American oil production has skyrocketed over the past seven years, but production could be even higher, according to a new report by Heritage Foundation expert Nicolas Loris. Production has actually fallen on federal lands, where red tape limits exploration and drilling.

Loris recommends streamlining environmental reviews and allowing states to make more decisions about energy development.

Do you think more land should be opened to oil exploration?

Comments (59)

Patrick Santavenere - May 14, 2014

My question is even more basic. Why does the federal government own this land in the first place? Doesn’t the Constitution place strict limits on government ownership of land?

Floyd Tarpenning - May 14, 2014

Yes on Loris recommendations.

Donna Lewis - May 14, 2014

We should open up more land for oil drilling. Why should we pay other countries more for oil when we have a lot of oil in our own land.

Ruth Ditch - May 14, 2014

I love graphs. This one really tells the tale. How sad. I wish this could get out to liberals/Democrats to show them how the govt. is stifling our oil production and ultimately our economy.

Kim - May 14, 2014

A judicious and sustained development of energy production is essential to the well being of these United States. At present, we the people, are on economic life support. Not good.

Kirk - May 14, 2014

When will this domestic oil production help us with the high costs at the pump? Or are the oil companies and the government be the only benefactors?

Karen Bodner - May 14, 2014

The natural resources in this country belong to its citizens. We have a Constitutional and God-given right to those resources to improve our quality of life. Luddites want to take us back to “Little House on the Prairie”…I want to be the Jetsons.

Dave - May 14, 2014

I think more federal land should be opened up for exploration. Our government has for years stymied domestic production to force us to consume mid-East oil thereby propping up the despots. Time to stop that practice.

Keith Childress - May 14, 2014

Yes, more federal land should be opened for oil production. It is one of the easiest ways to increase revenue to the government without raising taxes. ( The government should be cutting spending and shrinking in size and scope but that is another issue).

On a side note, there is a push to be able to sell crude over seas because we do not have the refineries to handle the light sweet crude. Selling overseas is not the answer. Building new refineries here, creating new jobs and helping national security by being more energy independent is the answer. The EPA has had America in a refinery choke hold for forty plus years. This point needs to be hammered home every time someone is in front of a microphone.

Russ Varney - May 14, 2014

Drill, baby, drill!

Calvin Pauley - May 14, 2014

I do think we should allow more oil production in the USA. Two things necessary with that are blocking the amount of oil that the gov’t and oil companies are selling overseas and tying it to oil prices and supply here in the USA, and also watch where fracking water comes from and goes to.

John Campbell - May 14, 2014

The big problem here is too much government intervention to require ethanol in fuel closing refineries due to cost above and beyond. No new refineries can be built because of government regulation. The lack of infrastructure to move oil to refineries and extensive market outlet restriction bottle necks the industry.

Dale Brune - May 14, 2014

Yes, more land and less ocean. If you have an oil spill it is a lot less damaging to the environment and a lot less cost to clean up when on land. When was the last time that we heard of an oil spill on land that caused a lot of loss of life?
On water, the oil disperses and pollutes a lot of wild life habitat. Also, the ocean is less stable and powerful with it’s fury at times making things hard to manage.
One sided environmental arguments win the vote to make more laws when the people are not informed to discuss the full issues and persistent lobbyists get their way.

David Parsons - May 14, 2014

Federal lands should be opened for oil & gas exploration. Energy independence from mid-east foreign sources is a matter of national security.

jay salby - May 14, 2014

All areas should be open, so in the future our friends will be less dependent on Mr. Putin´s gas station, not to mention Venezuela and the middle east.

J David Gillanders - May 14, 2014

NO! Fossil fuels are nonrenewable. When they run out we will no longer have the raw materials to produce things like plastics, lubricating oils, and many other useful chemical compounds. We need to concentrate on renewable energy sources.

ChuckL - May 14, 2014

As the EPA is a law making agency in violation of Article 1, Section 1, of the U. S. Constitution, it should be abolished and the environmental control returned to the States which are constitutionally authorized to perform this action.

Elimination of the EPA would restore oil production. however Article 1 sections 8 and 9 must be amended to allow those states which prohibit energy production to be taxed for the product of those states which do produce.

Tom - May 14, 2014

Newt Gingrich, in his run for the Republican Presidential Nomination, said that we could solve our National Debt problem by garnering the taxes produced by exporting natural gas and oil if the Federal Government would only open Federal lands to exploration and drilling. He is right.

So why is it that neither Democrats nor Republicans can support this obvious solution?

Curtis Blake - May 14, 2014

Without doubt more land should be opened to oil exploration! Not only that, the federal government should start transferring ownership of some of its land to the states. Logic and honesty, as they relate to the Constitution of the United States, would prescribe that a “limited” government should not own and control such great measures of state land, but to the contrary, such government should, in the spirit of how our constitution was written, cede that land to the states.

Don and Roxanne Kleine - May 14, 2014

Energy = jobs = personal US income = national financial strength

William Mackenzie - May 14, 2014

The feds aught to get out of the land ownership / control business and let each state decide on its own.

The feds have flat-lined everything they have put their hands to.


Barbara Cooper - May 14, 2014

This is a no brainer -let’s get the government out of the way.

Victor Hauser - May 14, 2014

This is one area where the current government over regulation will do no long term harm. At the moment we have a lot of oil (we think). However, the total amount still not produced is fixed – we just don’t know the number. Saving some for the future is a good idea! However, saving it should be a deliberate act of conservation, not over regulation. Spend your money where it will do more long term good – saving our form of government. Victor L. Hauser

C. Hoffman - May 14, 2014

The federal government should own no land. Responsible regulated utilization of our natural resources must be pursued to ensure our future prosperity and sovereignty.

R.J. Koon - May 14, 2014

What makes this issue even more sinister is that those Federal lands would be leased to oil companies for enormous fees, reducing our dependency on foreign oil (middle east), plus reducing our deficit.

This would also deprive our enemies of their strangle hold on the world’s oil supply and further reduce their revenue by driving down the cost of gasoline! Resulting in much less money to support terrorism…

It seems that our current government is on the wrong side of every issue! Could that possibly be by design?

Patricia Holm - May 14, 2014

I think it is very important we increase oil production so that we do not have to depend on anyone for the use of oil. It would increase jobs and reduce the price of oil in our country which is very much needed.

EmilieDale Porterie - May 14, 2014

Generally, streamlining environmental reviews is a good thing. But for this issue, at this time, while Obama is President, I don’t think we can get such a change around this President and his Administration. The political sate of things is that there is a headwind against streamlining environmental regulations while this Administration panders to their environmentalist base. Those moon-bats will cry “climate change”; “carbon foot-print”, “global warming”, etc. Additionally, the Country should not move forward for this particular purpose of drilling on federal lands at this time. Why? Those in power will just spend the money corruptly; crony capitalism has not been addressed. Any fees realized by the government, will be mis-spent by this Adminstration. Taxpayers will not get relief on the budget deficit nor the federal government’s debt. Once the governmental structural issues are addressed, once government mis-spending is addressed, and efficiencies enacted such as tax code reform, trimming government waste, etc., the government adminstrative climate might be better to reap the benefits of drilling on federal lands. Finally, having oil and gas in the ground is like having a savings account or CD which protects your finances; it is there for the future…to help America when we hopefully have better leadership. So in conclusion: Not at this time;

Wayne Peterkin - May 14, 2014

Yes, all domestic oil and gas should be produced. But it will not happen under Obama. The increasing of energy prices is one of his many “fundamental transformations of America”, all intended to weaken and damage our nation.

Arlin R. Johnson, Jr. - May 14, 2014

Any person or groups standing in the way or limiting production of energy (oil, coal etc. in our nation should be dismissed from the federal government promptly! They should receive no pension or retirement benefits from tax payer dollars.. Perhaps that would send a clear message to persons or groups to get out of the way of free enterprise – hopefully forever!

John Huston - May 14, 2014

Of course America should drilling and producing oil and gas to capacity. These Federal lands belong to the people. If we developed them, America would become independent and the costs of gas and oil would drop. G.W. Bush began his first term with the desire to develop the Northwest oil reserves. When Obama came on board, my little voice told him he could become a hero if he did this.

If you remember the cheer begun by Sara Palin 12 years ago was “drill baby, drill.”

James Brantly - May 14, 2014

I think both more land and off shore areas should be open for exploration and production of both oil and natural gas.

Also the Keystone Pipe Line should be approved.

Also the government should stop trying to destroy the coal industry.

Raymond Antos - May 14, 2014

The people in government should be given a option either approve drilling on public land or ride a bike .
Also all the land on closed army bases should allow refineries to be built on the property.they could charge a fee that would only be used to pay down our debt

Lucy Combs - May 14, 2014

This is a disgrace to our Country as the use of gas for transportation in the mid-center of America is mostly done with trucking and use of the Automobile to reach the marketing or work, or Church or School. We are not able to use the train or bus transportation in the mid-states as a means for the above trips needed daily or weekly. Wake up Government and look to the mid-section of your Country and note the type of economy that is in your mid-states and why mass transportation is not feasible.

c.gabor - May 14, 2014

Yes,a percentage of government-owned land (which is our land and belongs to the citizens) should be open to oil drilling

Rita Kama-Kimura - May 14, 2014

Beware an over reaching government. The intrusion into all areas of our lives, the over regulation and laws is not to protect “we the people”, but to ensure those currently in power even more control and continues to chip away at our Constitution and our liberties.

Norris Thomson - May 14, 2014

All Federal land should be open to exploration as long
as the benefits go back to the “owners,” I.e. we the legal citizens of the United States. Commercial interests should be allowed to bid on lease and production rights.
Money from the bids, as well as the production shares
should be earmarked to cut down the Federal Debt, not available for politicians to use to gain re-election.

Jerald Slomka - May 14, 2014

There is still a lot of land that the USA can drill in for oil and Natural Gas through the used of companies like Slumberjai and other more “Normal ” such as Shell or Mobile or Exxon or National Fuel that would be Domestically Driven and put money into the Domestic Economy and shut off Foreign Fuel Purchases. If we can do it here, why not?

Ronald Kirby - May 14, 2014

The United States should be energy independent. We have enough energy in the continental US to take care of the US energy needs. The US also should be looking for and developing renewable energy sources.

M Sheahen - May 14, 2014

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” – Amendment X, Constitution of the United States.

Diana - May 14, 2014

Not only should the federal government open more federal lands for oil/gas development, it should charge the oil companies confiscatory royalties for it.

Karen Brown - May 14, 2014

Yes we need to do more drilling and get more energy independent! Absolutely!!!

Bob - May 14, 2014

This FRAUD in the White House is hell bent on destroying every aspect of energy in our Country and
we have a Congress that sits by and does nothing to
stop him!!!!!

John Edwards - May 14, 2014

STOP red tape from limiting exploration and drilling for oil & gas. Let’s just DO IT in areas controlled by the US!!

Max O Reeves - May 14, 2014

Yes, more land should be opened up because our national security as well as economic security is at stake. With more oil production prices can come down and we Americans will have more money in our pockets to spend or invest!

James Hill - May 14, 2014

Yes, I agree that more land should be opened up for oil exploration BUT only if the oil discovered and processed is allowed to be sold in United States.

Michael DiLeo - May 15, 2014

More land must be open for oil exploration, if we’re going to become energy independent. Think of all the jobs that would be created, and the extra tax revenue that would begin to flow.

nolan roth - May 15, 2014

Obamas energy policy is unworkable and damaging not only our industry but costing our citizens tons of money. Green energy is fine… but we need other resources to fill in the gaps….. Im sure it will take a drastic change in our present administration before we as a country will enjoy honest reductions in energy costs

Ray Heinlen - May 15, 2014

More production of oil is a good thing, but I think our country’s shortfall is refineries to produce gas and diesel. The strength of a chain is it’s weakest link, refining is the weak link here, also having multiple blends of gas.

Robert Godwin - May 15, 2014

Yes to further exploration and production everywhere. Those opposed do so only to limit our country.

Jeffrey Lowes - May 15, 2014

Drilling on Federal Land is a no brainer, being a retired petroleum engineer and earth scientist, vast amounts of oil and gas underly Federal Land. Unfortunately, with this current administration and it’s illogical climate disruption rampage, don’t expect any of it to be explored or developed anytime soon.

Anita Rice - May 15, 2014

I am losing hope in the value of the political process as politicians are pushing their own agenda that is far from what we, the people, actually want and need. For example, we need an abundant supply of energy, but many politicians are too short-sighted to see this. We have to explore more and build that pipeline from Canada. What on earth are politicans thinking, or are they thinking at all?

Shirley Jones - May 15, 2014

Yes,the Federal Government should be doing all it can
to encourage domestic oil production.

skip hill - May 16, 2014

I wonder if those who support the administration like paying $2.00 a gallon penalty at the pump! now ($3.79) , when 5 years ago, pre-Obama it was $.179 a gallon? DUH!!

James Hull - May 16, 2014

Why pump more oil from Federal lands when producers are paying millions to lobbyists to obtain Congressional repeal of the law prohibiting exportation of crude oil. While gasoline remains at $3+ levels and current oil production is at new record highs, why does it make any sense open the door to crude oil exports. Supply/Demand economics should begin to lower domestic crude oil prices and bring the price of gasoline at the pump back to $1.50+ level. Let OPEC market to Europe, Japan and China – U.S. produced oil does not need to compete in those markets to lower OPEC prices. The U.S. needs to be totally energy independent of imported crude oil.

P J MOCK - May 18, 2014

I will support an effort to have the federal establishment divest itself of all BLM lands other than designated Wilderness areas or planned areas for new national parks or monuments. Again—the recent saga in Nevada shows the politics of how the “properly connected[prince Harry Reid et al]” push out the average citizen for their own gain–Just “Follow the MONEY TRAIL”!

Daniel Persen - May 21, 2014

Shrewdness of lawyers who are not lawmakers of justice(but they sure think they are)and in their shrewd hearts they lay snares for the people, sit in ambush for the poor and needy, and use shrewd regulations to fine the righteous. (77,000 pages of regulations of the IRS code)God is the King of America and these words come from the word of God which is the true justice and law of the Land. No man would have a talent if God didn’t give it to him…like oil…why did God put it in the earth for…to let it sit there and do nothing!!!! God Almighty…When the EPA fines God for creating volcano’s and when God pays the EPA then maybe there is something to do about climate change….since when can man undo anything the Almighty created. Daneil Pureson

walter mattson - May 27, 2014

The tactic that the Obama administration is using to limit and reduce oil production on federal lands fits Obama’s agenda of attempting to keep existing energy prices high so his favorite green energies may be able to compete. This is all part of Obama’s plan. He believes in man made global warming and is totally locked into green energies even at the expense of the citizens of this country. He really doesn’t care about helping the economy and the poor. He only cares about his own agenda.We are in a recession that has been continuing for 6 years and counting. Does Obama care? Of course not. He wants as many people as possible to be dependent on the government as long as possible to allow those who are unemployed to become dependent on funding and governmental hand outs. This will assure that those people will vote for the democrats in the next elections.
This is what should be done. The government should allow unlimited drilling and exploration off shore and on federal lands. The fees charged for drilling need to be reduced and minimal. The taxes on oil and gas need to be reduced to assure that US oil and gas are the least cost product on the planet. The gas and oil that we produce needs to supply the US at a cost less than any other producer in the world market. This procedure would make energy cheap, make the US more competitive and allow for the expansion of industry in this country and around the world. It would have an uplift to all world economies and result in an expansion of the economy.
The rules of the government should include that there is sufficient excess supply available for the nation’s defense. In addition,I believe that natural gas be limited to long term home heating and corporation usage since it is the most easily transported via pipe lines to every home and industry with minimal environmental capitalization. A limited amount of natural gas may be sold on the world market which would be a positive to countering Russian and other country exorbitant prices to countries that have no natural gas supplies. Coal and nuclear needs to be supported by the government for major power plants since they are best equipped to provide the environmental capital to assure long term availability and safety. A savings of $2 per gallon on gas and oil would equate to a privately funded subsidy of around $400 billion per year to the economy and would set this nation on a rapid recovery from the Obama nightmare.

Holly Chapo - June 1, 2014

Yes. Drill, baby, drill … every where we can.

Isidra - April 3, 2016

I’m impressed, I have to admit. Rarely do I come across a
blog that’s both equally educative and interesting, and let me tell you, you have hit the nail on the head.
The issue is an issue that too few men and women are speaking intelligently about.
I’m very happy that I found this during my search for something regarding this.

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