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OPINION

The GOP’s Opportunity to Talk About Job Growth

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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Will tonight’s GOP presidential campaign debate in Colorado be more about staging political theatre, catchy soundbites, and media analysts focused on who has the “gotcha” moment? Or will this debate actually produce a substantive discussion of economic and regulatory policies that could actually help our nation’s economy grow?

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Sadly the ramp up discussion to this next GOP debate has been more about who can trump Trump than a discussion of who has the best ideas to reviving a lagging U.S. economy or which candidate has the best plan for job creation. Tonight’s debate is supposed to focus on improving the nation’s economy. So, let’s hope there is a lot more focus on the issue of energy, which plays a central role in our economy and is the key ingredient for the emerging American manufacturing comeback. This critical issue was virtually ignored in the first two debates.

The candidates can’t talk about economic growth and security without focusing on the role of the American energy. While the entire nation’s economy dropped three percent between 2007 and 2013, jobs in the oil and natural gas sector were up forty percent. Our nation’s energy industry is stabilizing oil prices around the globe and our national security is now greatly strengthened due to the fact we no longer rely on importing energy from hotbed, politically unstable areas of the world.

America’s energy revolution is prompting job growth. There are roughly one hundred new manufacturing plants on the drawing board by 2018 due to the recent boom in natural gas and oil production in the nation today. This growth could produce five million new, good paying jobs by 2020.

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Republicans should talk about America’s bright energy future. Analysts say that if Congress voted to end the ban on oil exports for example, we could see an additional 900,000 jobs created by 2018. And I might add that many of these oil export related jobs would be union jobs in rail, trucking, and shipping sectors.

Democrats always try to shift this debate away from new energy production to a discussion of protecting the environment. Fine. Our GOP candidates should be ready for that discussion. For example, our energy industry spent ninety billion in zero and low carbon emission technologies between 2000 and 2014. The natural gas revolution in our nation over the last few years has been driving down emissions, while producing record level domestic energy. The United States is presently enjoying a twenty seven year low in carbon emissions. Ozone emissions have dropped fifty percent since 1980.

Our air quality is leading the rest of the world and yet there are many Democrats who want to pile on more costly and needless environmental regulations that will only stifle energy production and new manufacturing growth. New ozone regulations pushed by the White House and EPA for example will reduce our nation’s GDP by $1.8 trillion by 2040 and cost every household roughly $840 dollars a year.

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Let’s hope some of these facts emerge in tonight’s debate. It’s time the GOP start talking seriously about developing our nation’s energy resources, reviving our manufacturing base, and reining in Washington, DC regulators who want to choke off our best avenue for job creation -American energy. Our GOP presidential hopefuls can take the time tonight to say that a robust domestic energy industry will mean real economic growth and real job creation.

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