This article was originally posted on June 29, 2016 in OneNewsNow.
According to Kathleen Harnett White of Texas Public Policy Foundation, trillions of dollars' worth of oil and gas can be found on federal lands – lands the Obama administration and others want to protect for humans and animals. Harnett White says royalties and revenues could go toward a lot of things, maybe even to pay down the national debt.
"Its value is enormous and it's going to provide a very accessible resource for decades to come," she says.
Many people on the right tend to agree with Harnett White, co-author of the new book Fueling Freedom. Even so, OneNewsNow does ask whether oil and gas companies would be interested. It would seem that new or expanded production on federal lands would increase the amount of oil and gas on the global market and potentially drive prices lower.
"For the short term, I agree with you and that's a really good insight," Hartnett White responds. "The whole global oil market and certainly the domestic market is in a bad way now because of too much in the supply. But over time, the demand kind of grows in almost an exponential way."
Harnett White points to growing populations in India, China and even the United States as reasons for increasing oil and gas demand.
People who argue that manmade climate change is real, it's bad, and it's going to get worse want less fossil fuels. They favor alternative technologies like solar and wind power. Skeptics, of course, argue the opposite – that it's not real, it's not a "big deal," and poor countries will bear the economic brunt if fossil fuels are replaced with more expensive technologies.
In the meantime, Harnett White says she's willing to "bet on this country."
"We're the most efficient producers, we're the most environmentally sensitive producers of oil and gas, we have developed and created technology that gave us access to all this shale oil and gas, which created what is a temporary glut in supply," she tells OneNewsNow.