America’s reliance on foreign energy will grow by 19% over the next 20 years, expanding the transfer of US wealth to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) by more than $600 billion, according to a report by the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC). The two-year study broadly examined the social, economic, and environmental impacts of continued restrictions on developing America’s oil and gas resources.

“The study highlights the importance of developing our domestic petroleum resources in an environmentally responsible manner,” said Rich Moskowitz, American Trucking Associations (ATA) vice-president. “Continuing restrictions on the development of US energy resources will adversely impact our economic well-being and our national security.”

The study predicts the economic results of maintaining current restrictions on accessing America’s federally owned onshore and offshore energy resources. Results, when compared with the effects that could be expected from a reasonable energy policy on federal energy resources, will include:

  • Import costs for crude oil, petroleum products, and natural gas will be $1.6 trillion higher.
  • Imports from OPEC nations will be 4.1 billion barrels higher, resulting in increased payments to OPEC of $607 billion.
  • US crude oil production will be 9.9 billion barrels lower.
  • US natural gas production will be 46 trillion cubic feet less.
  • Energy-intensive industries will produce nearly 13 million fewer jobs.
  • Housing starts will be 200,000 fewer.
  • Annual average natural gas prices will be 17% higher.
  • Annual average electricity prices will be 5% higher.
  • Real disposable income will be $2.34 trillion less.
  • Energy costs to consumers will be $2.35 trillion higher.
  • Gross Domestic Product will be $2.36 trillion lower.

An executive summary of the report is available at www.truckline.com/Newsroom/Industry%20Documents/NARUC%20Study%20Exec%20Summary.pdf.