A Pro-Growth Plan of Action for Jobs, Competitiveness, Freedom and Opportunity for Virginia
Unleashing America’s Plentiful Energy Resources and Creativity (American Energy Freedom Act)
The good news is that America has the most plentiful energy resources of any country in the world. U.S. reserves plus technically recoverable oil, gas, and coal amount to 1,320 billion barrels of oil equivalent (BOE) – ahead of Russia, Saudi Arabia, and China. And American ingenuity has traditionally led the way for new and expanded global energy resources.
Yet our dependence on foreign oil is greater today than it was in the days of the gas lines under President Jimmy Carter. Washington persists in holding America’s energy resources “off limits,” even as energy prices soar. Gasoline prices have more than doubled since President Obama came into office – creating real hardships for Virginia families and businesses as the price for transportation, food, and just about everything else rises.
It is time for America to take control of its energy destiny. Following the Blueprint to reverse current counterproductive energy policies and unleash our energy resources not only will put America on a path toward energy freedom, it has the potential to create two million or more new jobs, add over one trillion dollars to the revenue side of the Treasury’s balance sheet without raising taxes, promote national security and help preserve our quality of life.
- Embrace conservation, innovation, teleworking, and more efficient equipment and building designs to save money and waste less energy. Apply American ingenuity to bring to market affordable alternative or renewable sources of energy. A good place to start conserving is the federal government. The nation’s single largest user of energy spends over $7 billion on energy just to operate federal buildings. There is also great promise in emerging technologies. Nanotechnologies, for example has the potential to enhance energy efficiency across all branches of industry as well as to offer technological solutions to help economically leverage renewables and alternatives such as solar photovoltaics and batteries.
- Remove the self-imposed barriers to producing energy from American resources. Not only could America replace imports with more of our own energy, we could also be creating new jobs and adding revenues to our Treasury without raising taxes. As many as 1.2 million long-term and good-paying American jobs could be created by opening the offshore areas currently closed to energy exploration, with the potential to add $2.1 trillion to the Treasury.
- End the de facto moratorium on production permits in the Gulf of Mexico. 2011 marks the first year since 1958 that the federal government will not have held an offshore lease sale. By the Administration’s own estimates, the moratorium in the Gulf cost the region 20,000 jobs through September 2010, and permitting remains slow. Rigs are leaving the Gulf for foreign shores, taking with them thousands of jobs
- Empower Virginia and other willing coastal States to take the initiative to safely explore the energy resources off their coasts and incentivize them by sharing the revenue. Virginia has been trying for six years to move forward with exploration of its energy resources (the Obama Administration ended the process of lease sales for exploration off Virginia’s coast in May 2010). Virginia’s offshore resources could create up to 2,578 jobs on an annual basis, increase capital investments by $7.84 billion, create $644 million in direct and indirect payroll, and result in $271 million in state and local revenue.
- Support onshore development, including shale natural gas and coal-bed methane. These unconventional gas sources are good examples of how new discoveries and technology are positively changing the energy map.
- Take advantage of onshore natural gas, oil and coal reserves in Alaska and throughout America, from the Appalachians to the West. ANWR alone could bring in $6 billion for lease payments in the first ten years; over the next 30 years, at oil prices of $100 a barrel, between $84 billion and $237 billion in royalties and tax revenue would be generated. Instead, America has been going in reverse. Over the last two years (2008 to 2010) revenue from onshore federal royalties, rents, and bonuses declined from $4.2 billion to $2.8 billion, a 33% decrease.
- Encourage technologies that will continue to advance the use of coal to generate clean, affordable electricity as well as the proven technology of coal-to-liquid fuels.Pilot projects in Indiana, North Dakota, Montana and West Virginia could put the U.S. at the forefront of this promising source of coal-based fuel.
- Remove outdated regulatory barriers to allow the next generation of safer, more efficient advanced nuclear power. The federal government should allow spent nuclear fuel reprocessing and recycling, and safe production methods of nuclear power.