Congressman Lee Terry (NE-2) provides a special message for Hot Air readers this week detailing his own experiences with productive job creation, as well as lessons that President Obama could learn in the process. Not all of America is starving for jobs – at least not as badly as the rest of the nation – and the congressman identifies the main reason for this. States which are developing their domestic energy resources are reaping the rewards, and there is plenty more that could be done. We’ll start with the introductory section, but the entire text follows below.

Take a Hint for Job Creation
Congressman Lee Terry (NE-2)

We all know that the American economy has seen better days. A financial crisis hit us hard. The country hasn’t fully recovered. Millions of Americans are still jobless.

Yet, the skies aren’t all cloudy. You can see the sun peeking through in places like Pennsylvania, North Dakota, and my home state of Nebraska. Job growth in these states has been strong while most states’ employment numbers slump or stay stagnant.

The states doing well on the job front have something in common. They’ve actively utilized energy development and exploration. Though Nebraska’s strong economy is largely due to sound fiscal management, we saw the energy development-jobs pattern and acted accordingly. Nebraska got on the launching pad of something great with the Keystone XL Pipeline, because Nebraskans saw that the project can produce tens of thousands of jobs while ensuring energy security.

As the congressman points out, it isn’t just Nebraska which has profited. Up in my neck of the woods, Pennsylvania has seen a tremendous influx of jobs from the natural gas industry following the opening of the Marcellus Shale reserves, and that expansion has translated into growth in many sectors of the economy beyond just energy production. North Dakota, Oklahoma, West Virginia, and Wyoming are also reaping similar benefits.

But there’s a long way to go. The Gulf states still hold tremendous potential in terms of exploration, development and processing which could be delivering tens of thousands of jobs in the near future with nothing more required of Washington than to simply stop standing in the way of progress.

Congressman Terry explains it much better than I. Following is the full text of his letter. Take time to read it and consider supporting his efforts in Congress in this area.

We all know that the American economy has seen better days. A financial crisis hit us hard. The country hasn’t fully recovered. Millions of Americans are still jobless.

Yet, the skies aren’t all cloudy. You can see the sun peeking through in places like Pennsylvania, North Dakota, and my home state of Nebraska. Job growth in these states has been strong while most states’ employment numbers slump or stay stagnant.

The states doing well on the job front have something in common. They’ve actively utilized energy development and exploration. Though Nebraska’s strong economy is largely due to sound fiscal management, we saw the energy development-jobs pattern and acted accordingly. Nebraska got on the launching pad of something great with the Keystone XL Pipeline, because Nebraskans saw that the project can produce tens of thousands of jobs while ensuring energy security.

Now other states need to take the hint. Let’s look at the numbers.

Pennsylvania experienced almost 130 percent job growth over the last decade. In 2010 alone, more than 65,000 Pennsylvanian jobs were created. This employment boost largely came from natural gas production in the Marcellus Shale.

Out west, North Dakota created over 3,000 jobs last year. This growth is monumental, considering that this state’s population is well under a million. These impressive jobs numbers are a direct result of harvesting the Bakken Shale.

Several other states have experienced similar trends in job growth. This past year’s employment boosts in Oklahoma, West Virginia, and Wyoming (+1.4%, +1.1%, and +1.0%, respectively) are mostly attributed to incredibly active oil and gas industries.

These energy-friendly states are giving our country three major gifts in this current time of need. They’re fighting unemployment, injecting life into our country’s economy, and making America less dependent on energy from volatile foreign regimes.

As our country’s population grows, our appetite for energy will too. We might as well be the ones producing it. Sourcing our own energy and keeping that transaction within North America’s borders keeps money in American pockets.

Despite what some might tell you, we don’t have to borrow money and spend our way out of this recession. If more states adopted the energy-friendly attitudes of states like Nebraska, North Dakota, and Pennsylvania, our country would take a major step towards better economic times.

Every state has the potential to turn natural resources into multibillion-dollar energy projects. Producing these resources would be a money-making and job-producing windfall for the country. It would generate thousands of energy industry jobs and thousands more “spin-off” jobs that would cater to the new industries.

The ladder out of this economic downturn is right in front of our noses. For the sake of job creation and our nation’s future, more states need to take a hint from Nebraska, Pennsylvania and North Dakota, and develop energy-friendly policies today.