The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Pro-Energy is Pro-Jobs

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted June 29, 2015

Last week we looked at the potential impacts on domestic energy production and U.S. households of two approaches to energy policy described in Wood Mackenzie’s new study. Today, let’s focus on jobs.

Again, here’s Wood Mackenzie’s overview chart showing, side-by-side, the effects of  pro-development energy policies (green column) and regulatory-constrained policies (red column):


Note the line for jobs supported. Pro-development policies – increased access to reserves, regulatory and permitting policies that accelerate energy development and allowing U.S. energy exports – would result in 2.3 million jobs supported over baseline growth by 2035, the study says.

The regulatory-constrained path – basically continuing on the self-limiting course of the current administration – would result in a decrease of 830,000 jobs below the baseline, Wood Mackenzie says. Another way to look at it: the difference between the two energy paths is 3.1 million jobs. Policies and the policymakers who chart our energy strategy, absolutely matter.

Below, another chart from the study shows additional detail. The pro-development path (the top, light-blue line in the graph on the right) would result in 10.2 million energy jobs supported by 2035, the study says. The regulatory-constrained path (gray line, bottom) would see 7.1 million jobs supported – a decrease from projected baseline growth (dark-blue line, middle).



Two more charts. The first shows the jobs impact of pro-development policies (growth over the baseline), with the share of jobs supported – by the oil and natural gas industry’s upstream (light-blue bars), midstream (yellow) and refining (red) sectors.


Now, the negative jobs impact (below projected baseline growth) of regulatory-constrained policies:


As we’ve noted, the energy path America takes largely depends on the path Americans demand from their elected representatives. The ongoing revolution in domestic energy production is due to abundant shale resources that are being safely developed with advanced hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling by a vigorous oil and natural gas industry that is heavily invested in a skilled workforce and technology.

The question, as API President and CEO Jack Gerard posed it last week, is whether industry will find willing partners in government – at all levels but particularly in Washington – who will help foster responsible development to put more Americans to work while strengthening our energy security for the future.


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.