ENERGY: Coal, Gas, Oil
February 26, 2015
Update from Western Energy Alliance...
Exposing the 'Red Tape Nation'


Federal Western Production Lags in the 'Red Tape Nation'

Western Energy Alliance has just released data that show how oil and natural gas production continues to lag on federal lands compared to private and state lands. Accompanying the data set is Red Tape Nation, a four-part graphic series that illustrates the federal maze hindering production, such as deferred leasing, delayed project approvals and excessive demands.

The Alliance tracks annual federal onshore oil and natural gas statistics to help policymakers and the public understand trends in western development. We focus on how development supports western communities to the tune $6.4 billion in revenue for school, roads, conservation and other vital services. The Red Tape Nation series is a new feature designed to tell the story of how government overreach hinders American energy production on public lands and hence, western economies.

President Obama likes to take credit for our nation’s energy boom, but the success has come despite, not because of his actions. We hear from the Administration that the reason federal production has not kept pace is because new shale plays are predominantly on private lands. Yet on public lands in the West, federal red tape is preventing the exploration and innovation that were necessary to jump-start other now-prolific shale plays.

To explore the Alliance’s data and to view the Red Tape Nation infographics, visit

U.S. Forest Service Oil & Natural Gas Plan Fails to Find Balance

Western Energy Alliance jointly filed a formal objection to a U.S. Forest Service draft decision that’s marred by political interference and superficial analysis. The agency’s plan blithely removes nearly 1.3 million acres from oil and natural gas leasing in the White River National Forest in western Colorado. It also closes the entire Thompson Divide area within the forest to future leasing.

The Forest Service’s plan is based on the flawed presumption that development is incompatible with agriculture, recreation, outfitting, wildlife and protection of other natural resources by ignoring nearly 60 years of oil and natural gas history in the area that proves otherwise.

Federal policies like this continue the Administration’s strategy of strangling promising new shale plays at birth. For policymakers, this is significant because a prohibition on oil and natural gas production means less jobs and less revenues brought in through taxes, royalties and leasing fees. As the Red Tape Nation graphics above point out, this ultimately means less money for schools, roads, conservation and vital local services

This Forest Service plan also represents a threat to communities outside Colorado. If a Forest Service administrator can make such a sweeping decision regardless of the cost to the local economy, then similar actions can be implemented in other National Forests.

The Alliance filed its objection along with West Slope Colorado Oil and Gas Association (WSCOGA) and Public Lands Advocacy. More information and the full objection are available at

Western Energy Alliance is Hiring

We have two new opportunities at the Alliance for a Regulatory Analyst and a Policy Analyst. If you know someone with relevant experience who may be interested, please direct them to our Job Openings page.

The staff of Western Energy Alliance and I are always available to answer any questions about western oil and natural gas development. We’re available at (303) 623-0987 or via email.

Kathleen M. Sgamma
VP, Government & Public Affairs
Western Energy Alliance
1775 Sherman St., Suite 2700
Denver, CO 80203
(303) 501-1059 direct
(303) 623-0987 main

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