US lobbyist calls for permanent lift of offshore drilling ban



WASHINGTON — In advance of tomorrow’s House Natural Resources Committee hearing on “State Perspectives” of offshore drilling, the American Energy Alliance (AEA) will release a new study that reveals the extensive short-term and long-term economic benefits Americans stand to gain if Congress permanently lifts the moratoria on energy exploration and production in the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).

According to the AEA analysis, over the life of the production offshore, access to these vast resources would generate US$8 trillion in additional economic output (GDP); US$2.2 trillion in total tax receipts; 1.2 million new, well-paying jobs annually across the country; and US$70 billion in additional wages each year.

AEA President Thomas J. Pyle said, “Unlike the US$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 piggy bank.

“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. 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.

“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.

The American Energy Alliance (AEA) is a not-for-profit organization that engages in public policy advocacy and debate surrounding the function, operation, and government regulation of global energy markets. AEA, an independent affiliate of the Institute for Energy Research, works to educate and mobilize citizens around the idea that freely-functioning energy markets provide the most efficient and effective solutions to today’s global energy and environmental challenges.


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