11.13.2017 0

President Trump is pushing America towards energy dominance

By Printus LeBlanc

Despite what the media is spewing, President Donald Trump is continuing his push to improve the American economy. The President made not just energy independence a priority of his campaign and now administration, but energy dominance. The President knows the U.S. has been blessed with vast quantities of energy, but the previous administration spent eight years trying to kill the energy industry and the hundreds of thousands of high paying jobs that go with it. President Trump and Secretary Zinke are taking steps to correct eight years of bureaucratic war waged against the petroleum extract industry.

An independent study conducted by Rystad Energy released in 2016 estimates the U.S. now holds more recoverable oil than both Saudi Arabia and Russia. If the report is accurate, it would be worth an estimated $50 trillion. Even if the estimates are off by half, it is still $25 trillion just waiting for U.S. firms to pull out of the ground. Unfortunately, much of that is on federal lands.

On June 29, while speaking at the Department of Energy, President Trump outlined six concrete steps his Administration is immediately taking to promote strength and innovation in America’s energy sector. The President’s sixth step was crucial, stating, “Finally, in order to unlock more energy from the 94 percent of offshore land closed to development under the previous administration, we are creating a new offshore Oil and Gas Leasing program. America will be allowed to access the vast energy wealth located right off our shores.”

The administration is living up to that promise and is taking steps to ensure American energy dominance and create high paying jobs. The Department of Interior is proposing the largest oil and gas lease sale it has ever held. Next March, 76 million acres of federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico of the coasts of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida. It is estimated there is at least 48 billion barrels of oil and 141 trillion cubic feet of gas in the Gulf of Mexico that is recoverable with current technology.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the petroleum extraction industry almost 180,000 people in the U.S. This does not include the truck drivers that deliver the supplies. This does not include the steelworkers making the pipes and equipment needed for the industry.

These are not minimum wage jobs. Entry-level jobs in the industry “roustabouts” start between $19-21 per hour, plus significant amounts of overtime according to Rigzone. These are jobs that require no skill and can be trained onsite. Rig foreman make $150,000+, while engineers and consultants make $200,000+. People in the petroleum extract industry pay a lot of federal, state, and local taxes, increasing government revenues across the board.

Contrary to popular belief, the industry is not made up of a few large corporations. The petroleum extract industry is a small business driven industry. Because everything involved in oil and gas production is highly specialized, from personnel transportation to the gloves rig workers wear, the oil and gas sector is made up of thousands of small businesses. Exxon or Shell may lease a plot, but they hire dozens of smaller companies to test for, extract and transport the product. Those companies, in turn, hire more companies and buy products to complete their part of the operation. One offshore platform can involve dozens of companies across the U.S.

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke stated, “In today’s low-price energy environment, providing the offshore industry access to the maximum amount of opportunities possible is part of our strategy to spur local and regional economic dynamism and job creation and a pillar of President Trump’s plan to make the United States energy dominant.”

Elected officials up and down the gulf coast are applauding the move by the administration. They know the economic benefit these jobs will bring and the millions per year in royalties. Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant stated, “This will strengthen our state’s status as a leader in oil and gas exploration and create good jobs for hardworking Mississippians.”

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey stated, “As he has done time and again, President Trump has proven to the people of Alabama that he is a man of his word, and we are grateful to him and to Secretary Ryan Zinke for their determination to open a vast tract of American waters to oil and gas exploration. This decision is not only in the best interest of all Americans, it allows Gulf Coast states, like Alabama, to utilize our natural resources not only to provide energy for our nation, but increased economic opportunities for our people.”

President Trump is continuing to push for American energy dominance. The President is getting the government out of the way of the free market, so it can put people to work in good-paying jobs. Thanks to this administration the U.S. could very well be on its way to a Golden Era of American Energy.

Printus LeBlanc is a contributing editor for Americans for Limited Government

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