Energy Exploration Would Create Jobs and Raise Revenue without Raising Taxes
September 19, 2011
Increased access to America's energy would help lower energy prices, create jobs and bring revenue into the financially strapped government. Congress should require the government to provide a timely permitting process, as well as environmental and judicial review, and it should stop the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) regulatory train wreck by placing a freeze on new environmental regulations, says Nicolas Loris, a policy analyst with the Heritage Foundation.
Some of the sources of energy at the country's disposal include:
- Drilling onshore: Although oil and gas production increased in North Dakota in 2010 as a result of expanded horizontal drilling, overall production in the west has slowed significantly as a result of a stalled permitting process.
- Drilling offshore: At least 19 billion barrels of easily recoverable oil lie off the currently restricted Pacific and Atlantic coasts and the eastern Gulf of Mexico.
- Natural gas production: Although it will not help gasoline prices, natural gas in the United States is an important, plentiful source of energy, and increasing production can help meet rising energy demand, increase jobs and revenue, and drive economic growth.
The administration and Congress must take the following actions to start the wheels of job creation turning in the energy sector:
- Get moving on offshore and onshore permits.
- Open access and require lease sales when ready.
- Limit litigation.
- Place a freeze on new environmental regulations.
Allowing access for exploration and creating an efficient regulatory process that allows energy projects to move forward in a timely manner will not only increase revenue through more royalties, leases and rent, it will also create jobs and help lower energy prices in the process. These are sensible policy ideas with or without a debt crisis, but given the fiscal situation, this is a no-brainer.
Source: Nicolas Loris, "Energy Exploration Would Create Jobs and Raise Revenue Without Raising Taxes," Heritage Foundation, September 8, 2011.
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