Natural Gas and Oil Industry: Jobs, Economic Benefits and Key to National Security
By State Sen. Wayne Wallingford, Chairman, Missouri Vets4Energy
Last week, the American Petroleum Institute released a new study that demonstrated that the U.S. oil and natural gas industry supports 10.3 million jobs and added $1.3 trillion to the U.S. economy in 2015. The study found that all 50 states, whether producing or non-producing, benefited from the industry.
The study, produced by Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PWC), shows that Missouri jobs affiliated with the natural gas and oil industry totaled 117,500 and that the value added to the state’s economy was $10.4 billion in 2015.
In a release of the study, API President and CEO Jack Gerard said “Natural gas and oil touches virtually every facet of our life – from heating our homes and fueling transportation to life-saving medical devices and cosmetics at the drug store. This study is further proof of the positive impact that U.S. resources have on workers and communities across the nation. Policies that promote the responsible development of our nation’s vast energy resources aren’t solely economic, but also further U.S. security and environmental stewardship. Increased use of clean-burning natural gas for power generation and technology innovations has reduced U.S. greenhouse gas emissions to near 30-year lows today.”
The economic impact of the natural gas and oil industry is another major reason for U.S. policy makers to continue to support infrastructure improvements including pipeline development and robust transportation systems. These continued investments will have a contributory impact in Missouri. And just as important, as we invest in continued infrastructure, is the issue of national security. It is imperative that the United States maintain its position as world producer so that we never again become reliant upon foreign sources of gas and oil from countries that do not share our democratic values. Our position in the world market enables the U.S. to provide these valuable resources to our allies for defense and military use.
PHOTO/Col. Jack Jackson, former state representative (left), speaks with Wallingford, R-Cape Girardeau