Friday, July 18, 2008

Letter from a Concerned Citizen: Congressman Walz is Bluffing and is Beholden to an Impractical and Extremist Environmental Agenda

The following was sent to our campaign from a concerned citizen:

Dear Mr. R,

Thank you for contacting me regarding domestic oil production. I appreciate hearing from you.

The rapid increase in gas prices is putting a serious strain on all Americans. A number of factors contribute to the high cost of gasoline, including the growing global demand for crude oil, the limited capacity within the United States for refineries, and market uncertainty regarding the threat of supply disruption due to conflicts in the Middle East.

While there are no quick fixes, Congress is currently considering a number of proposals to address rising fuel costs. As part of these proposals, some suggest that by opening up more areas for drilling within the United States we can lower gas prices and reduce our dependence on foreign imports.

Instead of rushing to open new areas for drilling, I believe that oil companies should make use of the land they already have available. Today, oil companies hold leases to about 92 million acres of federally-owned land, both onshore and offshore. Roughly 67 million of those acres-more than 70 percent of the area they own the rights to-are not being used for production. These are areas that oil companies are authorized to start drilling, which have the potential to produce an additional 4.8 million barrels of oil and 44.7 billion cubic feet of natural gas each day, nearly double total US oil production.

I have supported legislation in Congress that tells the oil companies to "use it or lose it," and either make use of the land they have leased, or turn it over to a company that will. Unfortunately, while this should provide some relief in the medium term, most experts agree that we cannot drill our way out of the current energy crisis.

That's why I believe that we should be harnessing American ingenuity and innovation to develop long term solutions to our current energy crisis. By developing renewable resources such as wind and solar power, biofuels, and geothermal heat, we can move beyond fossil fuels to an energy policy which is sustainable, renewable and produced in America by American workers. Rest assured that as Congress continues to debate these issues, I will keep your views in mind.

Thank you again for sharing your views with me, and I look forward to hearing from you again in the future. For more information about my activities representing southern Minnesota in Congress, please visit and sign up for my e-newsletter.


Tim Walz
Member of Congress


Nice bluff Congresmen Walz. No wonder Congressional approval ratings are in the upper teens.

Your (or maybe Nancy Pelosi's) paragraph on having oil companies make use of the land that they already have available is very misleading. To come up with this statistic, you assume that roughly 23 million acres of federal land are producing 1.6 million barrels each day. Since roughly three times as many federal acres are leased to oil companies you assume that the US could be producing three times as much oil, which is the 4.8 million barrels of oil that you get.

However, oil and gas are not going to be found under each and every acre. Also, oil production in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska has been stalled by groups like the Sierra Club.

Don't count on bluffing the residents of the 1st Congressional District too long!