Posted July 3, 2014
It looks like a pretty solid national jobs report for June, with the 288,000 positions that were added exceeding the hiring rate over the year’s first five months and unemployment dipping to 6.1 percent. That’s a good story. There’s an even better one deeper in the Labor Department data: The oil and natural gas industry and its supporting activities are setting the pace in job creation.
Consider: Comparing numbers in this report with those from a year ago, the oil and natural gas extraction and supporting sectors outperformed the private sector as a whole in terms of job growth and a number of other relevant measurements, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Posted June 26, 2014
It’s good to see the U.S. House of Representatives advancing a true all-of-the-above energy strategy with legislation that would help increase access to domestic reserves, promote common-sense regulation and reasonable permitting policies, foster development of key energy infrastructure and capitalize on America’s energy superpower status.
All are elements in a working, all-of-the-above approach to energy. Combined with energy from coal, nuclear and renewables, increased development of American oil and natural gas and associated infrastructure will keep our economy and country running – today and tomorrow.
Posted June 20, 2014
Let’s make a couple of points with the juxtaposition of the newest U.S. report on energy production on federal lands and a pair of new analyses people are talking about this week.
First, there’s this piece by the Manhattan Institute’s Jared Meyer on the Real Clear Energy website, asserting that surging U.S. crude oil production is playing a big role in keeping global crude prices stable despite turmoil around the world:
The most important contribution to oil's price stability has been the substantial increase in U.S. production. U.S. crude oil production has risen 50 percent since 2008, to 7,443 thousand barrels a day. This increase has been driven by advances in drilling technology. Hydraulic fracturing has opened up previously-known reserves that were either inaccessible or too cost-prohibitive for drilling.
Posted June 10, 2014
New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman’s Sunday piece highlighted a conversation he had a few weeks ago with President Obama, during which the president talked about energy and climate change. A few things stand out:
The president signaled that climate policy should consider the real-world roles that are being played by various energy sources, saying:
“… we’re not going to suddenly turn off a switch and suddenly we’re no longer using fossil fuels, but we have to use this time wisely, so that you have a tapering off of fossil fuels replaced by clean energy sources that are not releasing carbon.”
Sounds reasonable, given the forecast of the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) in its 2014 Annual Energy Outlook – that fossil fuels’ share of total U.S. energy use will be 80 percent in 2040, down only slightly from where it was in 2012 (82 percent). Oil and natural gas, which supplied 63 percent of the energy we used in 2012, are projected to supply 61 percent in 2040. Oil and natural gas are America’s energy today and tomorrow.
Posted June 6, 2014
America has a clear choice on energy. An historic American energy revolution is in progress -- thanks to vast shale reserves safely developed with advanced drilling technologies, industry innovation and leadership. This revolution is creating jobs, strengthening our economy and making our country more secure and muscular in the world. With the right energy choices the revolution can continue and grow.
Yet, somehow, Washington is conflicted. While the Obama administration embraces the shale revolution as integral to its all-of-the-above energy strategy, it advances policies fraught with the potential to needlessly hinder it. Instead of taking actions to enhance America’s energy renaissance, the administration is engaged in a regulatory march that quite likely could diminish it. Sustaining this energy revolution should be a no-brainer – not the brain-bender the administration is fostering with muddled vision and contradictory statements.
During a conference call with reporters this week, API President and CEO Jack Gerard discussed inconsistencies between what top administration officials say about U.S. energy development and what the agencies under them are doing to U.S. energy development.
Posted April 14, 2014
Much is written about the macro-economic effects of public policy, including energy policy. America’s oil and natural gas industry supports 9.8 million jobs – 5.6 percent of total U.S. employment – and contributes $1.2 trillion to national GDP, according to a study by PwC. But what about the state impacts? Over the next couple of weeks we’ll push out a series of posts focusing on selected states to examine energy’s more localize economic effects, as well as other energy-related issues.
Let’s start with Kentucky, where energy means jobs.
Posted April 7, 2014
Take a good look at the chart below – brand-new from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). The green line disappearing into the horizontal axis between the years 2030 and 2040 is what U.S. energy self-sufficiency looks like.
This is a big, big deal – a goal of every U.S. president since Richard Nixon more than 40 years ago: the point where domestic production exceeds imports, which EIA never included in any of its projections. Until now.
Because of surging tight-oil production – oil from shale and other tight-rock formations, developed with advanced hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling – the agency is including in its 2014 Annual Energy Outlook a high-production scenario under which net imports would reach near-zero between 2030 and 2040.
Posted April 2, 2014
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports that total net U.S. energy imports declined last year to their lowest level in more than 20 years – reflecting two energy positives for America: growth in domestic oil and natural gas production and increased exports of finished petroleum products. EIA:
Total U.S. net imports of energy, measured in terms of energy content, declined in 2013 to their lowest level in more than two decades. Growth in the production of oil and natural gas displaced imports and supported increased petroleum product exports, driving most of the decline. A large drop in energy imports together with a smaller increase in energy exports led to a 19% decrease in net energy imports from 2012 to 2013.Total energy imports declined faster—down 9% from 2012 to 2013—than in the previous year, while export growth slowed. Crude oil production grew 15%, about the same pace as in 2012, which led imports of crude oil to decrease by 12%, accounting for much of the overall decline in imports.
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 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.