Brian Beutler at Talking Points Memo can’t understand why anyone could complain about the administration’s actions toward oil and gas producers. He posts a chart showing the number of people employed in the oil and gas industry going up.
How could anyone have problems with our current energy policy?
First, oil and gas development has decreased on federal and Indian lands. The jobs Beutler mentions have been created because oil and gas production has increased on private and state lands. Beutler can't call it the "Obama Oil Boom" when the administration had little to do with it. Inaction on their part to tap into energy resources on federal lands means missed job creation opportunities.
Second, offshore permits in the Gulf of Mexico have dropped, leaving businesses reliant on drilling in the lurch. Even worse, the American Petroleum Institute reminds us that more than 85% of all offshore areas remain off-limits. Those are more missed opportunites.
Third, we’re missing out on the thousands of jobs from construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, because the President chose to side with anti-energy extremists.
Fourth, the administration’s most-commonly used “answer” to our energy problems is higher taxes, which would cost 170,000 jobs by 2014 according to a Wood McKenzie study.
The real take-away from Beutler’s chart is the job-creating power of domestic energy development. Policymakers are leaving jobs on the table by not taking advantage of all the opportunities that a real “All of the Above” energy strategy has to offer.