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Inaccurate Statements on Federal Oil and Gas Development

Washington, DC — American Petroleum Institute President Jack Gerard held a media teleconference with reporters in which he made several inaccurate statements regarding the Administration’s development of oil and gas resources on public lands and in the Outer Continental Shelf.

“Mr. Gerard needs to check his facts before making statements that are so far off the mark,” said Interior spokeswoman Kendra Barkoff. “Oil and gas production on federal lands and waters is up – not down – from 2008, and under Secretary Salazar’s leadership the Department has offered more than 56 million additional acres for development. Interior’s agencies will continue to promote oil and gas development in the right ways, in the right places, and with a fair return for the American taxpayer, regardless of the political spears Mr. Gerard may throw on any given day.”

RHETORIC: “Specifically, what we do not want is the pattern that we have seen over the past year on the part of the Department of Interior where they have lessened our ability to access those resources and thus lessened our ability to create jobs.” Jack Gerard, President, American Petroleum Institute, January 26, 2010.

REALITY:

•The Administration is moving ahead with a comprehensive energy strategy that makes use of the country’s renewable and conventional resources.
•Federal onshore and offshore oil production has increased 14% over the last year, from 476.6 million barrels in 2008 to 544.3 million barrels in 2009.
•2009 onshore statistics: During calendar year 2009, the BLM held 35 onshore federal oil and gas lease sales, including four sales in December 2009 alone. The 2,542 parcels we offered covered 2.9 million acres. The 1,312 parcels that sold generated nearly $136 million in revenue for American taxpayers.
•2009 offshore statistics: Interior’s Minerals Management Service held two offshore lease sales in 2009. Central Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 208 on March 18 offered 6,458 parcels, encompassing 34.5 million acres; leased 1,784,242 of those acres in 328 parcels; and collected revenue of $690 million. On August 19, 2009, the Western Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 210 offered 3,435 parcels, encompassing 18.4 million acres, and generated $111 million in revenue.

RHETORIC: “In the past year, since Secretary Salazar has taken office, the total amount of acreage leased by the federal government, this is onshore and offshore, has shrunk to the lowest level on record.” Jack Gerard, President, American Petroleum Institute, January 26, 2010.

REALITY:

•In FY09, the Administration offered more acres for lease than several years on record. In FY09, for example, the Administration offered more than 8 million more acres for oil and gas development, onshore and offshore, than in FY06.
•The acreage the Administration offered for oil and gas development far exceeded the oil and gas industry’s demand in 2009.

?Onshore, BLM offered 3.8 million acres in FY09 for oil and gas production, but industry bid on only 1.8 million acres. 49% of the parcels sold were protested, up from just over 1% protested in 1998. Secretary Salazar has begun to implement reforms that will increase certainty for the oil and gas industry in this process, reduce conflicts, and restore balance to public lands management.
•NOTABLE FACT: In FY2009, MMS offered the highest number of acres ever for lease in the Gulf of Mexico.

RHETORIC: “The total lease sale revenues in 2009 were less than $1 billion. That’s compared to $10 billion just one year before. So that’s a 90 percent reduction in the revenue that comes to federal, state, and local coffers.” Jack Gerard, President, American Petroleum Institute, January 26, 2010.

REALITY:

•2009 revenues from oil and gas lease sales were in line with recent years. FY 2009 represents the median year since 2001: four years showed higher oil and gas bonus revenues, and four years showed lower revenues. The $10 billion in revenues generated in 2008 by oil and gas lease sales is an anomaly and is largely due to high prices on world markets.
•Total onshore and offshore revenues in FY09: $966 million.
•For more information about offshore lease sales and revenues, click here.

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Green Winter Olympics In Vancouver

The organizers of the Winter Olympics that kicked off this weekend in Vancouver are hoping to stage some of the greenest Games ever, thanks to a partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

For the past three years the Vancouver Organizing Committee (VANOC) and UNEP have worked together to improve the environmental footprint of these Games and to use the high-profile sports gathering to increase public awareness about green issues.

Low-flow toilets that use rainwater for flushing, separate bins for compostable waste and energy-efficient grass-clad roofs are some of the environmentally-friendly features on display at Olympic sites in and around Vancouver.

VANOC has also tried to reduce the carbon impact of the Games by expanding the public transport system and introducing various forms of clean technology, according to a press release issued by UNEP yesterday.

The agency said it will publish an environmental assessment report later this year that will examine the greening of the venues, sustainable transport and waste management.

Today UNEP and VANOC will also announce the winner of a video contest in which Canadian youth were invited to produce a short video or animation clip to show how young people can help create a more environmentally-friendly lifestyle during and after the Games.

Wilfried Lemke, the Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Sport for Development and Peace, will attend today’’s award ceremony.

UNEP is also working with the organizers of the next Winter Olympics, to be staged in Sochi, Russia, in 2014, as part of its campaign to help lower the carbon footprint of major sporting events.

In addition, the UN agency is partnering with the organizers of the FIFA World Cup in South Africa later this year, the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi in October and the Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket competition.

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Captain Detained Onboard Japanese Whaling Vessel

At 0630 Hours, Sea Shepherd Captain Peter Bethune of the vessel Ady Gil, which was sunk by the Japanese security ship Shonan Maru 2, boarded the whaling ship to conduct a citizen’s arrest of the skipper of the Shonan Maru 2.

Captain Bethune boarded the whaling ship under cover of darkness from a Jet Ski as the Shonan Maru 2 was travelling at 14 knots in the Southern Ocean. His first attempt failed when he fell into the frigid waters, but despite this the crew of the Shonan Maru 2 failed to see him and he successfully boarded the whaler without detection.

Captain Bethune’s breaching the security of the whaling fleet security vessel remained undetected for one and a half hours.

At 0800 Hours, once the sun had risen, Captain Bethune calmly knocked on the bridge wing door, entered the wheelhouse, and presented himself to the Captain of Shonan Maru 2 where he informed the skipper that he was under arrest for the sinking of the Sea Shepherd ship Ady Gil on January 6th, 2010.

All radio communications with Peter Bethune ceased at 0805. The Shonan Maru 2 did acknowledge that Bethune was onboard.

The Sea Shepherd ships Steve Irwin and Bob Barker continue to pursue the Japanese whaling ship Nisshin Maru eastward across the Southern Ocean. The ships are presently south of Australia’s Heard Island.

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