Monday, October 05, 2009

REJECTED: High Court Denies Government Request to Hear Offshore Royalty Case

Washington, DC – Thomas J. Pyle, president of the Institute for Energy Research (IER), issued the following statement today on news that the Supreme Court has rejected an Interior Department request to reconsider a lower court ruling regarding oil and gas leases in the Gulf of Mexico:

“It doesn’t take an advanced legal mind to interpret what Congress meant in the Deep Water Royalty Relief Act – it’s right there in black and white. Unfortunately, now that this case has officially come to a close, it will likely be used by those who oppose responsible energy development as a cudgel to beat Congress into passing bad legislation that would otherwise have no legitimate place in the energy debate.

“Make no mistake. Oil and gas revenues from federal lands and waters contributed more than $23 billion dollars to the Treasury in 2008 – making this the single largest revenue raiser after federal income tax receipts. And with scarcely three percent of the outer continental shelf currently leased for energy exploration, it’s fair to say we haven’t even scratched the surface of what could be a multi-trillion-dollar resource.

“Today’s court ruling represents a clear victory for the rule of law, and an unambiguous rebuke to those in the administration who believe they have the unilateral power to make law, instead of the faithful obligation to enforce it.”

Note: According to an economic analysis commissioned by the American Energy Alliance, robust offshore energy exploration and production would generate $8 trillion in additional economic output (GDP); $2.2 trillion in total tax receipts; 1.2 million new, well-paying jobs annually across the country; and $70 billion in additional wages each year.