Oil companies say they can create 1.4 million new jobs and can generate $800 billion in government revenue and increase energy production. And they can do all that with no government stimulus.
All it takes is looser favorable government regulations. Oil companies want to be allowed to drill off the East and West Coasts, off Florida's Gulf Coast, in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, as well as federal public lands that are not national parks.
They also want approval to build new pipelines to Canadian oil sands, looser rules on shale gas development, and favorable tax policies.
But plenty of people oppose them. For instance, the oil industry's practices of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, injecting water combined with sand and chemicals deep into the earth to access shale gas, hit opposition in New York, according to CNNMoney. The state banned fracking but now says it will allow the practice under new tighter regulations.
In addition, environmentalists, saying using oil sands will increase global warming, oppose a planned expansion of a pipeline between the U.S. Gulf Coast and Canadian oil sands. The Florida tourism industry is against oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, saying oil spills will hurt tourism.
Drilling offshore or in environmental areas can be sensitive topic. Asked if he supports drilling in the Everglades, Florida Governor Rick Scott said, "We ought to be cautious," but latter clarified that drilling there is out of the question, according to the St. Petersburg Times.
Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann raised eyebrows when she said she'd open the Everglades to drilling.
Geologists say it wouldn't help anyway. "There is no known evidence that there is a significant hydrocarbon deposit beneath the Everglades," geologist Albert Hine told WTSP, a Tampa Bay station.
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