Is the deficit fix right beneath our feet?
Nearly $130 trillion in oil and gas resources are buried under US government land, worth about 8 times our national debt. But tapping it isn't so easy.
A solution to the country's growing national debt sits right beneath Americans' feet, according to a report from the nonprofit Institute for Energy Research.
That's the $128 trillion in technically recoverable oil and gas resources below 41 million acres of federally owned land, according to the group, which advocates for "freely-functioning energy markets." The chief executive of the group is a former director of policy analysis at Enron.
The "federal government’s mineral estate land holdings surpass the total surface land area of the nation of Canada," according to the report. "These holdings, as we will see, are vastly underutilized."
Most of those below-ground assets are mineral and energy resources, such as oil and coal. Among those hidden deposits are 10.4 billion barrels of oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and 420 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in the continental shelf off the lower 48 states, the report notes.
Right now, the government leases only about 2% of federal offshore areas and 6% of onshore lands.
But tapping those resources isn't so easy.
For one, not all federally controlled lands are open to leasing, as noted by the Congressional Budget Office in a study last year.
Leasing is statutorily prohibited in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, for example, the CBO noted. It estimated that opening the land up to development would lead to about $5 billion in additional revenue over the next decade.
And opening the refuge and other wilderness areas to drilling and mining would undoubtedly spur a backlash from Americans who believe such areas should remain undisturbed by mining and other human activities.
One such group is the Defenders of Wildlife, a national nonprofit conservation organization that advocates protecting the area. According to its site, "the Arctic Refuge is under assault. The oil industry and its political allies continue to launch attacks to open this national treasure to destructive oil and gas drilling, while climate change threatens to disrupt its habitats faster than wildlife can adapt."
It's not as if U.S. taxpayers aren't already benefiting from minerals hidden under the country's federally owned land. Revenue from all oil and gas leases on public lands will amount to $150 billion over the next 10 years, according to the CBO.
With the Institute for Energy Research pushing for greater development, it may be taking the advice of oilman J. Paul Getty, who said, "The meek shall inherit the earth but not its mineral rights."
More on moneyNOW
Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom they hire and whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists, whose gifts and advice they can reject; to regulators, to whom they give the power to regulate and from whom they can take this power. Above all, do not let them con you into the belief that there exists disembodied mystical forces like "the economy," "inflation," or "politics" that prevent them from doing what they take an oath to do. Those 545 people and they alone, are responsible. They and they alone, have the power. They and they alone, should be held accountable by the people who are their bosses. Provided the voters have the gumption to manage their own employees... We should vote all of them out of office and clean up their mess!
Charlie Reese is a former columnist of the Orlando Sentinel Newspaper.
What you do with this article now that you have read it... is up to you.
This might be funny if it weren't so true.
Be sure to read all the way to the end:
Tax his land, Tax his bed, Tax the table, at which he's fed. Tax his tractor, Tax his mule, and teach him taxes are the rule.
Tax his work, Tax his pay, He works for peanuts anyway! Tax his cow, Tax his goat, Tax his pants, Tax his coat. Tax his ties, Tax his shirt, Tax his work, Tax his dirt. Tax his tobacco, Tax his drink, Tax him if he tries to think. Tax his cigars, Tax his beers, if he cries Tax his tears. Tax his car, Tax his gas, and find other ways to tax his ****. Tax all he has then let him know that you won't be done till he has no dough. When he screams and hollers; then tax him some more, tax him till he's good and sore. Then tax his coffin, Tax his grave, Tax the sod in which he's laid... Put these words upon his tomb, “Taxes drove me to my doom...”
When he's gone, do not relax, it’s time to apply the inheritance tax. Accounts Receivable Tax, Building Permit Tax, CDL license Tax, Cigarette Tax, Corporate Income Tax, Dog License Tax, Excise Taxes, Federal Income Tax, Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA), Fishing License Tax, Food License Tax, Fuel Permit Tax, Gasoline Tax (currently 44.75 cents per gallon), Gross Receipts Tax, Hunting License Tax, Inheritance Tax, Inventory Tax, IRS Interest Charges IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax), Liquor Tax, Luxury Taxes, Marriage License Tax, Medicare Tax, Personal Property Tax, Property Tax, Real Estate Tax, Service Charge Tax, Social Security Tax, Road Usage Tax, Recreational Vehicle Tax, Sales Tax, School Tax, State Income Tax, State Unemployment Tax (SUTA), Telephone Federal Excise Tax, Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax, Telephone Federal, State and Local Surcharge Taxes, Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax, Telephone Recurring and Nonrecurring Charges Tax, Telephone State and Local Tax, Telephone Usage Charge Tax, Utility Taxes, Vehicle License Registration Tax, Vehicle Sales Tax, Watercraft Registration Tax, Well Permit Tax, Workers Compensation Tax.
STILL THINK THIS IS FUNNY?
Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago, & our nation was the most prosperous in the world. We had absolutely no national debt, had the largest middle class in the world, and Mom stayed home to raise the kids. What in the heck happened? Can you spell 'Politicians?' I hope this goes around THE USA at least 545 times!!! YOU can help it get there!!!
SEND THIS TO EVERYONE YOU KNOW
Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them.
Have you ever wondered if both the Democrats and the Republicans are against deficits, WHY do we have deficits? Have you ever wondered if all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes, WHY do we have inflation and high taxes? You and I don't propose a federal budget. The President does. You and I don't have the Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations. The House of Representatives does. You and I don't write the tax code, Congress does. You and I don't set fiscal policy, Congress does. You and I don't control monetary policy, the Federal Reserve Bank does. One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one President, and nine Supreme Court justices equates to 545 human beings out of the 300 million are directly, legally, morally, and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country. I excluded the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that problem was created by the Congress. In 1913, Congress delegated its Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered, but private, central bank. I excluded all the special interests and lobbyists for a sound reason. They have no legal authority. They have no ability to coerce a senator, a congressman, or a President to do one cotton-picking thing. I don't care if they offer a politician $1 million dollars in cash. The politician has the power to accept or reject it. No matter what the lobbyist promises, it is the legislator's responsibility to determine how he votes. Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con regardless of party. What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount of gall. No normal human being would have the gall of a Speaker, who stood up and criticized the President for creating deficits… (The President can only propose a budget. He cannot force the Congress to accept it.) The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating and approving appropriations and taxes. Who is the speaker of the House? (John Boehner. He is the leader of the majority party. He and fellow House members, not the President, can approve any budget they want. ) If the President vetoes it, they can pass it over his veto if they agree to. [The House has passed a budget but the Senate has not approved a budget in over three years. The President's proposed budgets have gotten almost unanimous rejections in the Senate in that time. It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 300 million cannot replace 545 people who stand convicted -- by present facts -- of incompetence and irresponsibility. I can't think of a single domestic problem that is not traceable directly to those 545 people. When you fully grasp the plain truth that 545 people exercise the power of the federal government, then it must follow that what exists is what they want to exist. If the tax code is unfair, it's because they want it unfair. If the budget is in the red, it's because they want it in the red. If the Army & Marines is in Iraq and Afghanistan it's because they want them in Iraq and Afghanistan … If they do not receive social security but are on an elite retirement plan not available to the people, it's because they want it that way. There are no insoluble government problems.
This should be on the front page of every newspaper.
Charley Reese's final column for the Orlando Sentinel... He has been a journalist for 49 years. He is retiring and this is HIS LAST COLUMN. COMPLETELY NEUTRAL
This is about as clear and easy to understand as it can be. The article below is completely neutral, neither anti-Republican, nor Democrat. Charlie Reese, a retired reporter for the Orlando Sentinel, has hit the nail directly on the head, defining clearly who it is that in the final analysis must assume responsibility for the judgments made that impact each one of us every day. It's a short but good read. Worth the time, worth remembering!
545 vs. 300,000,000 People
Read follow up post!!
We need to decide whether we wish to preserve the last of the species we haven't destroyed or just keep running through oil until it's gone along with the species who live near it.
No fracking, oil, natural gas or pipe lines in the lower 48 are in the Artic Refuge, go somewhere else and destroy your childrens future. The takers have their greedy eyes on prestine lands and clean water, we do not want the takers near our lands and will fight tooth and nail to stop them..the people are tired of gas in their drinking water and oil in their rivers and aquafiers..
IF THEY WOULD CONTROL SPENDING, THERE WOULD NOT BE A DEFECIT.
BUT THE POLITICIANS DO NOT WANT TO GIVE UP ANYTHING THAT BENEFITS THEM.
WHY IS EVERYTHING BASED ON OIL AND GAS, THERE ARE OTHER ALTERNATIVES BUT THE POLITICIANS WON'T MAKE AS MUCH ON THEM.
THEY DON'T CARE ABOUT US, AND IT DID NOTTAKE MUCH TO FIGURE THAT OUT.
Im hoping our strategy is to wait until the rest of the world says "were out" and we go "oh, looks like we had our own all along, $500/bbl, kthxbye" but I doubt there will be much of an America left, were stupid enough to sell the land to china at this point.
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
- Dec gold declined for a fifth consecutive session as economic data this morning showed that the initial claims level fell to 298K from an upwardly revised 312K. The Briefing.com consensus expected a decline to 308K. The yellow metal fell as low as $1273.40 per ounce, its lowest level since June. Unable to gain buying support, it settled with a 1.5% loss at $1275.20 per ounce.
- Sep silver also chopped around in negative territory and touched a session low of $19.32 ... More
More Market News
Wall Street traders can be shady, Michael Franzese says. Don't let them decide where to put your money.
MUST-SEE ON MSN
- Video: Easy DIY smoked meats at home
A charcuterie master shares his process for cold-smoking meat at home.
- Jetpacks about to go mainstream
- Weird things covered by home insurance
- Bing: 70 percent of adults report 'digital eye strain'