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InsiderOnline Blog: September 2011

No Energy in Obama’s Jobs Plan

While the Obama administration has been “throwing sand in the gears of the permitting process for exploration and exploitation on federal lands,” Canada has unleashed the animal spirits in its energy sector to great effect, writes Mary Anastasia O’Grady:

Alberta’s oil and gas industry supports more than 271,000 direct jobs and hundreds of thousands of indirect jobs in sectors such as construction, manufacturing and financial services. The province has an unemployment rate of 5.6%. There are also some 960 American companies involved in Alberta energy, supplying equipment and technology, among other things. As an example, Mr. Liepert says, “dozens of Caterpillar tractors, made in Illinois and Michigan and costing $5 million a piece” work the oil sands. He says the region is on track to create more than 400,000 direct American jobs by 2035. The Bakken region of North Dakota, where private land ownership gives drillers relief from federal obstructionism, shares a similar, if smaller, story. Oil production there is booming, and North Dakota unemployment is 3.3%.

TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline, if the U.S. ever issues the permit, will mean $20 billion in investment. The company says the construction phase will require 13,000 direct hires and indirect new jobs could total 118,000 in the U.S.

But Keystone XL is only a fraction of the potential that could be released if Mr. Obama changed his energy policy. In a study commissioned by the American Petroleum Institute and released last week, the energy consultancy Wood MacKenzie estimates that pro-development policies could, by 2030, “support an additional 1.4 million jobs, and raise over $800 billion of cumulative additional government revenue.” [Canada’s Oil Sands Are a Jobs Gusher, by Mary Anastasia O’Grady, Wall Street Journal]

As O’Grady notes, the President’s jobs plan doesn’t address the energy sector.

Posted on 09/12/11 06:05 PM by Alex Adrianson

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