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Western Energy Alliance to discuss oil and natural gas development with state policymakers

Western Energy Alliance, formerly the Independent Petroleum Association of Mountain States (IPAMS), will meet with policymakers in Salt Lake City this week, stressing the essential role oil and natural gas development plays in advancing Utah's economic and renewable energy goals.

Western Energy Alliance members will discuss Utah's vast energy resources and how federal policies such as permitting delays, arbitrary impediments to project approvals, failure to issue leases, and lease cancellations are putting at risk thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in government revenue. Western Energy Alliance will present to the Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environment Interim Committee on Wednesday, October 20, 2010 at 9:00 a.m. in the Senate Building, Room 210.

"Federal land policies are stifling oil and gas activity and preventing $1.8 billion of investment and about 7,500 associated jobs in Utah," said Lowell Braxton, Western Energy Alliance's Utah representative.

"In tough economic times, the federal government should not serve as an obstacle to significant job creation, especially since oil and natural gas exploration and production jobs carry an $84,795 average annual salary compared to the state average of $39,220," continued Braxton. "Industry also funds schools, public safety, and roads to the tune of $346.1 million annually. With the state facing severe budget deficits, that's a lot of funding put at risk by adverse federal policies."

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