September 8, 2011 | WebMemo on Energy and Environment
Gas prices are above $3.60 per gallon nationally, the unemployment rate is hovering at 9 percent, and the country is $14 trillion in debt. Although it is not the be-all and end-all, there is a solution that would help lower energy prices, create jobs, and bring revenue into the financially strapped government: Increase access to America’s energy.
Congress should require the government to provide a timely permitting process, as well as environmental and judicial review, and it should stop the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) regulatory train wreck by placing a freeze on new environmental regulations.
Producing Jobs, Energy, and Revenue
An abundance of untapped energy lies beneath America’s ground and off the coasts. According to a new study from energy consultant Wood Mackenzie, allowing access to domestic resources and imports of Canadian oil would generate more than 1 million jobs by 2018 and more than 1.4 million jobs by 2030. The federal government would stand to benefit tremendously as well, collecting more than $36 billion as soon as 2015 and more than $800 billion by 2030. Also by 2015, an additional 1.3 million barrel of oil equivalents (boe) would reach the market, increasing to 10.4 million boe by 2030.
The U.S. has several ready sources of energy at its disposal:
What Should Be Done
To start the wheels of job creation turning in the energy sector, the Administration and Congress must take several swift actions.
Time to Drill, Create, and Collect
Increasing the American energy supply should be low-hanging fruit for the “super committee” charged with tackling the massive U.S. debt problem. Allowing access for exploration and creating an efficient regulatory process that allows energy projects to move forward in a timely manner will not only increase revenue through more royalties, leases, and rent; it will also create jobs and help lower energy prices in the process. These are sensible policy ideas with or without a debt crisis, but given the fiscal situation, this is a no-brainer.
Nicolas D. Loris is a Policy Analyst in the Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation.
Wood Mackenzie, “U.S. Supply Forecast and Potential Jobs and Economic Impacts (2012–2030),” September 7, 2011, at http://www.scribd.com/doc/63727337/U-S-Supply-Forecast-and-Potential-Jobs-and-Economic-Impacts-2012-–-2030 (September 7, 2011).
Western Energy Alliance, “Approved Federal Onshore APDs,” August 1, 2011, at http://westernenergyalliance.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/dashboard_permitting.pdf (September 7, 2011).
TransCanada, “Delivering Economic Benefits and Energy Security,” at http://growvalleycounty.com/files/Keystone_Benefits_US_LR.PDF (September 7, 2011).
The U.S. Environmental Appeals Board invalidated the EPA’s permit approval for that area after appeals from environmental groups.
U.S. House of Representatives, Natural Resources Committee, “Increasing American Energy Production Will Lower Gasoline Prices, Create More Jobs,” at http://naturalresources.house.gov/Issues/Issue/?IssueID=32333 (September 7, 2011).
Timothy J. Considine, “The Economic Impacts of the Marcellus Shale: Implications for New York, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia,” July 14, 2010, at http://www.api.org/policy/exploration/hydraulicfracturing/upload/API%20Economic%20Impacts%20Marcellus%20Shale.pdf (September 7, 2011).
Timothy J. Considine, Robert W. Watson, and Nicholas B. Considine, “The Economic Opportunities of Shale Energy Development,” Manhattan Institute, May 2011, at http://www.manhattan-institute.org/pdf/eper_09.pdf (September 7, 2011).
Andrew Grossman, “High on Ozone: The EPA’s Latest Assault on Jobs and the Economy,” Heritage Foundation WebMemo No. 3330, August 1, 2011, at http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2011/08/high-on-ozone-the-epas-latest-assault-on-jobs-and-the-economy.