WASHINGTON — IER President Thomas Pyle sent a letter today to House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan as his committee crafts its FY2015 budget. In the letter, Pyle cites IER’s study “Beyond the Congressional Budget Office” and urges Chairman Ryan to once again include the economic benefits of expanding energy development on federal lands in his next budget. Below is an excerpt from the letter:
Energy is a primary driver of economic growth that impacts all sectors of the economy. In fact, if we increase our leasing activity on federal lands, more than one-third of projected job gains in the first seven years will occur in professional fields like health care, real estate, finance, the arts, information, and management. Another six percent of job gains will come from manufacturing.
The federal government’s land leasing policies are unnecessarily holding the country back. The Administration was quick to claim that the government shutdown last October would lead to delays in processing leasing permits. However, a close look at the data shows that a 16-day shutdown is hardly the problem. Even prior to the shutdown, the average approval time for a permit to drill on federal land is 228 days compared to only 5 days when applying for a state land lease in Texas. This “permatorium” has led to a 15 percent drop in oil and natural gas production on federal lands since 2010. At the same time, natural gas and crude oil production on state and private lands have increased about 15 and 33 percent, respectively. The federal government can learn a lot from states like Texas and North Dakota, who are striking the right balance towards ensuring the health, welfare, and economic well being of its citizens.
With the U.S. national debt exceeding $17.5 trillion dollars and workers wages continuing to fall, it is imperative that Congress pursue a more solvent fiscal trajectory that eliminates all failing or wasteful programs, like the Wind Production Tax Credit, and replace them with policies the increase revenues while at the same time reducing the financial burden on American households.
To read the full letter, click here.
To read IER’s study “Beyond the Congressional Budget Office”, click here.
To read the executive summary of IER’s study, click here.