Offshore Energy Funds Conservation, Strengthens U.S. Economy
Posted November 7, 2019
Safe and responsible energy development drives economic growth and environmental progress, and by expanding exploration on federal lands and along the Outer Continental Shelf, the U.S. stands to generate billions of dollars in funding for infrastructure, education and conservation.
Last month, the Department of the Interior’s Office of Natural Resources Revenue released a report highlighting the energy industry’s reinvestment in America via royalties and revenues from federal natural gas and oil production on federal and tribal lands, which totaled $11.69 billion in 2019. States received $2.44 billion in disbursements, with New Mexico collecting $1.17 billion, and Wyoming and Louisiana receiving $641 and $101 million, respectively.
Every U.S. state and territory benefits from these revenues, which provide critical funding for public schools, roads and America’s largest federal conservation program: the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). LWCF grants have provided more than $4 billion for over 40,000 projects since 1965, supporting resource management, habitat restoration and outdoor recreation. In spite of these benefits, the House recently voted in favor of legislation to limit offshore energy development, jeopardizing future funding for conservation programs across the country.
With energy consumption expected to increase over the next few decades, production on federal lands and offshore areas is critical to maintaining a modern and sustainable energy mix, and it’s essential to financing the programs that enrich our communities and protect the environment. And given the growing demand for American energy around the world, it would be foolish not to capitalize on our homegrown resources for geopolitical purposes.
Every day, American families benefit from our domestic energy abundance, which contributed to fuel pump prices that were nearly one dollar lower in 2018 compared to 2012. Affordable energy, good-paying jobs and reliable conservation funding depend on access to natural gas and oil, and smart public policies will allow us to grow the economy and reinvest more in the things that matter most.
About The Author
Mike Sommers is the 15th chief executive of API since its founding nearly a century ago. Prior to coming to API, Mike led the American Investment Council, a trade association representing many of the nation’s leading private equity and growth capital firms and other business partners. He spent two decades in critical staff leadership positions in the U.S. House of Representatives and the White House, including chief of staff for then-House Speaker John Boehner. Mike is a native of Naperville, Illinois, and a graduate of the honors program at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Mike and Jill Sommers, a former commissioner at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, have three children and live in Alexandria, Virginia.
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