Roughly 15 or 20 years ago, there were very few people who could have imagined that the U.S. would again lead the world in the production of natural gas and oiI, and even fewer who would have thought that we could reduce carbon emissions faster than any other nation. Today, we are doing both.
The natural gas and oil industry supports the jobs of more than 10 million American workers, and reports project an additional 1.9 million job opportunities in America’s natural gas and oil and petrochemicals industries by 2035 — nearly 40 percent of which will be held by African-American and Hispanic workers. The natural gas and oil industry leads all other sectors — including utilities, tech and health care — in compensation for U.S. workers, because as an industry, we take pride in providing well-paying careers and opportunities for individuals and families, offering support for communities and driving local and national economies.
The American energy revolution is changing life for the better. Stable, affordable energy brings economic stability and cleaner air. It is reviving American manufacturing and restoring jobs we used to hear were gone forever. Advanced technologies, best practices and industry standards allow the natural gas and oil industry to safely and responsibly explore and develop both onshore and offshore, and this development means that the industry can continue leading the way in bringing large economic benefits — including investments and jobs — to communities across the country, as well as affordable and reliable energy.
These benefits are tangible — like newly paved roads, upgraded school buildings and better-funded land and water conservation projects. Just last month, onshore lease sales in New Mexico resulted in nearly $500 million in revenue awarded to the state from oil and natural gas production on federal lands. Offshore lease sales are just as beneficial as onshore ones and could bring the same types of much-needed benefits to many states along the Atlantic coast and eastern Gulf of Mexico. Communities in states from Virginia to Florida could see billions in state revenues, improved infrastructure and thousands of new jobs.
Affordable domestic energy also generates cost savings — savings that can be invested in businesses and jobs. By 2040, natural gas alone will save consumers across the country an estimated $100 billion, or $655 per household, from the increased use of the abundant, affordable fuel throughout our economy — from manufacturing to electricity generation.
Over the course of the past decade, the nation’s natural gas and oil industry has accomplished what many thought impossible. Our industry employed advanced technology and the best of the American entrepreneurial spirit to move the nation from energy scarcity to energy abundance. We have played a leading role in reducing energy costs for American families and businesses, spurred a manufacturing revival and strengthened the nation’s energy security — while leading the world in environmental progress. With the right policies, U.S. energy development can continue to fuel the economy — and our communities — for decades to come.
Quintana is American Petroleum Institute’s director of stakeholder relations.