by Marc Smith, IPAMS Executive Director Last week, IPAMS released an analysis highlighting the irregularities in the Department of Interior’s (DOI) natural gas and oil leasing program. The findings were significant and demonstrate a marked change at the DOI in regards to developing the vast amounts of domestic energy that lie beneath the public lands of the Intermountain West. It has become clear that DOI is making it difficult for independent western producers to continue developing the clean natural gas our nation needs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, backup wind and solar energy, and increase our energy security. Western natural gas producers have a great answer for some of the most pressing economic and environmental challenges of our times – It’s the clean domestic energy we produce. Natural gas can help clean up our air, keep our economy moving and reduce dependence on foreign oil. Interior Secretary Salazar has repeatedly stated that the Obama Administration is not “anti-oil and gas,” yet when it comes to Interior’s onshore natural gas and oil program, the record suggests otherwise. A series of Interior decisions has created uncertainty in the management of the onshore program, threatening the supply of domestic energy. Developing American clean energy requires a partnership with government and community stakeholders. We are all accountable to the American public to ensure that responsible development occurs. As such, we don’t believe it’s unreasonable to ask the Department of Interior to explain the rationale for its decisions and express concern when trends are not headed in the right direction. The management of federal energy resources has profound implication for the cost of energy, job creation, revenue growth and economic activity. We were very encouraged to hear that Secretary Salazar believes ‘…it is important for the oil-and-gas industry to have certainty.” We look forward to meeting with Department of Interior to explore ideas about how America can more responsibly develop its federal energy resources.” Click here to read IPAMS Position Paper: Irregularities in Interior’s Management of the Federal Onshore Natural Gas and Oil Program About IPAMS The Independent Petroleum Association of Mountain States (IPAMS), founded in 1974, is a non-profit trade association representing more than 400 independent natural gas and oil producers, service and supply companies, banking and financial institutions and industry consultants committed to environmentally responsible oil and natural gas development in the Intermountain West. More information on IPAMS and its members is available at