The lack of a national energy policy has severe consequences for the American economy now and in the future, and a new report shows exactly how high energy costs are harming consumers by holding back job creation and new economic activity.
The report, entitled “Energy, Jobs & the Economy: Powering America’s Future,” was released today by Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA), an affiliate of the National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA). NOIA is among the organizations that contributed to the report.
The report finds that blockages of American energy development could cost the U.S. economy more than 500,000 jobs, and rising energy prices will cost the transportation sector $51 billion more in 2011 as compared to just one year ago. Other industries, from agriculture to manufacturing, will also continue to suffer from higher operating costs in the absence of additional domestic energy production. Most importantly, the report shows how many of these costs will ultimately be passed along to consumers in the form of higher prices for everyday goods and services.
The report also addresses the importance to the nation of the offshore oil and gas industry. “The safe exploration and development of oil and natural gas resources on our Outer Continental Shelf makes
dollars and sense,” said NOIA President Randall Luthi at today’s press conference. “Despite a tragic and challenging 2010, the fact remains that the offshore oil and gas industry generates hundreds of thousands of high-tech and high-paying jobs, stimulates the economy and provides a reliable, secure source of energy.”
More than 90,000 jobs were directly related to the offshore oil and gas industry in 2009, and that same year the industry generated about $6 billion in revenue for the federal government. The offshore energy potential of the United States is conservatively estimated at 45 billion barrels of oil and 183 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. That’s enough oil to power 60 million vehicles for 25 years and enough natural gas to heat 60 million American homes for 57 years.
”Demand for oil and natural gas is increasing, and projections show that these resources will remain the major component of our energy mix for at least the next generation. Yet we only explore for oil and gas in about 15 percent of the nation’s offshore areas -- the same areas that were available when Richard Nixon was president,” said Luthi.