The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Pew: Economy, Jobs Are the Top Priorities

Jane Van Ryan

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.

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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.

Pew reports:

  • 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.

(image: Pew Research Center for People & the Press)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jane Van Ryan was formerly senior communications manager and new media advisor at the American Petroleum Institute (API), where she wrote blog posts and produced podcasts and videos. Before coming to API, Jane managed communications for a large science and engineering corporation, and for a top-tier research and engineering university. A few years ago, you might have seen her in your living room when she delivered the news on television. Jane officially retired from API in 2011 and now freelances as an independent communications consultant when not gardening at her farm in Virginia.