Proposals from GOP lawmakers to open nearly all federal lands and waters to oil-and-gas development would not generate much additional revenue, according to the Congressional Budget Office. CBO released an analysis on Thursday that said opening protected areas would generate a mere fraction of the revenue from existing oil-and-gas activity on federal land.
CBO calculated that “under current laws and policies, the government’s gross proceeds from all federal oil and gas leases on public lands will total about $150 billion over the next decade.”
CBO estimates that opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) would generate just $5 billion over the next decade. Drilling in protected waters in the Outer Continental Shelf would yield $2 billion over the same time period.
The federal government could raise far more revenue by cutting the mature fossil fuel industry’s $4 billion in tax breaks each year. Repealing oil and gas tax breaks would generate $40 billion over the next decade, compared to the $7 billion from the GOP’s drilling plan.
— Daniel J. Weiss and Jackie Weidman