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Wild Forest Protection Conservation Policy Will Not Harm Energy Production

  • The Roadless Area Conservation Policy preserves America's last remaining wild places, and has little impact on the country's energy needs. The policy affects less than one-third of National Forest lands, and has no impact on existing oil and gas leases anywhere in the National Forests, which are exempted from the policy's restrictions on road construction.

  • More than half of National Forest Lands are open to industrial production of oil and natural gas, yet these lands yield only a miniscule portion--currently just 0.4 percent--of our country's current domestic output.

  • Most areas in the National Forests now protected by the new conservation policy have been available for leasing for decades. Extensive portions of those lands that the oil and natural gas industries think have high potential are already under lease and thus not affected by this policy.

  • A recent Department of Energy (DOE) study found that even after the long process of discovering, developing and producing, there is a 95 percent chance that no more than a two-month supply of natural gas for the nation could be recovered from feasibly drillable areas in newly protected wild forest lands.

  • While minimal oil and gas resources might exist under land covered by the policy to protect wild forests, these resources would not relieve any short-term national needs. Discovering, developing and producing such resources generally takes up to 10 years and considerable expenditures to accomplish.

  • Some of the undiscovered gas may lie in areas already leased. Moreover, if gas lies under protected lands, it is still accessible through directional drilling from adjacent leased areas or lands already containing roads.

  • Simple energy conservation measures, which saves consumers money and preserves priceless wild forests, produce longer-lasting results in far shorter time.

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