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Alabama’s Gulf Coast Offers a Treasure Trove of Offshore Oil

Oil rig off the Gulf coast (Photo: Flickr)

As reported by WKRG News, the U.S. government has plans to capitalize on the massive oil deposits resting below the Gulf of Mexico. As part of that plan, the Bureau of Energy Management (BOEM) released a detailed development proposal yesterday that outlined the lease of over 76 million acres of oil and gas exploration.

The current proposal is the largest in history. According to data released by the BOEM, areas off the coast of Alabama, Florida, and Mississippi are estimated to hold 90 billion barrels of oil and 327 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

Touching on President Trump’s plan to make the United States energy dominant, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke said, “In today’s low-price energy environment, providing the offshore industry access to the maximum amount of opportunities possible is part of our strategy to spur local and regional economic dynamism and job creation and a pillar of President Trump’s plan to make the United States energy dominant. And the economic terms proposed for this sale include a range of incentives to encourage diligent development and ensure a fair return to taxpayers.”

Until now, last year saw the most extensive oil and gas lease offering. The current proposal surpasses last years by 1 million acres. Should the proposal be approved, new drilling could take place as close as three miles from the shore.

Following the news from the BOEM, Congressman Bradley Byrne released a statement of support which said, “I applaud Secretary Zinke and the Department of Interior for their efforts to spur energy production and support communities along the Gulf Coast. Revenue from these leases will be a huge boost for Gulf states, like Alabama, and will help us continue conservation and preservation of our treasured coastal areas. Through developments like this, we can ensure American energy dominance and make life better for Gulf Coast families.”

Revenue from the oil belongs to the U.S. Treasury, Gulf Coast states, the Land and Water Conservation Fund and the Historic Preservation Fund.