WASHINGTON – Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) today lauded the agreement between federal regulators and the global company Anadarko that will pave the way for the development of 3,675 natural gas wells and the creation of more than 2,500 jobs in eastern Utah’s Uintah Basin.
“This agreement has the potential to help wean our nation off its dependence on foreign oil while creating thousands of high-paying jobs for Utahns and bringing millions of dollars in revenue and royalties into our state coffers,” said Hatch, who encouraged the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reach agreement on the project proposed for 163,000 acres in the Greater Natural Buttes field.
“With gasoline now reaching four dollars a gallon, it is critical to develop cheaper alternatives such as natural gas that burn cleaner, lead to more jobs, strengthen our economy and ease the pain at the pumps for Utahns,” Hatch added. “Utah’s natural gas reserves are enormous and, if responsibly developed, could become an important economic engine that will drive eastern Utah’s economy for decades.”
The agreement announced today effectively ends the EPA’s threat to shut down Anadarko’s development over winter ozone levels. A worldwide natural gas production company, Anadarko currently has more than $600 million invested in the Uintah Basin and is expected to spend another $11.7 billion over the life of the new project and generate 2,500 jobs during the peak construction phase.
Hatch said the project will pump hundreds of millions of dollars per year into the Uintah Basin. He also lauded Utah Gov. Gary Herbert for his work, saying he played a critical role in facilitating the agreement.
“My only regret is that Utah is not in control of the land because the state could do a much better job managing the project and be much more responsive to local needs than the federal government,” Hatch concluded.