“Below the ground, the federal government owns the rights to mineral and energy leases, from which they receive royalties, rents, and bonus payment,” writes the Institute for Energy Research, an industry group.
According to their estimates, those assets are worth $128 trillion. That’s around eight times the national debt.
Here’s their map. Green=Bureau of Land Management, Orange=Indian reservations, Blue=other:
These resources could be leased under the right government policies to earn the state and national government royalties, rents, and bonus payments that CBO conservatively estimates could total almost $150 billion over 10 years for the oil and gas leases alone. That figure excludes tax payments that would be provided to state and national governments from the direct and indirect effects of unleashing tens of trillions of dollars of economic activity here in the United States and the extended benefits of more supplies on reducing the costs of energy for consumers and businesses.
“It is well known that abundant, reliable and affordable energy supplies act as fertiliser for economic growth that in turn generates new revenue sources,” they write. “It is time to better utilise government assets owned by the U.S. taxpayer, and in turn, unleash the U.S. economy’s potential.”
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