U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Tom Donohue in his annual State of American Business address, rightly identifying American-made energy as a critical to broad economic recovery and to solving the nation’s fiscal problems:
“Today, 23 million Americans are unemployed, underemployed, or have stopped looking for work. A record 47 million people are poor enough to be on food stamps. Median family income has dropped to 1995 levels—so we’re going backward. … From top to bottom we need more success in America. We need to nurture success, empower it, reward it, and celebrate it. … Proceeding swiftly and responsibly to develop more American energy can help us immeasurably with our fiscal problems, but it can also do so much more for our country.”
Policies to foster more domestic oil and natural gas investments are part of the chamber’s 2013 agenda. Donohue called for access to U.S. reserves currently closed to development – “We’ve foolishly locked away too much of our resources on land and off our coasts” – as well as a “predictable and fair regulatory environment.” Donohue:
“The federal government shouldn’t pick the winners and losers or subject energy projects to endless and duplicative reviews. Such roadblocks have stymied vital projects like the Keystone XL Pipeline, which must be built.”
The case for such policies already is being made in energy-producing states where job creation is up, unemployment is down and where energy development – especially unconventional oil and natural gas – is lifting local and state economies. An IHS state-by-state analysis of the economic impact of developing oil and natural gas from tight rock formations via hydraulic fracturing finds:
- North Dakota will support more than 114,000 jobs in 2020 while delivering $130 billion in taxes and payments to state and local governments between 2012 and 2035.
- Pennsylvania will support more than 220,000 jobs in 2020 while providing more than $60 billion in taxes and payments to state and local governments between 2012 and 2035.
- Texas will support more than 929,000 jobs in 2020 while sending nearly $397 billion to state and local governments between 2012 and 2035.
Yet, IHS also found economic benefits from unconventional oil and natural gas in non-energy producing states, for example:
- New Jersey: more than 34,000 new jobs in 2020 and more than $10 billion in revenue to state and local governments between 2012 and 2035.
- Oregon: more than 15,000 new jobs in 2020 and more than $6 billion in revenue between 2012 and 2035.
- Virginia: more than 31,000 new jobs and more than $6.7 billion in state and local taxes and other payments between 2012 and 2035.
Kyle Isakower, API group vice president for policy and economic analysis, during a conference call with reporters:
"The positive impacts are being realized in states with little or no energy development as well as in energy producing states. Supply chains supporting domestic oil and gas development and the induced effects of company spending and investment have generated new jobs and new tax revenue across this country. Recent analysis by IHS confirms this. It also shows there is vast potential in the years ahead for more jobs and more revenue for our nation as a whole and for nearly all states.”
The challenge gets back to Donohue’s point – America’s richness in oil and natural gas can be the catalyst for a reinvigorated economy, jobs that support individual Americans’ lifestyles and dreams and a more secure country. That is, with the right policies that will let America’s energy potential work for Americans – supplying reliable, efficient fuels and products that make our lives better.