Posted March 21, 2014
The Huntsman Corporation’s Peter Huntsman has this op-ed in USA Today that invokes a poll in which people were asked to respond to these statements:
Some say that exporting American natural gas to other countries will increase economic growth, keep thousands employed, and help increase domestic production of natural gas. Others say that American natural gas should be used here at home, where it can lead to thousands of new manufacturing jobs, grow the entire American economy, and keep prices of natural gas affordable. Which comes closest to your view?
Actually, it’s a false choice, a little bit of opinion polling flim-flammery. We can have both – as careful, scholarly research (see here and here) has shown. We have ample natural gas reserves to supply the needs here at home as well as those of friendly overseas buyers.
Posted March 18, 2014
A few of the new good-news stories resulting from America’s oil and natural gas revolution:
Investing in Ohio Production …
The state’s geologist says Utica shale development has triggered $20 billion to $24 billion in spending investments and more will come, reports the Akron Beacon Journal’s online edition. The newspaper cites an unreleased report by Ohio state geologist Mike McCormac that says drilling companies have spent about $6 billion on drilling plus approximately $2 billion on leases. Investments in processing plants and pipelines are estimated at $12 billion to $16 billion.
Posted March 11, 2014
For American workers the more-than-five-year wait for the Keystone XL pipeline is personal. Make that very personal.
During a press conference with other union leaders and API President and CEO Jack Gerard, Laborers International Union of North America President Terry O’Sullivan said the construction sector is saddled with 12.8 percent unemployment, with nearly 1 million out of work. So every one of the 42,000 jobs the U.S. State Department estimates the Keystone XL would create during its construction phase is highly prized.
Posted February 25, 2014
The energy industry is working for America. A new Manhattan Institute report finds that in the slowly recovering U.S. economy the oil and natural gas industry is creating jobs and generating broad economic stimulus. Top findings:
- While overall U.S. employment has yet to return levels predating the 2008 recession, the number of oil and natural gas jobs has grown 40 percent since then.
- The U.S. energy revolution is almost entirely the result of development by more than 20,000 small and midsize businesses. The typical oil and natural gas firm has fewer than 15 employees.
- Industry jobs are geographically dispersed. Sixteen states have more than 150,000 jobs in the oil and natural gas sector.
Posted February 21, 2014
It’s hard to look at the delays that have kept the Keystone XL pipeline on the drawing board for more than five years and not think about the countless American workers – in construction, fabrication, supply, transport and other sectors – who would be helped by the project finally getting under way. People like Billy Rogers.
We met Rogers last year and he spoke about how a large, shovel-ready infrastructure project like the Keystone XL benefits working men and women. He knew this full well, being among 5,000 U.S. workers building Keystone XL’s southern leg, Gulf Coast Pipeline in Texas and Oklahoma:
“Working on the Gulf Coast Project has afforded me a good income that allows me to support my family. In addition, the construction of this project has had a significant impact in the local communities in which we work as the hundreds of crew members spend their money locally in restaurants, grocery stores, shops – everyone is benefiting.”
Our economy needs more good-news stories like Rogers’ – as many as possible.
Posted February 18, 2014
Check out a new video that zeroes in on President Obama’s opportunities to help U.S. workers, the nation’s economy and America’s energy security by approving the Keystone XL pipeline for construction.
As the video points out, by approving the Keystone XL, President Obama can green light a significant infrastructure project that’s shovel-ready – and ready to put thousands of Americans to work during its construction phase. The pipeline would provide a broad boost to the economy in terms of worker earnings, spending on materials and economic activity from support and associated sectors.
Posted February 10, 2014
The top of Pew Research’s annual survey of the U.S. public’s top issues priorities looks a lot like last year’s – and the survey for 2012, and for 2011 and for 2010. This year, as in each of those previous years, Americans told Pew that strengthening the economy and improving the job situation should be the top priorities for President Obama and Congress.
The specific percentages vary from year to year, but boosting the economy and creating more jobs are consistently at the forefront of most Americans’ thinking. Unfortunately, the January jobs report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates continuing difficulty on both fronts. Although the economy added 113,000 jobs in January, the figure was short of the 180,000 or so jobs expected by analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.
Yet, while total U.S. non-farm employment rose just 0.1 percent from December 2013 to January 2014 and has grown 1.7 percent from January 2013 to January 2014, the jobs picture for oil and natural gas extraction is something different – and better. Sector employment rose 0.9 percent to 206,000 jobs last month over December 2013 and has increased 6.6 percent (12,800 jobs) since January 2013.
Posted February 3, 2014
The Keystone XL pipeline now is in the “national interest determination” phase of a long process to gain federal approval for construction. Having cleared its fifth State Department environmental review, the project is to be judged by on whether its construction serves the U.S. national interest. Last week’s State Department report listed the key factors that go into that determination:
To make this decision (i.e., the National Interest Determination), the Secretary of State, through the Department, considers many factors, including energy security; environmental, cultural, and economic impacts; foreign policy; and compliance with relevant state and federal regulations.
Let’s examine some of these. First, energy security: Would construction of the full Keystone XL pipeline further the energy security of the United States?
Posted January 31, 2014
All along, many of the folks who’ve wanted the Obama administration to nix the Keystone XL pipeline have acknowledged opposition to the project as symbolic, more or less conceding that when it came to arguing the actual merits of the pipeline – jobs, economic stimulus, greater U.S. energy security – they didn’t have much and sometimes only a disingenuous imagination.
For example, author/Keystone XL activist Naomi Klein:
“It is not just about Keystone XL. This is about climate change and Keystone XL is the symbol. Everyone knows that if we stop this pipeline the climate crisis isn’t solved.”
And NextGen’s Tom Steyer:
“There’s definitely a symbolic side to this. It has become, you know, a symbol in some ways in the fight over how to think about this. And that happens sometimes. Sometimes, specific incidents take on a life of their own.”
And Steyer advisor Kate Gordon:
“The goal is as much about organizing young people around a thing. But you have to have a thing.”
Well, here’s the thing: Most Americans prefer jobs, growth and energy – in other words, substance – over symbolism. They want the full Keystone XL pipeline built, reflected in poll after poll after poll. Which is why the U.S. State Department’s new assessment is welcome progress in a process that passed the five-year mark last fall. It found that whether Keystone XL is approved or denied, oil sands extraction is unlikely to be affected – and hence the project would not lead to a surge in greenhouse gas emissions
Posted January 29, 2014
Energy issue positives from President Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday night:
Crediting surging domestic oil and natural gas production for adding jobs, creating economic growth and revitalizing the manufacturing sector.
Recognizing that because of domestic output the U.S. “is closer to energy independence than we have been in decades.”