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 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 4, 2014
President Obama is taking issue with the number of jobs the Keystone XL pipeline would support during its construction phase – 42,100, according to the U.S. State Department environmental review issued last week. During an interview with Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly taped Sunday, the president interrupted when O’Reilly brought up Keystone XL and its potential economic impact:
“Well, first of all, it’s not 42,000. That’s – that’s not correct. It’s a couple of thousand to build the pipeline.”
The remark echoed what the president said to the New York Times last summer and also a line in an economic speech he delivered in Tennessee a few days later – each looking askance at the Keystone XL’s job-creating potential.
With all due respect, 42,100 is the Obama administration’s number – the number of jobs the president’s State Department estimates Keystone XL would support across the U.S. while the pipeline is being built.
Posted January 30, 2014
President Obama, during his State of the Union address to Congress this week:
“… one of the biggest factors in bringing more jobs back is our commitment to American energy. The ‘all the above’ energy strategy I announced a few years ago is working … “
Yes, “all of the above” is working. It refers to embracing all energy sources – oil, natural gas, coal, nuclear, wind, solar, hydro, renewables and others. That the approach is working is seen in the United States’ increasing energy self-sufficiency. And America is more energy self-sufficient because we’re less reliant on others – chiefly thanks to surging domestic oil and natural gas production.
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.