The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

A Positive Announcement

Jack Gerard

Jack Gerard
Posted October 21, 2009

Yesterday, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced that a second round of oil shale research and development on leases with vastly diminished potential commercial acreage will resume.

Secretary Salazar's decision is a positive step in the process of developing the innovation and technology needed to bring production from the nation's vast oil shale resources to American consumers.

However, we are concerned with some of the new second-round lease terms--specifically the decision to reduce by 87 percent the total potential commercial lease size. Slashing the size of the potential commercial lease diminishes the incentives for investment and ignores the enormous up-front costs and risks undertaken to develop these technologically complex resources.

Oil shale deposits in the Green River formation in Colorado, Wyoming and Utah hold an estimated 800 billion barrels of recoverable resources, which, if commercially viable, could bolster America's energy security, provide additional U.S. jobs and bring in much-needed government revenue.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jack N. Gerard is president and CEO of the American Petroleum Institute (API), the national trade association that represents all aspects of America’s oil and natural gas industry. He also has served as the president and CEO of trade associations representing the chemical and mining industries. Jack understands how Washington works. He spent several years working in the U.S. Senate and House, and co-founded a Washington-based government relations consulting firm. A native of Idaho, Jack also is very active in the Boy Scouts of America, a university graduate program on politics, and his church’s leadership. He and his wife are the proud parents of eight children, including twin boys adopted from Guatemala.