Billion-dollar oil, gas sale can generate 'big interest' in US energy: Interior Secretary

Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke on Monday touted the Trump administration’s America First Energy Plan after the Bureau of Land Management’s oil and gas lease sale in New Mexico shattered records by generating nearly $1 billion.

“I had said we would be the No. 1 oil and gas producer in the world by the third and fourth quarter -- we made it last week,” Zinke told FOX Business’ Charles Payne on “Varney & Co.” “The United States is the largest producer of oil and gas in the world.”

According to Zinke, the U.S. produces a “little over” 11 million barrels of oil per day, but has the potential to hit 14 million barrels. In his opinion, producing energy on domestic soil lays a better foundation for America’s future.

“We have an offshore lease in the East Coast. We are looking at the largest offshore lease,” he said. “Basically I don’t ever want to be held hostage by a foreign entity over energy needs. I don’t want to send your kids or my kids on foreign shores to fight for energy and environmentally, it is best to produce energy in this country under reasonable regulation than watching it produced overseas with no regulation.”

Zinke added that the administration's energy policy is boosting the U.S. economy. He also said that critics are falsely claiming that there is no interest in federal oil and gas leases.

“We are running on full-octane, no pun intended,” he said. “The driver in the economy is affordable, abundant and reliable energy -- all of the above -- but certainly an energy revolution,” he said.  “And those doubters are saying, ‘Well there’s no interest on federal lands on energy.’ If we do it right — big interest.”