Natural Resources Committee Republicans: Lamborn Promotes Energy Production

April 1, 2009
Press Release


Washington, Mar 17

CONTACT: Emily Lawrimore or Jill Strait
Tuesday, March 17, 2009 



Lamborn: Proposed Taxes on "Non-Producing" Oil and Gas Leases will Harm American Energy Production


WASHINGTON, D.C.  – The Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee held a hearing today on "Leasing and Development of Oil and Gas Resources on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS)," examining the misconception that oil and gas companies are sitting idle on oil and gas leases.  At the hearing, Subcommittee Ranking Member Doug Lamborn (CO-05) raised serious concerns over the Administration’s budget proposal that includes new taxes on "non-producing" oil and gas leases in the Gulf of Mexico. 


"These fees will not make companies develop any faster," said Rep. Lamborn.  "In fact, the fees constitute a purely punitive proposal designed for what appears to be cheap political gain.  New fees will, however, harm domestic development by discouraging companies from investing in marginal leases, thus reducing investments in new development and ultimately leaving us more dependent on foreign sources of oil."


During the hearing, Lamborn also inquired about the potential costs and timeframe of Democratic proposals that would require the federal government to fund a comprehensive inventory of the OCS.


Chris Oynes, Associate Director of Offshore Energy and Minerals Management Program, stated that it could cost "several hundred millions of dollars" and 3-5 years at the minimum for the federal government to complete an inventory of the OCS. 


Tom Fry, President of National Ocean Industries Association, noted that having the government do it is not the most efficient way and that "you can have industry pay for the whole thing and it wouldn’t cost taxpayers a penny."




Below is a copy of Rep. Lamborn’s opening statement from today’s hearing:



Mr. Chairman, thank you for holding this hearing.  This is the 5th hearing on OCS development this Congress.   I believe these hearings have been very helpful in establishing a clear record of the challenges and opportunities we have in the OCS as we move forward with new development.


Today’s hearing will focus on development of oil and gas resources in the OCS.  Last year, we had an extended debate on the issue of "non-producing leases" and domestic development.  The impetus for that debate was a report issued by the Majority staff on this Committee.    Unfortunately, that debate was held on the House floor and not in this subcommittee.  The result of that debate was the dissemination of a tremendous amount of misinformation about the process and status of oil and gas development on our federal lands and the OCS.


I quote one Majority member from last year who said, "It is outrageous that oil companies are sitting idle on what could be vast reserves of oil."1


Now we all know that there are no domestic companies sitting idle on vast reserves of oil.  There are, however, many