Bachmann gave opinion, not facts during energy tour

Rep. (Michele) Bachmann’s remarks about energy policy during her “two-day energy tour” and appearance on KSTP’s “At Issue” program may have been her opinion but they were not factual. She said that we need to open up federal lands for energy production, that nearly all of the energy production in the U.S. is now limited to privately owned land. According to the Bureau of Land Management, under the Obama administration 5,568 new leases on federal land were issued from 2009 through 2011. On Tom Hauser’s “At Issue” program, she stated that the U.S. has more oil than Saudi Arabia. According to official CIA reports on worldwide oil reserves, Saudi Arabia has 262,600,000,000 barrels. The U.S. is down the list with 20,680,000,000 barrels, considerably less. She also claims that the Obama administration has not issued drilling permits. Again, according to the Bureau of Land Management, under President Obama there were 4,487 oil-drilling permits approved, in 2010 there were 4,090 permits issued and by 2011 there were 4,244. According to EIA (Energy Information Agency) domestic oil production is at its highest point since 2003. Finally, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in the oil and gas extraction industry is reaching a 20-year high. Someone once said we are all entitled to our own opinion but not our own facts.  — Jennifer Tesdahl, Elk River