, similar to what’s happening on private land in the Bakken Formation of North Dakota.
The Center for Western Priorities has a very different view of energy development on federal land. It says Western energy producers are complaining even as they’re producing more from public land. The Center’s Trevor Kincaid, he said that’s especially true in Utah.