Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Domestic Energy and Jobs Act

Today House Majority Whip Rep Kevin McCarthy, House Natural Resources Chairman Rep Doc Hastings and Rep Cory Gardner (CO-4) participated in a bloggers call about the Domestic Energy and Jobs Act. To be considered by the full House the week of June 18th, it consists of seven bipartisan bills that have already passed out of committee.

Known as the HEAT Team, the House Energy Action Team has travelled across the country listening to energy producers and observing operations now in progress. The premise of the work is to promote the idea that one way to improve private sector jobs is to have an energy policy for America. In North Dakota, for example, household incomes have increased by 38% thanks to energy production, unlike the rest of the country.

My previous blog post spotlighted the video of the oil producer in North Dakota and the success of his operation there plus the benefits to the local economy. It is worth a look and listen.

Further proof of the success North Dakota residents and workers there are reaping is found in an article written in Popular Mechanics.

In 2001, North Dakota wells produced 31 million barrels of oil, less than 2 percent of which came from the Bakken. Last year the state generated a record 152 million barrels, and more than 80 percent of it was Bakken derived. For 2012, North Dakota's output is projected to surpass that of California (196 million barrels) and possibly even that of Alaska (209 million barrels) and to lag behind only Texas (533 million barrels). Estimates for the total amount of oil that could be recovered from the formation range wildly, from a few billion barrels or less to exponentially more. In an unpublished but nonetheless widely referenced paper from 2000, Leigh Price of the United States Geological Survey estimated that 200 billion barrels of oil could ultimately be extracted.

Chairman Hastings noted that the new legislation to be taken up next week in the House will focus on on land production, like in Alaska. There is a potential of billions of barrels of oil held up by red tape.

As Majority Whip McCarthy stressed:

* May's abysmal employment report should be a wake-up call to the President and Senate Democrats. They cannot continue to sit on their hands while 13 million Americans remain out of work. The Domestic Energy and Jobs Act will help job creators in the energy industry invest more in American-made energy and American-made jobs. This legislation has the potential to spur the economic growth that will create hundreds of thousands of new jobs and bring down gas prices from the "new normal" of $3.50 per gallon, the current national average.

* The greatest potential for economic growth in this country can be found in America's energy resources, and while the President is pre-occupied with telling Americans what he won't do on energy, the economy and jobs, House Republicans are showing what they can do.

* By working together, Congress can empower innovators to harness our domestic energy capabilities using new technologies. This will help put our country back on the road to recovery by creating jobs and growing our economy. With each discovery of American energy comes the immediate need for manufacturers, engineers, leasing specialists, rig operators and more. This is the type of employment demand that will get this country back to work.

American energy equals good paying American jobs and strengthens our nation's national security. It's a win-win.

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