As we all anxiously wait for President Obama's "jobs" speech tomorrow where he will call for even more stimulus spending to benefit his union buddies, the oil industry is itching to create jobs and to make America more energy independent.
Government policies to increase domestic energy production could create up to a million jobs over the next seven years, the oil industry says in a new report aimed at influencing the political debate over jobs.
The American Petroleum Institute says in a report being released Wednesday that proposals to expand offshore oil drilling, boost production of natural gas in New York and other states and build a Canada-to-Texas oil pipeline could boost the U.S. economy.
API President Jack Gerard says the group's proposals could generate billions in new government revenue and help make the U.S. less dependent on foreign energy sources.
"We believe that could be a very important part of the president's plan in his focus on job creation and working with the Republican and Democratic leadership in Congress," Gerard said. He said the group's proposals represent "common ground" that should find support in both parties.
The API, the oil industry's largest lobbying group, is looking to influence the jobs debate amid a bleak employment report last week that showed no net job growth in August.
The API report calls on the government to speed up issuance of leases and drilling permits and open up drilling in now-closed areas in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico, Atlantic and Pacific oceans and Alaska.
The group also called for New York state officials to lift a de facto moratorium on natural gas drilling, and for the State Department to approve a planned $7 billion pipeline that would carry crude oil extracted from tar sand in Alberta, Canada, to refiners along the Texas Gulf Coast.
We've been hearing from democrats and Obama all summer long about how the government needs revanue and the oil industry is prepared to provide that in addition to desperatly needed jobs:
Besides creating a million new jobs, the API proposals could generate an additional $800 billion in revenue over the next two decades and double oil and gas production by 2030, Gerard said.
This is a win-win situation for workers and for the government. Keep in mind, the original $1 trillion stimulus package killed at least 1 million private sector jobs, zero net jobs were created in August and Obama's new $300 billion stimulus plan will be worthless too. On top of that, the Congressional Budget Office has predicted unemployment will stay above 8.5 percent well into 2012 with current policies in place.
Your move, Mr. President.