New Energy Institute Report Holds Politicians Accountable for Calls to Ban Energy Production on Federal Lands and Waters

Press Release
August 23, 2016

‘Energy Accountability Series’ Analyzes Impacts of Policy Proposals 

DENVER—The first report in the Energy Institute’s Energy Accountability Series finds that proposals from Hillary Clinton and other politicians to ban oil, gas, and coal production on federal lands and waters would cost America hundreds of thousands of jobs and billions in revenue.

The Energy Accountability Series takes a substantive look at what would happen if energy proposals from candidates and interest groups were actually adopted. Over the past year, a growing number of politicians and interest groups—and the Democratic Party itself—have called for an end to oil, natural gas and coal extraction from federal lands and offshore waters.  That concept is the basis of the “Keep it in the Ground Act,” a House bill with over 20 cosponsors.

If these policies were to be enacted, the Energy Institute’s new report found that it will cost the U.S. $11.3 billion in annual royalties lost, 380,000 jobs, and $70 billion in annual GDP.  25% of America’s oil, natural gas and coal production would be halted.

“American voters deserve to understand the real-world impacts of the proposals that candidates and their allies make,” said Karen Harbert, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy.  “In an effort to appeal to the ‘keep it in the ground’ movement, a number of prominent politicians have proposed ending energy production on federal lands, onshore and off. Their proposals will have a direct, harmful effect on the American economy, and in particular decimate several states that rely heavily on revenues from federal land production. Given the implications, these policy proposals should not be taken lightly.”

Certain states and regions would be disproportionately affected by a cessation on federal-lands energy development. The report provides specific analysis for several of these states. For instance, Wyoming would lose $900 million in annual royalty collections—which represents 20 percent of the state’s annual expenditures. New Mexico could lose $500 million—8 percent of the state’s total General Fund Revenues. Colorado would see the loss of 50,000 jobs, while the Gulf States (Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama) would see 110,000 fewer jobs.

“Since 2010, the share of energy production on federal lands has dipped because of increasing regulatory hurdles from the Obama administration,” said Harbert.  “Nevertheless, production on federal lands and waters still accounts for a quarter of all oil, natural gas, and coal produced. If that were to end, it would hit Western and Gulf Coast states particularly hard, and could result in production moving overseas, which would harm our national security and impact prices.”

The Energy Institute’s report provides two scenarios. The first examines the economic output that would be lost or placed at risk if energy development was immediately stopped on all federal acreage.  The second scenario analyzes the cumulative impacts of immediately ceasing new leasing while leaving existing leases in place. While the above-mentioned figures apply to scenario 1, scenario 2 also has major impacts, with $6 billion in lost revenues over the next 15 years, and nearly 270,000 impacted jobs.

The report utilizes publically available data on jobs, royalties, and production levels and the IMPLAN macro-economic model. A Technical Appendix to the report explains the methodology and sources of data.

The mission of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Institute for 21st Century Energy is to unify policymakers, regulators, business leaders, and the American public behind a common sense energy strategy to help keep America secure, prosperous, and clean. Through policy development, education, and advocacy, the Institute is building support for meaningful action at the local, state, national, and international levels.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world's largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.