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Offshore drilling plan could produce $590 billion for U.S.

Staff Writer |
Nearly $600 billion could be added to the domestic economy within 20 years by President Donald Trump's plan to expand coastal oil and natural gas drilling, an industry report said.

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Studies of four regions by Calash and Northern Economics and released by the American Petroleum Institute indicate the Atlantic region could have up to $260 billion in increased economic potential - $160 billion in the Pacific region, $118 billion in the Gulf of Mexico and $60 billion near Alaska.

The development refers to drilling on the outer Continental Shelf, where the search for oil and national gas resources are currently restricted.

Trump's plan to open the areas to drilling was announced in January and involves 19 lease sales off Alaska's coast, seven in the Pacific, 12 in the Gulf of Mexico and nine in the Atlantic. It has been controversial, with bipartisan opposition from legislators in states that border the proposed drilling areas.

Legislators and environmental groups say that drilling would harm tourism and fishing, and worsen effects of climate change.

The API reports were released on the final day of public comment on Trump's drilling plans.

Oceana, a conservation organization, said in its own report this week the federal plan threatens 2.6 million jobs and nearly $180 billion in economic activity in coastal communities.

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