Offshore oil rig at sunset

Opening the offshore Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) to oil and natural gas exploration could create nearly 280,000 jobs along the East Coast and across the country by 2035 according to Randall Luthi writing for the Richmond Times Dispatch. Luthi is President of the National Ocean Industries Association who cosponsored the study into Atlantic OCS energy production with the American Petroleum Institute.

Companies are predicted to add nearly $200 billion in additional investments, contributing up to $23 billion per year to the U.S. economy, including $17 billion to the Atlantic Coast states alone. Bonus bids, rents and royalties from offshore oil and gas leases could generate more than $50 billion in new revenue to state and federal treasuries. The added benefit is the addition of 1.3 million barrels of oil equivalent per day. That’s more than a million barrels of oil equivalent we wouldn’t need to import.

Luthi also says that individual states like Virginia could collect as much as $2 billion in taxes and royalties for the state treasury and as many as 25,000 jobs.

Read more about the study at