REALITY CHECK: API's Gerard Makes Inaccurate Statements on Federal Oil and Gas Development

Last edited 09/29/2021

Washington, DC: American Petroleum Institute President Jack Gerard today 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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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