The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Our Energy Choice

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted April 28, 2014

The infographic below clearly illustrates America’s choice on shale energy: significant economic growth, job creation and generated revenue for government because of continued energy development – vs. lost opportunity in all three areas if development is restricted.


The information is from IHS’ study on the economic impacts of unconventional oil and natural gas development – energy from shale and other tight-rock formations, safely and responsibly produced with advanced hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling.

On the left side of the graphic are IHS’ projections if America chooses to keep developing its unconventional reserves. IHS says the numbers would be game-changing for our economy and for the lives of individual Americans, 3.87 million of whom will have jobs supported by shale energy by 2025. Jobs translate into individual opportunity, which the report details. IHS’ John Larson:

“For many Americans, particularly those not in supply chain, the unconventional revolution, talk about trade, government revenues and jobs can prove somewhat abstract. However, our analysis found that the impacts are not abstract but real and tangible. … There are truly profound income effects that are being felt in the country as a result of this unconventional (energy) revolution.”

The ramifications of America’s choice on shale are stark when you consider the numbers on the right side of the infographic. Those numbers reflect the IHS “low-production case,” where shale development is restricted by fracking bans and/or new regulatory layers that could create disincentives to development.

In each category, there’s lost benefit – lost economic growth, lost jobs, lost revenue generated for government. To get the full impact, put the two sides together. In terms of GDP you’re talking about a swing of more than $800 billion in 2025. The swing in jobs is more than 6 million, the swing in lost government revenue is more than $2 trillion.

It’s a big opportunity, a big choice for our country. But it’s not hard or complicated because it’s not a choice between development and the environment, where increased use of natural gas from fracking already is making a big difference. Former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar:

“(Hydraulic fracturing) is creating an energy revolution in the United States. I would say to everybody that hydraulic fracturing is safe.”

This is our energy choice – our energy from shale choice. With increased access to reserves, a common-sense approach to regulation and policies that foster investment, we can see the benefits projected in the IHS report. America’s Energy. America’s Choice.


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.