In his 2012 State of the Union Address, President Obama said that “American oil production is the highest that it’s been in eight years.”
But on Wednesday, the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service released a new report that finds that the overwhelming majority—96 percent—of the increase came from land not owned by the federal government.
In 2011, oil production on federal lands declined by an average of 275,000 barrels per day, whereas production on non-federal lands increased by 395,000 barrels per day. The CRS's analysis aligns with that of the Energy Information Administration, which found that oil production on federal lands dropped 14 percent in 2011.
U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, said President Obama should boost oil production on public lands:
Increasing domestic production on public lands would create jobs, reduce the deficit, decrease our trade imbalance, grow the economy, and place downward pressure on gas prices. America has potentially more oil resources than almost any nation on earth. The people of Alabama, and across the country, have a right to benefit from its exploration. I hope President Obama will reverse course. Through determined and bold action, America can become the dominant producer in the worldwide energy market. Instead of transferring our wealth overseas, other nations will send their money overseas to us.
On Wednesday, Mr. Obama launched his cross-country battleground state energy tour.