Increasing access to domestic resources will mean more jobs, more revenues to help cash-strapped local, state and federal governments and greater energy security. With our economy in trouble, we need to take action now.
- A recent ICF study found that developing areas of the Outer Continental Shelf currently unavailable for leasing could generate $1.3 trillion for federal, state and local governments to pay for essential services. Add onshore areas now unavailable for leasing, and revenue projections jump to $1.7 trillion.
- The same study found 160,000 jobs would be generated in 2030 if new offshore and onshore areas were open for development. Many would be exploration and production jobs, which pay more than double the national average.
- The study also found opening new OCS areas could lift domestic crude production by nearly 1 million barrels per day and natural gas production by 3 billion cubic feet per day. If new onshore areas also were opened, output could rise by as much as 2 million barrels a day in 2030, offsetting in total nearly a fifth of our nation’s oil imports.
A pattern seems to be emerging when it comes to developing America’s domestic oil and natural gas resources. It can be summed up in one word: Delay.
- Recent examples of delay include the Interior Department extending the comment period for the five-year offshore oil and natural gas lease plan and pushing back the second round of oil shale research and development leases, as well as Virginia’s governor seeking to delay the proposed lease sale off that state, scheduled for 2011.
- Every day we delay is another day that we are depriving Americans of the jobs that can be generated through development. It is another day that federal, state and local governments go without the enormous revenues oil and natural gas exploration generates. And it is another day that we outsource our energy security.
Americans support developing domestic oil and gas resources to benefit Americans.
- A recent poll shows that more than 60 percent of Americans support new offshore development.
The industry has an outstanding offshore environmental record, and offshore drilling can coexist with clean oceans and clean coasts.
- The U.S. OCS produces over 1 million barrels of oil per day. Since 1980, less than 0.001 percent of that has been spilled – far less than the oil released into the ocean from natural seeps.