Statement by Taxpayers for Common Sense president Ms. Ryan Alexander on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee’s passage of legislation to open up sections of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas production to meet the Committee’s Budget Reconciliation Instructions to raise $1 billion in revenues.
“These lease sales will only raise a small fraction of the $1 billion figure taxpayers have been promised. By our calculation, it will be less than $200 million. A paltry sum compared to the $1.5 trillion added to the deficit if this moves forward with the larger tax package as envisioned. This is little more than a budget gimmick and a corporate giveaway of federal assets. It’s time to get serious about paying for tax reform instead of using reconciliation as a means to grant wishes to the oil and gas industry.
Drilling to pay down the deficit doesn’t work. As we detailed in a new report last month the oil and gas industry is sitting on more than 16,000 undeveloped leases across the country already. Tying up more federal land for industry when oil is cheap and plentiful makes little sense right now, and even less sense as a way to offset the massive tax package. Even under the more generous assumptions, drilling in the Arctic refuge will not get taxpayers even close to the purported $1 billion in revenues and instead could stick taxpayers will massive cleanup liabilities down the road.”