Position Paper that takes to task a Wilderness Society report on
recoverable resources in the Western United States has been approved
by the AAPG Executive Committee.
Kumar, chair of the Committee on Resource Evaluation, said then-AAPG
president-elect Steve Sonnenberg asked the committee at the 2002
mid-year meeting in Denver to investigate a possible response to
the report, which asserted that the resources "under the roadless
areas and monuments is extremely small relative to U.S. demand."
under the primary authorship of Lance Cook, of the University of
Wyoming (now with XTO Energy of Fort Worth), underwent multiple
revisions and was approved by the full committee at the recent annual
meeting in Dallas.
Paper states that AAPG finds that the scientific, economic and business
assumptions on which the Wilderness Society's report on "Energy
and Western Wildlands" is based, are unjustified.
prices for oil and gas continually fluctuate, technologically recoverable
resources may be economic or uneconomic as market forces dictate,
the paper states. However, as technology reduces the cost of extracting
previously non-economic resources, the overall trend during the
next few decades is likely to be the reclassification of technically
recoverable, uneconomic resources of today into the economic resources
of the future.
on the development of resources from our public lands are decisions
about the long-term stewardship of these regions, the paper continues.
These decisions should not be made primarily on the basis of what
factors exist during any given month or year. They should be managed
for a time frame of decades on the basis of scientific considerations.
To do otherwise
will likely act to foreclose future options that the nation would
otherwise have for developing energy supply in an environmentally
sound manner at reasonable prices.
examines in detail the nature of these assumptions and illustrates
that use of the Wilderness Society's method and its conclusions
would not be in the nation's best interests.
text of the paper