Sep 12, 2016 - 9:00am

What If Our Energy Stayed In the Ground?


President and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

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An oil rig worker in the Permian basin outside of Midland, Texas.
An oil rig worker in the Permian basin outside of Midland, Texas.
An oil rig worker in the Permian basin outside of Midland, Texas.

We’ve heard lots of rhetoric during this campaign from anti-energy candidates and “Keep It in the Ground” activists about their desire to restrict or even ban oil, gas, and coal production on federal lands and waters. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce wondered what would happen if they got their way. And the results aren’t pretty.

A new report from the Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy titled “What If Energy Production Was Banned on Federal Lands and Waters?” found that banning energy development on federal lands would cost the United States $11.3 billion in annual royalties, 380,000 jobs, and $70 billion in annual GDP. Nearly 25% of America’s oil, natural gas, and coal production would grind to a halt.

It would be particularly devastating to energy-producing states out west and in the Gulf of Mexico region. For instance, Wyoming would lose $900 million in annual royalty collections—which represents 20% of the state’s annual expenditures.

New Mexico would lose $500 million—8% of the state’s total General Fund revenues. Colorado would lose 50,000 jobs. The Gulf States, including Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, would see 110,000 fewer jobs.


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About the Author

About the Author

Thomas J. Donahue
President and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Thomas J. Donohue is president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.