Interior Secretary Cecil Andrus said yesterday his department is supplying the Justice Department information from Interior's probe of whether natural gas is being withheld from the market.
Asked if court action or possibly prosecution might follow if producers were found to be holding back supplies, Anrdus said "absolutely."
"The Justice Department is now sharing all the data that we have and will have in the future to give that guarantee to the American people," Anrdus said in an appearance on "Issues and Answers" (ABC, WMAL).
Andrus noted that some producers have been told their leases for offshore tracts will not be renewed until they produce a timetable for putting the areas into production, and that he has ordered producers on federal lands to increase their production.
On a variety of other topics Andrus said:
He believes President Carter still plan to decontrol natural gas prices over a period of four or five years.
Several water projects which the administration is considering deleting western drought this year or next even if built.
He personally favored better auto mileage performance rather than a big hike in the gasoline tax as a means to improve American fuel conservation habits. He said that using prices hikes to control consumption "would have a devastating impact" on consumers.