WASHINGTON - A surge of oil and gas production will drive the U.S. economy 1 percent higher in 2040 than it would have otherwise grown, and energy exports will only stoke the expansion, an independent study on energy policy concluded on Tuesday.
New drilling technologies such as 'fracking' have unlocked an abundance of fossil fuels from shale deposits and the bounty will both jolt the economy and increase tax receipts, according to the study from the Congressional Budget Office.
Officials estimate "real (inflation-adjusted) GDP product will be about two-thirds of 1 percent higher in 2020 and about 1 percent higher in 2040 than it would have been without the development of shale resources," the report finds.
"Federal tax revenues will be about three-quarters of 1 percent (or about $35 billion) higher in 2020 and about 1 percent higher in 2040 than they would have been without shale development."
Current rules restrict U.S. crude oil exports, but relaxing that policy and permitting more natural gas shipments would push production higher without harming consumers.
Liberalizing fossil fuel export policy "would probably increase domestic production but have little effect on prices," the report added.