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Big Oil Sitting on 68 Million Acres of Land - Refusing to Develop and Drill

President Bush, Senator John McCain and their Republican allies are calling on Congress to give away more federal lands to Big Oil.  But oil companies do not need more places to drill - they are sitting on 68 million acres of federal lands - or 81 percent of U.S. oil reserves - that they have already leased but have not developed for drilling. 


Just how big is Big Oil's 68 million acres of oil reserves they COULD drill now?

Would cover 94 percent of McCain's home state of Arizona[i]

More than 2 ½ times the size of Minority Leader Boehner's home state of Ohio[ii]

Other interesting state comparisons:

Equal to the size of Colorado[iii]
Nearly 2 ½ times the size of Pennsylvania[iv]
Covers 130 percent of Kansas[v]
Twice the size of Florida[vi]
Nearly twice the size of Illinois[vii]

Here are the facts about the Republican “Drill More” Rhetoric:

  • The fact is 80 percent of the oil available on the Outer Continental Shelf is already open for leasing--but the oil companies have decided it's not worth their money to drill there.  The Bush Administration's own Energy Information Administration says drilling the OCS would have no impact on price until 2030, and then it would be ‘insignificant.'
  • The fact is that drilling in the Arctic Wildlife Refuge wouldn't yield any oil for 10 years--and then would only save the consumer 1.8 cents per gallon in 2025.
  • All told, the U.S. has only 1.6 percent of world's known oil supply.  But every day, Americans use nearly a quarter of the world's daily oil consumption.

The fact is, we can't drill our way to energy independence.

The New Direction Congress is working to bring real relief to those feeling the squeeze from high gas and diesel prices and ensure the needs of families and businesses are put before the interests of Big Oil companies. The American people deserve a more affordable, energy efficient, cleaner, greener future.

[i] Arizona = 113,635 square miles (Census); 1 square mile = 640 acres. 
[ii] Ohio = 40,948 square miles (Census); 1 square mile = 640 acres.
[iii] Colorado = 103,718 square miles (Census); 1 square mile = 640 acres.
[iv] Pennsylvania = 44,817 square miles (Census); 1 square mile = 640 acres.
[v] Kansas = 81,815 square miles (Census); 1 square mile = 640 acres.
[vi] Florida = 53,927 square miles (Census); 1 square mile = 640 acres.
[vii] Illinois = 55,584 square miles (Census); 1 square mile = 640 acres.