With high unemployment in the United States, the oil and gas industry sees itself as part of a strategic path forward to recovery. Economist Rayola Dougher with the American Petroleum Institute says we have opportunities to grow our energy and grow jobs, but it depends on policy in Washington.
"Right now, as an industry, we employ over nine million people in the United States, and we could have the potential to create hundreds of thousands of new jobs. Simple things as just increasing and re-examining limiting offshore development of the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic and Pacific; processing and improving drilling plants more expeditiously in the permits; and a regulatory environment that's going to support the growth of trade, for example, with Canada. So we're saying 'let's produce more here at home and let's get people back to work.'"
Dougher says the U.S. continues falling behind with the offshore drilling moratorium, and investment is also at risk.
"The Woods-MacKenzie study shows that increasing access alone, we could—within the decade—add 460,000 new jobs, or more than a half a million jobs by 2025. Now that is really significant when we are seeing millions of Americans out of work. So we have chances here, opportunities here, to bring more supply and bring more jobs. And these are good jobs—they pay on average twice as much as the average U.S. job. So they are high-paying jobs—they're good jobs—and everybody knows we need 'em."
API President and CEO Jack Gerard talks about the State of American Energy in a news conference from Washington later today.