The new report, known as EPCA III, estimates that energy supplies put off-limits by Congress at 117 billion barrels of oil and 651 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. This is enough oil to replace our OPEC imports for over 50 years, and enough natural gas to supply all US needs for 30 years.The inventory found that 60 percent of the onshore Federal lands with potentially significant domestic amounts of natural gas and crude are presently closed to leasing. This translates to 62 percent of the oil and 41 percent of the natural gas inaccessible. An additional 30 percent of onshore Federal oil and 49 percent of onshore Federal gas may only be developed subject to restrictions over and above standard environmental lease terms, including seasonal timing limitations. The study found that in the inventory areas just 8 percent of onshore Federal oil and 10 percent of onshore Federal gas are accessible under standard lease terms.
“America has abundant energy resources,” said Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Land and Minerals Management C. Stephen Allred. “However, for a variety of reasons, many of these resources are not available for development. At a time when energy prices have reached record levels and Americans are feeling the impact, we must find ways to develop those key energy resources that are available to us right here at home, on our public lands.”