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Administration move towards accelerated onshore review process sounds promising

WASHINGTON, April 3, 2012 - The American Petroleum Institute (API) said the Department of the Interior’s plans for a faster and automated review process for onshore oil and natural gas applications is promising and encouraged additional reforms.

“Today’s announcement sounds promising but we would suggest additional reforms are needed,” said Erik Milito, upstream director at API. “We support any system that will ensure efficiency and a clear, consistent application process. Most important, the administration needs to streamline the multi-year timeframe for environmental reviews and open additional areas for responsible energy development.”

The Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM’s) own records confirm a slowdown in new leases, permits and wells drilled on BLM lands resulting from federal land energy policy, according to a study prepared for API in January, “Employment, Government Revenue, and Energy Security Impacts of Current Federal Lands Policy in the Western U.S.” The decline in leasing, permitting and drilling was nearly twice as great on federal lands, compared to non-federal lands in western states.

“We urge federal policymakers to establish a regulatory and fiscal environment in which producers can access and develop abundant western oil and natural gas resources,” said Milito. “We need to support America's homegrown energy, which can create jobs, increase government revenues, and strengthen our energy security.”

API represents more than 500 oil and natural gas companies, leaders of a technology-driven industry that supplies most of America's energy, supports 9.2 million U.S. jobs and 7.7 percent of the U.S. economy, delivers more than $86 million a day in revenue to our government, and, since 2000, has invested more than $2 trillion in U.S. capital projects to advance all forms of energy, including alternatives.
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