The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Energy Today - April 19, 2011

Rayola Dougher

Rayola Dougher
Posted April 19, 2011

NYT's Green Blog: Frustration and Hope as Oil Drilling Regulator Remakes Itself: In Sunday's Times, we assessed the Interior Department's progress in revamping the Minerals Management Service, the scandal-ridden agency responsible for regulating offshore oil and gas drilling and collecting royalties from oil development on public lands. The article noted that the agency has a new name (the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement), a new director (Michael R. Bromwich) and a new focus on worker safety and environmental stewardship. It should come as no surprise that oil and gas industry executives have plenty of criticism for the new agency, now that the federal government has tried to tighten controls over offshore drilling in the wake of the disastrous BP oil spill in the gulf last April. After all, the bureau has been slow to grant permission to the industry to get back to work in the Gulf of Mexico. But many of the criticisms and suggestions made by the industry are similar or identical to those of environmentalists, who rarely agree with the drillers on anything. The Gainesville-Sun: Pipeline Will Help Cause of Energy Security: The construction of the proposed Keystone XL Pipleline, which will connect an abundant supply of Canadian crude oil with U.S. refining markets, is an essential opportunity we should seriously consider. The pipeline could reduce our dependence on oil from Venezuela and the Middle East by up to 40 percent, fostering much-needed economic growth. Canada is our largest trading partner and an influx of Canadian oil resources will make a significant difference in the U.S. The Canadian Research Institute estimates that the oil sands in Canada could generate nearly 340,000 new U.S. jobs while adding billions to the U.S. GDP over the next five years. With unemployment still very high throughout the U.S., Americans will stand to benefit from the jobs the pipeline could create.

The Daily Review: Data Released on Economic Impacts of Marcellus Drilling in Bradford County: Based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, the total amount of wages and salaries paid out in Bradford County increased by 2.5 percent from 2007 to 2009, while there was a 1.5 percent drop in wages and salaries during that time in Pennsylvania counties where no Marcellus Shale drilling took place, he said. Over those two years, other sectors of the economy benefited, too, either directly or indirectly from the drilling, he said. For example, between 2007 and 2009, the total amount of wages and salaries paid out to construction workers increased by 10 percent in counties where 90 or more Marcellus wells were drilled, while the total compensation paid to workers in the construction industry statewide declined by 6 percent, he said. Also, between 2007 and 2009, the total amount of wages and salaries paid out to people working in the arts, entertainment and recreation sector of the economy increased by 17 percent in counties where 90 or more Marcellus wells were drilled, while the total compensation for workers in that sector of the economy increased statewide by only 1 percent, he said.

Additional Resources:

Fuel Fix Blog: Alaska Senator: Navigating Arctic Drilling Regs is Like Playing Whack-A-Mole

The Hill's E2 Wire: EPA: 2009 Greenhouse Gas Emissions Were Lowest Recorded Since 1995

Fuel Fix Blog: BP Exec Outlines New Plans for Offshore Safety

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rayola Dougher is senior economist at The American Petroleum Institute (API), where she analyzes information, manages projects and develops briefing materials on energy markets and oil industry policy issues. She is the author or co-author of economic research studies covering a diverse range of topics including crude oil and petroleum product markets, gasoline taxes, energy conservation and competition in retail markets. In addition to testifying before federal and state legislators, she has participated in numerous newspaper, radio and television interviews on a wide range of issues affecting the oil industry, including crude oil and gasoline prices, industry taxes and earnings, exploration and production, and refining and marketing topics.

Prior to joining API, Rayola worked at the Institute for Energy Analysis where her research focused on carbon dioxide related issues and international energy demand and supply forecasts. Rayola holds a Masters degree in Economic Development and East Asian studies from the American University and a degree in History and Political Science from the State University of New York at Brockport.