WASHINGTON — The Institute for Energy Research supports the Department of the Interior’s proposal to open vast expanses of the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) to energy exploration. IER President Thomas J. Pyle has issued the following statement:

“The United States has at its feet stores of energy resources that could potentially remake world markets. The leadership of this administration is now moving us closer than we’ve ever been before to realizing our enormous energy production potential. Whereas the previous administration sought to keep resources out of our reach, President Trump and Secretary Zinke are putting our resources to work for us.”

“This Draft Proposed Program is just the first important step, so precise economic benefits are not available yet, but according to IER’s December 2015 study, the gains in total economic output which could accrue from the opening of these offshore areas are substantial.

“Mason’s work concludes that the opening of the Atlantic OCS, the Pacific OCS, ANWR, and the Eastern Gulf areas would result in an overall increase in economic output of $153 billion annually. Additions to employment also have the potential to be significant. Along with job creation in the energy sector, opening these areas to leasing will create jobs in ancillary industries that support the energy sector as well as seemingly-unrelated industries located in regions where oil and gas industry earnings make up a substantial share of local economic activity. In total, Mason estimates over half a million jobs could be added in the long run from opening the aforementioned areas.

“The United States is an energy superpower, but tapping into that potential requires a leasing program that opens new areas for exploration. This Draft Proposed Program gives us that opportunity.

“We’ve seen an energy renaissance over the last decade on state and private lands; now our executive branch is enabling enterprising companies to bring us a similar economic rejuvenation by opening up our taxpayer owned energy resources. The positive effect for industry, our economy, and families across this country could be monumental.”

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