At a time when we need all of the energy we can find, increasing access to domestic sources of oil and natural gas would enhance our energy security. The United States has enough oil and natural gas resources to power 65 million cars for 60 years and heat 60 million households for 160 years. In fact, with increased access and U.S. State Department approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, 100 percent of America’s liquid fuel needs could be met by the United States and Canada. Energy security is attainable.
And that figure only accounts for areas where the industry has been able to fully explore. There could be even more oil and natural gas reserves in areas where the government has restricted access. Cutting-edge technologies also allow the industry to access resources previously thought unreachable.
For example, the U.S. Geological Survey estimates that the Bakken Formation of North Dakota and Montana has 4 billion barrels of undiscovered oil—25 times the original estimate in 1995. In the Gulf of Mexico, technological advances have increased government estimates from 9 billion barrels of oil in 1987, to 45 billion barrels in 2006. You can learn more about resources in your state by clicking on this interactive map.
Despite polls showing that the majority of Americans support increased access, many lawmakers are slowing, delaying or outright prohibiting resource development through a slow-permitting pace, burdensome tax increases and costly, redundant regulations.
These delays and proposals mean lost jobs, less energy to the market and less tax revenues for state and federal treasuries. Conversely, more access could create 1.4 million jobs, generate $765 billion in government revenue and provide an additional 10.3 million barrels of oil equivalent (BOE) by 2030. Learn more about Washington’s energy and budget choices here.