Jane Van Ryan
Posted January 26, 2010
With the legislative agenda apparently changing in the U.S. Senate, it appears that climate legislation proponents are looking for ways to enact a greenhouse gas (GHG) measure by adding it to a jobs bill. According to the Houston Chronicle today, the Senate is expected to take up a jobs-creation package soon, following the House's passage of a $154 billion measure last month.
There's no doubt that the economy and jobs are top priorities for a majority of Americans.
According to a new Pew poll, more than 80 percent of Americans rate the economy, jobs and terrorism as their tops concerns, while the ranking of some other issues has fallen significantly.
- About 57 percent of Americans say health care costs remain a top priority, which is down from 69 percent in 2008.
- Dealing with climate change ranks at the bottom of the list with just 28 percent considering it a top priority.
- Concern about reducing the federal deficit has grown during the past year, with 60 percent of Americans ranking it as a top priority. Last year, 53 percent listed as a top concern.
- Pew also says there is virtually no difference between Republicans, Democrats and Independents on the deficit question. Roughly six-in-ten of each group rated reducing the deficit as a top concern.
So how can this nation address the economic, jobs and deficit issues? Allow the oil and natural gas industry to explore for and produce more domestic energy.
A study has shown that allowing the industry access to more energy-rich areas onshore and offshore could create hundreds of thousands of jobs, generate $1.7 trillion for federal, state and local governments, and reduce the federal deficient by sending fewer dollars overseas to pay for imported energy.
Energy jobs are the low-hanging fruit of job creation. They don't require stimulus funding. They don't require a new federal program. They simply require an opportunity for the industry to do what it does best--find and develop energy for American consumers.
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