The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Energy Today - June 23, 2011

Rayola Dougher

Rayola Dougher
Posted June 23, 2011

Bloomberg: Oil Drilling Approvals by EPA Expedited Under House-Passed Bill: The Environmental Protection Agency would have to issue or deny air permits for offshore oil drilling within six months under legislation passed by the U.S. House. As oil prices climbed 23 percent over the past year, Republicans have pushed legislation that would expand drilling off the Alaska coast and in the Gulf of Mexico. The bill to tighten environmental deadlines passed the Republican-led House yesterday on a vote of 253 to 166. "We cannot leave exploration and production of critically needed resources in a perpetual state of limbo," Marty Durbin, vice president of the American Petroleum Institute, a Washington trade group, said in a statement after the vote. "Development of new offshore energy resources will strengthen American energy security, provide jobs, assist economic growth, and increase revenues to the federal treasury." The Oklahoman: Study Says Oklahoma Economy Got up to $51B from Oil and Gas Industry in 2009: The oil and natural gas industry in Oklahoma is booming, an Oklahoma City University economist said Wednesday. Nearly 300,000 state jobs are tied to the industry, which injected as much as $51 billion into Oklahoma's economy in 2009, said Russell Evans, executive director of OCU's Steven C. Agee Economic Research and Policy Institute. The institute's economic impact study was commissioned by the Oklahoma Energy Resources Board.

Fortune: 4 Ideas to Create New Jobs: It is looking unlikely that there will be more stimulus from either fiscal policy or monetary policy. Former President Bill Clinton has called for suggestions for other policy options that might be helpful. Here are a few ideas along those lines. Approve the Keystone Gulf Coast Expansion Project. I earlier highlighted the great need for an oil pipeline to transport low-cost crude from Canada and the U.S. Williston Basin to Gulf Coast refineries. TransCanada claims that building the pipeline would generate 15,000 high-wage manufacturing and construction jobs directly from the construction itself, and I see huge benefits for U.S. oil producers, refiners, and consumers. It would cost the government nothing, and indeed would generate substantial new tax revenues for local, state, and federal governments. The only reason unemployed Americans aren't working on the project right now is because the U.S. State Department has been holding up approval of the pipeline. Grant more permits for offshore oil drilling. Although some analysts had estimated that the offshore moratorium could cost tens of thousands of jobs, the actual losses appear to have been substantially less than this. Nevertheless, we do know that three more rigs left the Gulf last week headed for other countries. Nearly a third of the deepwater rigs previously in the Gulf of Mexico will have ended up leaving due to the drilling stoppage that followed the spill in April 2010. The process of issuing new permits has been slow, and the Houston Chronicle reported on June 3:

Additional Resources:

The Hill: Congress Blog: Why a Colorado Congressman Cares About Drilling in Alaska

The Baxter Bulletin: Arkansans Do Not Back Higher Oil Taxes

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.