Not only was the U.S. regaining its foothold in world energy markets, things were beginning to look pretty good here at home too. Oil and gas industry jobs increased by 40 percent between 2007 and 2013, a sharp contrast to the three percent job loss in the overall economy. Meanwhile, surging domestic energy production injected $476 billion into the U.S. economy in 2010 alone, filling state and federal coffers with needed revenue.
The economic impact of the U.S. energy renaissance translates into real benefits – especially for low income and middle income Americans. In addition to new jobs and more revenue, American energy production has helped keep our energy prices more stable even in the face of great unrest in the Middle East and other oil producing parts of the world. This is critical for many Americans struggling to make ends meet while also putting gas in their cars and heating their homes.
But progress wouldn’t be progress without at least one billionaire raining on the parade.
America’s domestic energy boom doesn’t sit well with San Francisco-based, former hedge fund billionaire Tom Steyer. Having made a large share of his fortune in foreign coal and oil investments, he now seems to believe that America should abandon oil and natural gas in favor of alternative, and significantly more expensive, forms of energy.
Apparently fossil fuels are okay in his book as long as they’re being developed somewhere other the United States.