The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Two Paths on Energy Policy

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted December 9, 2010

America is at a fork in the road with regard to energy policy. One path leads to U.S. economic growth, American job creation and energy security through more domestic oil and natural gas development. The other path--limited access to energy resources or punitive higher taxes--means fewer jobs, less revenue to government and weakened energy security.

As our economy struggles to recover, as the unemployment rate remains stubbornly near 10 percent and as policymakers look for ways to fix the record deficit, we'd like to highlight a path to increased economic prosperity through domestic oil and natural gas development.

The administration's decision to restrict offshore development along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts and in the eastern Gulf of Mexico will harm our economy. A recent ICF International study indicates that failing to go forward with these proposed leases is a missed opportunity:

  • More than 76,000 fewer U.S. jobs in 2030;
  • $92.3 billion in foregone government revenues from now until 2030; and
  • An estimated reduction of 3.1 billion barrels of oil and 9.9 trillion cubic feet of natural gas through 2030.

A new Rasmussen survey shows that 54 percent of American voters think the offshore ban will hurt the economy--and similarly, 63 percent of MSNBC poll respondents thought this issue "is more about politics than good policy." Policymakers should re-examine this decision. Our industry is committed to safe and environmentally responsible operations and has added new safeguards to ensure this continues.

U.S. economic and energy security depend on our industry's ability to explore for, and produce, domestic energy. Together let's travel the right path forward.


Mark Green joined API after a career in newspaper journalism, including 16 years as national editorial writer for The Oklahoman in the paper’s Washington bureau. Mark also was a reporter, copy editor and sports editor. He earned his journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma and master’s in journalism and public affairs from American University. He and his wife Pamela live in Occoquan, Va., where they enjoy their four grandchildren.