With a newly elected Congress and a president beginning his second term, we began a new year with tremendous opportunities to move forward on building our economy and creating jobs for Americans who are looking for work. The independent oil and natural gas industry has been a bright spot in the last few years of sluggish economic growth and listless job creation. And we are ready to do more.
We have a vision of an America holding the reins of her energy security and future prosperity. This vision is built on the incredible potential our industry offers to spur more economic growth. And with greater economic growth comes greater opportunity for workers and for the nation.
American oil and natural gas companies provide a substantial economic stimulus every year. Last year, the industry invested over $545 billion in economic development and job creation in the U.S. Think of it this way, every two years the oil and natural gas industry invests $1 trillion in economic development and job creation without a single taxpayer dollar spent. Job creation continues to be a key priority for policymakers, our industry, and for the millions of Americans who are looking for work. The oil and natural gas industry is committed to job creation and is poised to create a significant number of new jobs. But key to that are government policies that enable increased domestic energy production. With the right energy policies, our industry could support an additional 1.4 million new jobs nationwide by 2030.
Energy access, not taxes, is the key to unlocking new jobs for Americans and new revenues for our government. We have a new energy reality in the U.S. We no longer live in a world where energy is scarce. We have enough fossil fuel energy resources right here in America to provide reliable and affordable energy for decades, even centuries, to come. Our energy supply is now American and abundant, greatly enhancing our national security.
Policies that encourage the development of America’s vast oil and natural gas resources combined with measures to strengthen our partnerships with Canada and Mexico could rebalance energy geopolitics making North America energy independent. If we seize the opportunity now, we will be positioned to lead for decades and realize the economic and energy security benefits of that leadership.
Private investment in domestic oil and natural gas production has brought us to a turning point that is unmatched anywhere in the world. Not because they don’t have oil and natural gas, but because we have brought our entrepreneurial spirit to energy. Independent oil and natural gas producers embody the spirit of the American entrepreneur by taking chances on new wells, new techniques, and new technologies that provides the energy that supports our way of life.
Page 2 of 2 - These investments and benefits don’t occur in a vacuum. As congressional policymakers and President Obama search for answers on tax policy, fiscal policy, and regulatory regimes, we need to focus on solutions that will support our ability to provide for a secure American energy future.
Americans are looking for a new, forward-looking approach that embraces innovation, imagination, resolve, and a focus on things that work. Many Americans, with diverse opinions, lament the absence of a national energy policy. But what would a national energy policy look like? What should its goals be? The role of public policy in the production and consumption of energy is a major challenge. Laws, regulations, and subsidies have the power to dictate how energy sources are priced and what the development costs are, resulting in far-reaching implications. How involved should the government be in this process? What should the role of policy be in determining the winners and losers of the future energy profile? I believe the goal for energy policy should be to get the government out of the energy sector and let markets direct energy investment.
There is plenty of work to be done. Our economy continues to struggle. President Obama has promised to support oil and natural gas development as part of an all-of-the-above strategy. Energy policy would be greatly improved if policymakers took into account the actual energy landscape and took the time to understand the facts about energy and obstacles to making it affordable and reliable. We need tax reform solutions that don’t compromise our ability to grow the economy and create jobs through domestic production; and regulatory reforms that don’t add unnecessary layers of compliance burdens on top of existing protections. Policies supporting American oil and natural gas development would result in more high-paying jobs, more tax revenues, stronger economic growth, and enhanced energy security.
- Edward Cross, KIOGA President