Study claims gov’t underestimated the benefits of opening federal lands to drilling

States and local governments would see huge gains in tax revenues as well — $10.3 billion annually over the next seven years and $35.5 billion annually after that.

Tax revenues are only tip of the iceberg, according to the IER study, as drilling would increase the size of the economy by $14.4 trillion over the next thirty-seven years — $127 billion per year for the next seven years, and the economy would grow $450 billion annually after that. This includes “spill-over” effects from economic gains in one area spilling over into another.

The study also found that there would be job growth from opening more federal lands, including 2 million new jobs over the next thirty years — with 552,000 being created annually in the next seven years. According to the study, many of these jobs gains would be seen in high-wage and high-skill occupations like health care and education. Wage increases would total $3.7 trillion over the next thirty-seven years, with $32 billion in annual wage increases during the first seven years.

“Continuing to downplay the reality of the economic value of these resources just ignominiously prevents the intelligent debate of the energy industry’s place in the U.S. economy, detracting from real solutions to energy policies, including both energy independence and energy conservation,” Mason said.

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