Jane Van Ryan
Posted January 13, 2010
Considering unemployment is at its highest level in almost 30 years, "you'd think the Obama administration would do everything possible to save existing jobs and create new ones," says op-ed author Jim Constantopoulos, a professor of Geology at Eastern New Mexico University in his recent Sun-News op-ed.
Constantopoulos also says the administration's failure to invite the oil and natural gas industry to the recent White House Jobs Summit was "like calling for an increase in food production and not inviting wheat and corn farmers."
We agree. America's oil and natural gas industry employs or supports a total of 9.2 million U.S. jobs and provides energy that heats U.S. homes, fuels factories and offices, and gets people to home and to work. It also adds more than $1 trillion to the national economy.
And as the author mentions, although renewable energy is and will be important to the nation's energy future, the administration should not adopt policies that hurt the people who produce traditional forms of energy:
"Obama's policies will have a potentially destructive impact on employment in the oil and natural gas industry. Of particular concern is cap and trade climate legislation under consideration in the Senate that would impose an additional $80 billion in oil taxes over the next decade as well as carbon fees...Don't expect to win the war on joblessness by throwing people in the oil and gas industry out of work."
Proposed climate, tax and energy development policies could have a destructive impact not only on the oil and natural gas industry--one of the current bright spots in the U.S. economy--but also on the nation as a whole.
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