Saturday, September 13, 2008

AAEA Opposes Expanded Offshore Oil Drilling

We believe the threat to our oceans and coastal areas is too great a risk to allow for oil drilling off the coasts of Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia and the gulf west of Florida. Moreover, there is no need to risk our invaluable ocean environments and beaches because there is plenty of oil from shale in the Rocky Mountains and from coal-to-liquids. As everyone acknowledges, America is the Saudi Arabia of coal. Now before the purists start barking, AAEA is promoting technology that can convert carbon dioxide from coal plants into gasoline [See CO2 to Gasoline].

However, if legislation is passed to expand offshore oil drilling, the Congressional Black Caucus should consider attaching a Reparations Amendment to the bill. The reparation should be in the form of federal land offerings of forty acres to eligible families, preferably in the oil shale and coal areas. Other lands could possibly be included through purchases by the Land and Water Conservation Fund. (More)

Created by Congress in 1964, the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) provides money to federal, state and local governments to purchase land, water and wetlands for the the benefit of all Americans. Land is bought from landowners at fair-market value (unless the owner chooses to offer the land as a donation or at a bargain price). The Fund receives money mostly from fees paid by companies drilling offshore for oil and gas. (USDA Forest Service)

The Minerals Management Service (MMS) disbursed more than $11.6 billion in revenue from royalties and leases in the 2007 fiscal year:
Recipient/ Disbursements (in milliions)

U.S. Treasury/ $6,715
State Share (onshore)/ 1,904
Reclamation Fund/ 1,470
Land & Water Conservation Fund/ 899
American Indian Tribes & Allottees/ 465
Historical Preservation Fund/ 150
State Share (offshore)/ 68

Note: Fiscal year ends Sept 30. Source: Interior Department, The Wall Street Journal, 9/11/08)

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