FACT CHECK: Big oil lobbyists plead for license to waste tax dollars

On a day when it was revealed that 4 in 5 Western voters support the BLM rule to cut back on wasted natural gas and tax dollars on public lands, a leading lobby group for the oil industry is begging Congress to ditch the measure.

In a letter to Congress, the American Petroleum Institute backed up this plea with a host of misleading claims:

INDUSTRY SPIN: Oil companies are addressing natural gas waste through “self-regulation.”

FACT: More than $330 million worth of natural gas is wasted every year on federal and tribal lands, so whatever these companies are doing isn’t working.

INDUSTRY SPIN: If we stop wasting natural gas, we’ll have to close up shop.

FACT: Natural gas is valuable commodity than can sold if it is not wasted.  The state of Colorado implemented similar standards to the BLM and natural gas production was unaffected.

INDUSTRY SPIN: If you would just let us build more pipelines, we would sell natural gas instead of burning it off.

FACT: Only 9 percent of vented and flared natural gas is due to a lack of infrastructure, according to the Government Accountability Office.

INDUSTRY SPIN: Regulations are blocking oil production on federal and tribal lands.

FACT: Oil companies possess thousands of leases to drill for oil on public lands that they are not using, so there could be more production whenever they want there to be.  That’s on top of the fact that the price of oil has been historically low for years – a market force that is almost certainly influencing production.

Join the effort to strengthen the American West.