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.”
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.
Posted January 23, 2014
The U.S. energy revolution continues to reshape America’s energy outlook for the better. Thanks largely to shale energy reserves and advanced hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s 2014 Annual Energy Outlook estimates domestic oil production will approach 9.6 million barrels per day by 2016 – a level of output not seen since 1970. EIA also projects that U.S. liquid fuels net imports as a share of consumption will decline to about 25 percent in 2016, down from a high of 60 percent in 2005. Both are great pieces of news.
Posted January 22, 2014
While I haven’t had a chance to fully digest the Center for American Progress’ latest attempt to spin for new energy taxes, I’m curious about its dismissal of indirect and induced jobs as the measure of an industry’s investments and operations. Direct/ indirect/ induced jobs isn’t some foreign concept, as we’ve noted before, but perhaps CAP would understand it better if we used a different example than the oil and natural gas industry.
Posted January 8, 2014
Below is a video clip from API President and CEO Jack Gerard’s State of American Energy speech this week, detailing strong support from Americans for increased production of U.S. oil and natural gas – because this development translates into millions of good jobs.
Posted January 2, 2014
Basically, population is growing faster in the South and West than anywhere else in the country – and North Dakota’s 3.1 percent growth rate leads the nation. The second largest percentage increase was Utah’s 1.6 percent. The Post:
The annual estimates of state population on July 1 shows the South added more than 1.1 million residents between 2012 and 2013, while Western states added almost 728,000 residents over the past year. Northeastern states added 171,000 residents, while the Midwest added another 226,000 people. Many of those new Midwestern residents landed in North Dakota, which added 22,000 residents over the past year. That was a 3.1 percent population increase, the highest of any state in the country, fueled by an energy boom in the Bakken oil fields that has pushed the state’s unemployment rate down to 2.6 percent.