Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar was asked at a press conference today how he would answer Republican charges that oil and gas production is up on private lands but not public lands. Salazar responded, "Ed, I would say that those attacks are simply wrong. The fact of the matter is that we are producing more from public lands, both oil and gas, both onshore as well as offshore, than at any time in recent memory."
Are reporters just too lazy to check? Is Secretary Salazar relying on that laziness?
From the Department of Interior Office of Natural Resources Revenue. (Graphs are mine. Data is from the site)
This is natural gas production on Federal lands (on and offshore) since 2001.
This is oil production on Federal lands (on and offshore) since 2001.
Natural gas liquids weren't mentioned by Salazar, but the Interior department also has data on NGLs. Be careful, units for NGL are in gallons, not barrels. (42 gallons per barrel).
I really didn't know which way this would turn out. It wouldn't have surprised me if the Republican claim were totally false.
What distresses me is there seems to be so little regard for the truth by both sides. And is it really that hard to check?