In recent years, innovation and technological advancements have dramatically increased the amount of oil and natural gas production in the United States. These booming energy advances have fueled strong economic growth across America. Thanks to plentiful natural resource production here at home, we’re seeing direct benefits in employment rates, our economy, the environment and energy security for the United States.
American Energy Means American Jobs
Producing oil and natural gas in the United States provides a multitude of job opportunities both on and off site. Each production site requires a large group of employees with a variety of skillsets to complete operations safely and efficiently. In addition to employees and contractors onsite, energy production requires the support of local service companies, such as transportation and engineering firms. Aside from the production itself, operations also bring business to the area that provide services to oilfield personnel like shops, restaurants and hotels.
In 2018, the United States reached record highs in domestic oil and natural gas production. In that same year, American oil and natural gas employment increased 5.4 percent, and 70 percent of industry recruiters indicated that they expected to hire more employees in the near future.
America’s manufacturing industry also benefits from a booming oil and natural gas industry. A recent study estimates that the promise of lower gas costs (created by an increase in domestic production) could create up to one million new manufacturing jobs by the year 2025.
Economic Benefits at Home
Expansion in the official government sector that includes oil and natural gas development — was a major driving force behind U.S. economic growth in the fourth quarter of 2018, according to the data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). In fact, the sector propelled Texas, Wyoming, Oklahoma, Alaska and New Mexico to experience nationally top five gross domestic product (GDP) increases in the fourth quarter of 2018. Overall, the value added by the industry increased 38 percent nationally in Q4 2018, the largest increase since 2008, and contributed to growth in 49 states.
Strong Environmental Protections
Although many countries have taken steps to implement environmental protection legislation, regulations are more strictly enforced in the United States than other nations. For example, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates air, waste and water emissions for numerous facets of production, enforcing strict standards for companies that operate in oil and gas. Unfortunately, many other countries that produce at similar output levels do not have or enforce this level of regulation. According to the UN’s latest Environment Report, 176 countries have environmental framework laws, but the environment is still severely threatened by industry because these laws are not being enforced. Research has shown that strict enforcement of environmental policies domestically results in 15 percent lower global CO2 emissions overall. Therefore, keeping more oil and natural gas production in the United States, where production is extremely regulated, helps reduce emissions for the whole world.
Bolstering Energy Security
2019 has already been a banner year for American oil and natural gas production. The United States produced a record level 12.2 million barrels of oil per day in April 2019, the highest level ever recorded. In 2018, U.S. net imports of petroleum from foreign countries declined to about 11 percent of total U.S. consumption in 2018, the lowest percentage since 1957. Increased domestic protection provides our nation with increased energy security. For years, we have relied on international sources – from some of the world’s most volatile areas – for imports. Producing more oil and natural gas here in the U.S. helps our nation take matters into its own hands – and helps lessen our reliance on these unstable regimes.
American energy production is reaching new heights and will only continue to increase as technology advances. The oil and natural gas industry plays a critical role in our country and daily lives. We should continue produce oil and gas here in America, where environmental protections are strongly enforced, and American workers can be hired, in addition to generating tremendous economic benefits for our nation.