The Department of the Interior mainly exists to manage federal lands, but Sec. Zinke has not limited his mission statement to only that work. After all, there is not much federal land in our region. About 46.4% of the land in the lower 48 states is federally owned. Most of that federal land is out west, though. For example, 79.6% of Nevada is federally owned. Appalachia has far less federal land. In fact, Pennsylvania is only 2.1% federal land. Ohio is only 1.2% federal, and West Virginia is 7.4% federal.
The Secretary still had plenty to talk about in Pittsburgh, though. He has been a Congressman and a Navy SEAL, so he has a bit more of an international focus than many of his predecessors. He talked about the importance of U.S. natural gas production in countering the power of dangerous energy-rich countries like Russia and Iran. He called liquefied natural gas exports the “big gun” that can help America’s allies like Japan and South Korea.
Both Sec. Zinke and others from the industry spoke about the challenges of constructing pipelines to take natural gas out of Pennsylvania. For example, the proposed Constitution Pipeline is supposed to take gas north out of Pennsylvania, but it has been stalled by the state of New York.
Though a lot of natural gas comes from federal lands, it is actually only a fairly small percentage of overall production, about 13% in 2014. In fact, that number has been dropping steadily as much of the shale boom has taken place on private or state-owned land. Securing leases to drill under private land in the Marcellus Shale formation is the focus of Cimmaron Land. Call us at (412) 212-7517 to learn about available opportunities.