IN THE NEWS
The numbers are discouraging. Nearly twenty-five million Americans are unemployed or can’t find full-time work, the national debt tops $14 trillion, and rising energy costs continue to chip away at consumers’ incomes. The good news is that one solution to these problems may lie directly beneath our feet. As the Heritage Foundation recently noted, energy exploration creates jobs and raises revenue without raising taxes. By tapping into the abundance of energy that lies beneath the ground and off the coasts, America could take simultaneous steps toward energy independence and fiscal solvency. Best of all, it would create millions of jobs – good jobs.
In a recent Forbes.com article, Joel Kotkin breaks down a study conducted by the Praxis Strategy Group that compared American economic sectors by growth and average salary using data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics for the years 2006-2011. The results are striking.
[T]he biggest growth by far has taken place in the mining, oil and natural gas industries, where jobs expanded by 60%, creating a total of 500,000 new jobs. While that number is not as large as those generated by health care or education, the quality of these jobs are far higher. The average job in conventional energy pays about $100,000 annually — about $20,000 more than finance or professional services pay. The wages are more than twice as high as those in either health or education.
What message does this send to politicians seeking to turn around our moribund economy? Perhaps they should target oil and gas development as a spur not only to new employment, but to the kind of “good jobs” that [Gallup CEO James] Clifton speaks about. With the proper environmental controls, these industries could provide a major jolt to the economy while cutting down on energy imports, reducing debts and bringing jobs back home.
Finally, after carefully evaluating the data, Mr. Kotkin concludes:
The surest road to recovery does not lie in the chimera of “green jobs” or by magically harvesting riches from social networks. It’s in making America a more self-reliant and productive power.
We couldn’t agree more.
WHAT ARE HOUSE REPUBLICANS DOING?
House Republicans are dedicated to putting Americans back to work and achieving energy security. As House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) recently stated, both these goals are “essential to America's long-term economic competitiveness, and both can be achieved by expanding the production of American energy.” Consider these three bills, recently passed in the House:
By putting our country’s abundant natural resources to use, we can lower our debt, break free from our dependence on foreign oil, and put Americans back to work. House Republicans will continue to fight for solutions that promote job growth and energy security.