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Hastings: Obama fudging energy figures

Jan. 18, 2012 at 8:30 AM   |   Comments

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WASHINGTON, Jan. 18 (UPI) -- A House Republican leader accused the White House of employing fuzzy math when trumpeting the president's domestic energy agenda.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said U.S. President Barack Obama is committed to a broad-based policy regarding domestic energy production.

"The fact of the matter is, on oil and gas production, we have higher oil production in this country in 2010 than we've had since 2003," he said.

U.S. Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash., chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources, accused the Obama administration of fudging the numbers regarding domestic energy.

He said Carney was using numbers based on leases awarded on private land, adding oil and natural gas production on federal lands was down more than 40 percent compared to the early part of the century.

"Under the Obama administration, 2010 had the lowest number of onshore leases issued since 1984," Hastings' committee said in a statement.

Hastings said that, last year, the Obama administration conducted only one lease sale by December, narrowly avoiding making 2011 the first year since 1953 the government didn't have such a sale.

The U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management announced more than 20 companies in the December sale submitted 241 bids worth a combined more than $700 million for the rights to explore about 1 million acres in the western Gulf of Mexico.

It was the first federal lease sale since a moratorium on offshore drilling was enacted following the April 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

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