Montana's Congressman, Denny Rehberg, responded to the decision by the Bureau of Land Management to suspend 61 Montana oil and gas leases issued in 2008. The leases were suspended, due to a lawsuit, until additional environmental reviews are completed. An economic analysis by Montana State University Billings concluded that oil and gas development has a total impact of more than $8.6 billion in Montana and supports more than 12,000 Montana jobs.
"Unfortunately, as is too often the case, our engines of economic growth are stalled by an alliance between powerful environmental special interest groups who file limitless lawsuits and Washington, D.C. bureaucrats. The longer we wait to start producing our own energy, the longer we'll be reliant on foreign sources. This is yet another attack on good-paying jobs in the West."
Rehberg has consistently been a champion for an all-of-the-above energy strategy, which includes increased domestic traditional energy production. As a member of the Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee, he recently criticized the Administration's decision to slash traditional energy programs by 20% in the President's budget. In the last month alone, he has strongly advocated for American jobs through increased offshore energy production, and a streamlined permitting process and has opposed increased taxes on oil and natural gas production. These increases would disproportionately affect independent producers, who supply 68 percent of American oil and 82 percent of American natural gas.