Moratoriums, permitting bans, cancelling leases, Wild Land designations, EPA regulations on steroids, and tens of billions in DOE loans and subsidies for the alternative green energy industry…..the Obama Administration has done everything in their considerable power to strangle America’s oil and gas industry to death, but it just refuses to die. In fact, it seems to be stronger than ever.
With 26 million people unemployed, under-employed, or having completely given up even trying to find a job, the oil and gas industry is bucking the trend during this prolonged economic recession by adding jobs and producing more badly needed energy right here at home. A Thanksgiving weekend editorial in the Wall Street Journal reports that business is booming in energy rich America in the shrinking number of places not shut off by an Administration Steve Forbes blasted for “the most anti-oil and gas record in U.S. history.” Following is a summary of the WSJ editorial:
- Oil and gas production now employs some 440,000 workers, an 80% increase, or 200,000 more jobs, since 2003. Oil and gas jobs account for more than one in five of all net new private jobs in that period.
- States that embrace oil and gas production are reaping the rewards. North Dakota has the nation's lowest jobless rate, at 3.5%, and the state now has some 200 rigs pumping 440,000 barrels of oil a day, four times the amount in 2006. The state reports more than 16,000 current job openings, and places like Williston have become meccas for workers seeking jobs that often pay more than $100,000 a year.
- Production in Pennsylvania's Marcellus shale formation created 18,000 new jobs in the first half of 2011. Some 214,000 jobs are now tied to a natural gas industry that barely existed in the Keystone State a decade ago.
- Energy firms are also rushing to develop the Utica shale in eastern Ohio, and they are expanding operations in Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma, among other places.
- Oil and Gas could do even more for our struggling economy if the Obama Administration would just stop waging war against it. The Wood Mackenzie consulting firm estimated that better federal energy policy would create an additional 1.4 million jobs by 2030.