While the Obama administration is busy guaranteeing loans for ‘green’ jobs that may or may not exist in the future (think Solyndra), the private energy sector is busy creating real jobs for real people. These private sector jobs are helping to satisfy the real demands of consumers here in the United States for gas.
The domestic oil and gas sector has created more than 200,000 jobs since 2003, an 80 percent increase. Of all new private sector jobs, oil and gas account for 20 percent of them. These new jobs are not the result of stimulus funding or guaranteed government loans. They are the result of producers responding to market signals for oil and gas. They are the result of producers in the private market investing in enhanced oil and gas production with the intention of earning a profit.
Political tampering in the market is doing more to hamper than help job growth in the energy sector. After guaranteeing nearly $40 billion (of taxpayer dollars) in loans for ‘green jobs,’ only about 3,500 jobs have been created. That is a far cry from the estimated 65,000 predicted. In addition, the threat of increased regulation on oil and gas development--restricting pipelines and development of the Outer Continental Shelf, for example--will slow job growth.
The current administration is so desperate to lower unemployment, boost the economy, and appear ‘green,’ that it has fallen into a Keynesian trap that assumes that government spending can outperform the marketplace. Private action speaks louder than political promises. The rapid growth in private sector energy jobs and the lack of growth in the politically funded green energy sector is one case in point.