The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Costs of a Delayed Energy Policy

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted June 30, 2011

While Washington dithers on energy policy, the economy and consumers pay the price - more than 500,000 potential jobs by 2025 and an additional $51 billion in increased energy costs to the transportation sector over the last year alone.

That's the crux of a new report by the Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA), a nonpartisan collection of more than 160 energy consumer and producer groups and consumer advocacy organizations, and the National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA), an industry trade group. The report points a finger at government:

"Onerous regulations, endless layers of red tape, restricted access to critical supplies of domestic energy and a lack of direction from government are only a few of the many examples of artificial barriers that paralyze business and make it difficult for America to grow and prosper."

CEA and NOIA call for a broad-based energy policy that also will lead economic growth:

"While there is no silver bullet for America's economic woes, it is clear that we must embrace pro-growth policies powered by affordable domestic energy sources including wind, solar, oil, natural gas, biofuels and nuclear. A national energy policy that rightfully encourages the responsible production of every form of domestic energy is a win for America. After all there is no quicker path to economic resurgence than through proper development of our abundant natural resources and the economic growth they create. ... A smart, balanced energy policy has the ability to jumpstart economic growth and ensure that every sector of the American economy has access to affordable, reliable energy."

Other highlights:

  • Since 2000, when energy prices began to climb, the U.S. has lost more than 5.5 million high-wage manufacturing jobs.
  • Oil and natural gas companies paid $1 trillion in total income taxes from 1980 through 2008 and more than $178 billion to the government in rent, royalty and bonus payments from 1982 through 2009. On average, the industry sends more than $86 million to the U.S. Treasury each day.
  • Potential EPA regulations on electrical utilities could result in the closure of 40 to 76 gigawatts of generating capacity across the country by 2018.
  • NOIA says U.S. offshore energy potential is estimated at 44 billion barrels of oil and 183.2 trillion cubic feet of natural gas - enough to reduce imports by a third.

The CEA/NOIA study underscores the point the oil and natural gas industry has been making, that access to domestic energy sources is a key to economic growth, job creation, America's energy security, Americans' retirement security and revenue to all levels of government.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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.