U.S. Can Add More Than 1 Million Jobs by Permanently Lifting Offshore Drilling Ban
According to a new study by the American Energy Alliance (AEA), the United States stands to gain both short and long-term economic benefits if Congress were to permanently lift the moratoria on energy exploration and production in the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).
The not-for-profit organization is set to release their study in advance of tomorrow’s House Natural Resources Committee hearing on “State Perspectives” of offshore drilling.
“With more than 85 billion barrels of recoverable oil and over 440 trillion cubic feet of natural gas located right off our shores, exploration in the OCS stands to contribute $273 billion annually to the national economy,” said AEA President Thomas J. Pyle. “That’s good news, especially for the 46 states that now face a combined $350 billion budget shortfall for the next three fiscal years. Economic relief wouldn’t end there — America would sustain approximately 1.2 million well-paying jobs each year over the life of production.”
The organization also placed a full-page advertisement in the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call, squarely targeting lawmakers opposed to expanding offshore energy production.
he ad, featuring four identical pictures of a clear ocean horizon as seen from the shore, shows that beautiful beaches and prosperous offshore energy projects—even those as close as 12 miles from shore – can successfully coexist.
The AEA is trying to document the immense effect the plan would have on the stumbling U.S. economy which continues to shed jobs.
“Reports estimate that 3,000,000 more American workers will lose their jobs in 2009. This nation cannot afford to allow Congress to pass up the opportunity to tap into the OCS and its rich energy resources,” said Mr. Pyle. “Unlike the $790 billion stimulus package lawmakers just passed, increased offshore activity would fuel our economy without squandering taxpayer funds. In fact, oil and gas is one of the U.S.’s only industries in a position to put money into, rather than take money out of, the government’s piggybank.”
According to the analysis, over the life of the production offshore, access to these vast resources would generate:
- $8 trillion in additional economic output (GDP);
- $2.2 trillion in total tax receipts;
- 1.2 million new, well-paying jobs annually across the country; and
- $70 billion in additional wages each year.
Reducing reliance on foreign oil from unstable regimes is also a key selling point of the proposal.
“While about 70 percent of Americans — and almost 50 percent of Obama supporters — spent the past year asking candidates to allow domestic oil and gas drilling in areas formerly deemed ‘off limits’, the fight for access to these natural resources is not yet over,” Plye continued. “Unfortunately, there’s growing evidence that restricting OCS access will be one of first priorities of the 111th Congress.”
“From where most Americans stand on offshore drilling, the view is great: new revenues, better jobs, a stronger economy and a more secure energy future. And after seeing AEA’s ad, hopefully Congress will get the picture too.”