Infrastructure projects that don't cost the taxpayer

Stephen Moore:
Back in early 2015 oil and gas company Conoco-Phillips requested a permit from the Obama administration to launch an oil drilling project in Alaska. The energy project, called the Greater Moose’s Tooth Development, is located within the National Petroleum Reserve and would create thousands of jobs in an economically depressed area of the state. The project has the full approval of the local community, and poses little threat to the environment in a sparsely populated region.

It is a multi-billion dollar jobs and infrastructure project with roads and housing and pipelines. It won’t cost the federal taxpayers a penny to build. In fact the royalties from the project will likely raise hundreds of millions of tax dollars for the federal government and the state.

A no-brainer, right? Not exactly. For years the Obama administration has tangled up the project in regulatory red tape. “We are ready to break ground on day one after we get the permit,” a frustrated Connoco-Phillips vice president John Dabbar tells me. “We’re going to employ nearly everyone up there,” he adds. It still hasn’t been approved because President Obama hates fossil fuels.

If Donald Trump is smart, he will green-light the drilling project the day he enters office.

Now multiply this story by several hundred at least. The radical green agenda of the Obama regime has for eight years canceled, delayed, denounced and disrupted these types of smart energy, mineral and transportation projects all over the country. The value of these financially lucrative and job-creating initiatives — such as the Keystone XL pipeline — is in the hundreds of billions of dollars.

Think about that in connection with Donald Trump’s promise of as much as $1 trillion for new infrastructure spending. I am always asked, where will the money come from to pay for these projects given that the government is already running near trillion dollar annual deficits?

We’ve all been looking at this the wrong way. Smart infrastructure investment in America doesn’t require one penny of new federal spending. In fact these projects can substantially reduce government borrowing and increase revenue inflows.

All President-elect Trump must do to unleash the mighty spending of private, for-profit enterprise is to give the companies and the localities the green light to build, to drill, to mine, to invest.
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Just allowing leasing on federal control sites for energy production could net the government about $3 trillion dollars.  The regulatory burden that Obama piled on businesses has really hurt the economy and job creation.  relieving that burden and letting business do what it does should create jobs and more tax revenue.

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