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We know that valuable oil and natural gas lie off the shores of our coastal states, but since we have been forbidden to look for more than a generation, we donít know how vast or abundant these resources really are. We do know that the Gulf of Mexico has yielded more than five times the oil and natural gas we predicted it held just 20 years ago. The same might be true for other coastal areas, but we need to be able to explore them. If opening up more of the OCS to exploration and production is married with a new revenue sharing plan, coastal states could enjoy thousands of new jobs and reap significant revenue for those states. It would also be a huge step towards the goal of energy security, and that is something every American can get behind.
Randall Luthi is the president of the National Ocean Industry Association.