I don’t like the idea of offshore oil drilling. Didn’t much care for it before the BP fiasco down in the Gulf, and certainly didn’t become a fan of it afterward. I understand the allure of cheap domestically produced fuels, but if one really wanted to put America first … there would be a focus on energy production that is sustainable in the long term.
Companies bidding to drill on federal lands pay two dollars per acre. Probably a huge bargain, but not zero. Then there’s a royalty of 12.5% from their production (maybe 18% for offshore, it’s a little confusing because two different agencies control the on-shore and off-shore lease agreements). Again, probably a huge bargain … but the current royalty seems to have generated two billion dollars in revenue from offshore oil drilling alone. And, yeah, the government is already doing something with that money. But they are not doing anything with the money from drilling contracts that have not yet been made.
I propose our Legislature dedicates 90% off the proceeds from the new drilling contracts to (1) renewable energy research, (2) public utility renewable energy adoption, and (3) outfitting federal buildings with wind turbines, solar panels, or other renewable energy generation facilities as appropriate for the area. Buy American made solar panels and wind turbines. Hire American workers to install the things. Spur advancements so American made solar panels are incredibly more efficient than anyone else’s.
Yeah, we’ll probably destroy the ANWR in the process. But that’s going to happen either way. This would at least provide a viable long term solution and the short-term MORE OIL solution we’re getting anyway.