Oil and gas development is often touted as the economic driver of rural western communities, in spite of the important economic role of amenity-based development, which includes retirees, entrepreneurs, recreation, tourism, and hunting and fishing.
On June 24, 2010, House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Nick Rahall introduced the Consolidated Land, Energy, and Aquatic Resources Act (CLEAR Act). The Wilderness Society President Bill Meadows sent a letter to the Chairman supporting the legislation.
According to U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis 2009 data the drilling and production of oil and natural gas directly generates 799,100 jobs. The PDF file shows the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) ranking of industry jobs.
The oil and gas industry claims that the only way to address our country’s numerous energy issues is to open more public lands and waters to oil and natural gas drilling. What they don’t tell you is that drilling in America is already occurring at an astonishing pace and in a bewildering number of places. The facts below show that “more drilling” won’t solve America’s energy problems.
[A]n examination of the American tax code indicates that oil production is among the most heavily subsidized businesses, with tax breaks available at virtually every stage of the exploration and extraction process.
According to the most recent study by the Congressional Budget Office, released in 2005, capital investments like oil field leases and drilling equipment are taxed at an effective rate of 9 percent, significantly lower than the overall rate of 25 percent for businesses in general and lower than virtually any other industry.
Now the energy giant is back. It's among a handful of companies vying for the latest round of oil-shale leases on federal land in northwest Colorado. The companies want the right to mine for shale inside the tightly bound rock of the Piceance Basin.
Environmental groups have sued the feds to block the leases, citing Bureau of Land Management research documenting the lack of cost-effective and environmentally sound technology.
A handful of oily sand grabbed from a Louisiana wetland brought back some strong memories for Earl Kingik. As a traditional hunter and whaler in Alaska’s Arctic, it reminded him of the Exxon Valdez spill. As he and other tribal leaders toured the U.S. Gulf Coast for signs of the BP oil spill, they worried that what’s happening now in Louisiana could happen if offshore drilling proceeds off the Alaskan coast.