Posted January 27, 2014
With the State of the Union address scheduled tomorrow night, let’s look at how policy goals in President Obama’s past annual speeches to Congress fit with oil and natural gas development. It turns out the fit is good – very good.
For example, in the 2010 State of the Union the president called jobs his No. 1 priority and said American business would always be the “true engine of job creation.” He also applauded the improving health of the retirement funds supporting the future hopes of so many Americans. Oil and natural gas is playing a key role with both.
A PwC study found our industry supported 9.8 million jobs in 2011 (most recent data year), an increase of more than 600,000 jobs from 2009. Meanwhile, the strength of our industry no doubt has contributed to the improved state of retirement funds, since pension plans, 401(k)s and IRAs hold nearly 50 percent of the shares in U.S.-based oil and natural gas companies.
Energy is the answer – if we make sound energy choices. These include policies that increase access to domestic oil and natural gas reserves while adopting a common-sense regulatory approach to development and those that foster energy infrastructure investment. We need visionary leadership that chooses to make energy, American energy, the answer for our economy, the well-being of individuals and families and for our nation’s security.
API President and CEO Jack Gerard framed the fundamental choice at the State of American Energy event earlier this month:
"We will decide if America continues its march toward global energy leadership -- a once in a generation choice -- or remains content to play a supporting role in the global energy market. We can erase what for decades has been America's greatest economic vulnerability -- our dependence on energy sources from other continents, particularly from less stable and friendly nations -- and fundamentally alter the geopolitical landscape for decades to come, all while providing a much-needed boost to our economy. But only if we get our energy policy right."
The choice on energy is ours to make. As Gerard noted, it’s a choice between:
“An American energy future of energy abundance, self-sufficiency and global leadership or energy scarcity, dependence and economic uncertainty.”
Video data sourcing: Jobs, retirement funds, exports, revenues to government (and here), manufacturing, natural gas production, disposable income, emissions reductions, infrastructure, well-paying employment (and here).
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.