The Trump administration is one step closer to unlocking America’s vast offshore energy reserves.
The Department of the Interior recently issued a request for information on a five-year plan for leasing offshore federal areas to oil and gas developers. This is encouraging news, as America’s Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) is estimated to hold as much as 89 billion barrels of oil and 327 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. In terms of U.S. usage, that’s 12 years of oil and of gas alone.
President Obama’s five-year leasing plan allowed no new drilling in most of the country’s largest offshore regions. With today’s request for information, the Trump administration has begun the process of overhauling that ill-conceived plan so that Americans can reap the full rewards of our nation’s valuable energy resources.
Oil and gas development in the Atlantic OCS alone would create an estimated 280,000 free-market jobs, while generating $51 billion in new tax and royalty revenue.
Offshore energy projects along the Pacific coast would deliver even more substantial benefits. Unlocking the oil and natural gas resources in that region could add $28 billion to our economy each year, while creating 330,000 new (non-taxpayer-funded) jobs across the country.
The most obvious effect of this newfound energy abundance would be a significant reduction in energy costs for American families. This is precisely what happened when the widespread adoption of hydraulic fracturing sparked a domestic energy renaissance a decade ago.
Thanks to the surge in shale oil and gas production around the country, the average American household saw its annual energy spending drop by…
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