Department of the Interior
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 14, 2005
CONTACT: John Wright
Assistant Secretary Watson Discusses Efforts to Meet America's Natural Gas Demand
WASHINGTON, DC - In a testimony today before the House Government Reform Committee Subcommittee on Energy and Resources, Rebecca Watson, assistant secretary of the Interior for Land and Minerals Management, told members that the Bush administration is working to meet the nation's energy demand by implementing provisions of the Energy Policy Act, developing innovations to improve program effectiveness, to reduce cost and continuing efforts to improve internal processes.
"The demand for energy in this country has outstripped domestic energy production," Watson said. "Although domestic energy production has nearly doubled in the past 50 years, population growth, increased economic activity and more intensive use of energy in the residential and transportation sectors, have resulted in significantly higher demands, Americans have made a choice to shift toward the use of clean-burning natural gas."
In highlighting efforts to increase the development of clean-burning natural gas, Watson indicated that public lands managed by the Interior Department play a significant role in the development of America's natural gas. "More than half of the acreage in the Rocky Mountain basins are under federal management, and there are significant resources in these basins," she said.
Domestic production from onshore oil and gas wells accounts for about 11 percent of the nation's natural gas and 5 percent of the nation's oil. Watson also indicated that oil and gas produced from the Outer Continental Shelf in the Gulf of Mexico plays a major role in supplying America's daily energy needs, accounting for about 29 percent of domestic oil production and 21 percent of domestic gas production.