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Congressman Would Open More National Parks To Drilling

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There are some units of the National Park System that allow oil and gas drilling, but very few. And that's wrong, believes a congressman from Texas.

Republican Rep. Pete Olson said there are energy reserves scattered across the country that can't be tapped because they lie within the National Park System.

"Guys on the West Coast ... west of the Mississippi, they know they've got oil and gas under the land that they can't touch because it's on a national park or some sort of federal land," he told Platts, a media outlet that covers the energy sector.

Energy development already exists at places such as Alibates Flint Quarries National MonumentAztec Ruins National MonumentBig Cypress National PreserveBig Thicket National PreserveBig South Fork National River and Recreation AreaCuyahoga Valley National ParkFort Union Trading Post National Historic SiteGauley River National Recreation AreaLake Meredith National Recreation AreaNew River Gorge National RiverObed Wild and Scenic RiverPadre Island National Seashore, and Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve.

Rep. Olson, who made his comments while attending the Texas Independent Producers and Royalty Owners annual convention, believes companies can safely develop oil and gas resources on National Park System landscapes.

"Working with the parks system, without destroying the parks' value, we can do both. We've proven that we can do that here in Texas," he said.

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