Oil and Gas Leasing: Past Work Identifies Numerous Challenges with Interior's Oversight, Statement of Frank Rusco, Director Natural Resources and Environment, Testimony Before the Committee on Natural Resources, House of Representatives   [open pdf - 260KB]

"The Department of the Interior oversees oil and gas activities on leased federal lands and waters. Revenue generated from federal oil and gas production is one of the largest nontax sources of federal government funds, accounting for about $9 billion in fiscal year 2009. For onshore leases, Interior's Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has oversight responsibilities. For offshore leases, the newly created Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement (BOEMRE), has oversight responsibilities. Prior to BOEMRE, the Minerals Management Service's (MMS) Offshore Energy and Minerals Management Office oversaw offshore oil and gas activities, while MMS's Minerals Revenue Management Office collected revenues from all oil and gas produced on federal leases. Over the past several years, GAO has issued numerous recommendations to the Secretary of the Interior to improve the agency's management of oil and gas resources. In 2011, GAO identified Interior's management of oil and gas resources as a high risk issue. GAO's work in this area identified challenges in five areas: (1) reorganization, (2) balancing responsibilities, (3) human capital, (4) revenue collection, and (5) development of existing leases."

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