Lee Terry: Take a hint on job creation

posted at 12:05 pm on October 6, 2011 by Jazz Shaw

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.

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And we need to be allowed to get drilling permits

tomg51 on October 6, 2011 at 12:12 PM

I’m sorry… not ‘green’ jobs…

Calling AttackWatch now…

Khun Joe on October 6, 2011 at 12:12 PM

But, but, but Green jobs will save us from globull warming

AH_C on October 6, 2011 at 12:16 PM

“Any attempt at injecting common sense into this discussion will be met with swift and decisive admonishment”

Sincerely,

Hopey
ABC
NBC
CBS
New York Times
All Democrats
etc etc etc etc etc…

Tim Zank on October 6, 2011 at 12:19 PM

We don’t need the federal government stopping job creation, and that’s what is happening. What are citizens supposed to do about a government preventing people from earning a living? The damn election can’t come fast enough.

MTF on October 6, 2011 at 12:28 PM

In related news, PA Governor Corbett’s approval is up.

Unfortunately, in addition to a relatively good job market and pushing to finally de-socialize the liquor stores, he also agreed to apply an additional tax on gas drilling. Hopefully he’ll keep it low. Pretty much no choice on this one. The media was reporting the story as if gas drillers paid no taxes rather than reporting the truth that the proposed surtax would be an extra tax on top of all the business and payroll taxes they already pay. But that’s the way it goes with the left-wing activists posing as journalists.

forest on October 6, 2011 at 12:34 PM

What utter bullcrap.

Job creation is best achieved by selling solar panels for less than it costs to produce them, along with a comprehensive program of using stimulus funding to provide guns to Mexican drug lords.

So simple even a rightwing ding dong fascist could understand it (that would be all of you).

Bishop on October 6, 2011 at 12:40 PM

What utter bullcrap.

Job creation is best achieved by selling solar panels for less than it costs to produce them, along with a comprehensive program of using stimulus funding to provide guns to Mexican drug lords.

So simple even a rightwing ding dong fascist could understand it (that would be all of you).

Bishop on October 6, 2011 at 12:40 PM

Dang. You are so right. I just reported myself to Attack Watch.

In light of this analysis, I think we should surrender in Iraq.

fossten on October 6, 2011 at 12:43 PM

They’re fighting unemployment, injecting life into our country’s economy, and making America less dependent on energy from volatile foreign regimes.

This is all good and well, but the US economy isn’t driven by either the mining or energy industries. You’re not going to broadly relieve unemployment by drilling for more oil or natural gas. It’s not a real answer to our biggest long-term challenges.

US natural gas reserves, by the way, are so massive that supply can easily outstrip demand, leading to a suppression of new drilling projects. While this is great for the US over the long term, until CNG powered vehicles become more prevalent and more coal-fired power plants are replaced by natural gas powered ones, this country’s great natural gas resources won’t be fully realized.

bayam on October 6, 2011 at 12:48 PM

As a Californian I can’t wait until the renewable energy laws kick in and the price of energy goes way up. This time the state does not have the money to subsidize the poor and protect them from their poor choices…

Theworldisnotenough on October 6, 2011 at 12:51 PM

The first impediment is getting rid of the clown in the White House. This man has no clue as to how the economy works – or if he does – he deliberately gets in the way every chance he gets.

GarandFan on October 6, 2011 at 12:51 PM

Can’t wait to let them drill in all my pastures here in SW ND.
Instead of a bailout, ie. disaster $$ etc. I would just like the opportunity to sell my mineral rights, thank you very much.
Signed,
Badger40 in SW North Dakota

Badger40 on October 6, 2011 at 12:57 PM

To only look at the immediate jobs created by drilling and the service industries supporting it is being nearsighted.

An abundant stable source of liquid and gaseous hydrocarbons is also the key ingredient to almost everything invented and manufactured during the 20th Century.

Petrochemical plants have already been planned and are presently being designed for Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. It is not just the oil and natural gas (the fuel source for petrochemical furnaces) but more importantly the value added NGL (natural gas liquids) expected to come from the Utica Shale production. Product pipelines will need to connect various new plants, and the service industry supporting petrochemical manufacturing operations will provide better paying jobs of much longer duration than the drilling ones

Kermit on October 6, 2011 at 1:15 PM

US natural gas reserves, by the way, are so massive that supply can easily outstrip demand, leading to a suppression of new drilling projects. While this is great for the US over the long term, until CNG powered vehicles become more prevalent and more coal-fired power plants are replaced by natural gas powered ones, this country’s great natural gas resources won’t be fully realized.

bayam on October 6, 2011 at 12:48 PM

Wouldn’t the increase in natural gas availability make the production of CNG-powered vehicles a good bet then?

Also, coal-fired plants have been used for electricity production and cheap availability, not transportation. Nuclear or hydro-power generation of electricity is also cheaper and less ecologically damaging than solar or wind power.

There are peripheral jobs that grow from the development of our natural resources. The US economy would grow exponentially from these industries. Right now, the Chinese seem to be the ones profiting from solar and wind power “investments.”

onlineanalyst on October 6, 2011 at 1:16 PM

This is all good and well, but the US economy isn’t driven by either the mining or energy industries. You’re not going to broadly relieve unemployment by drilling for more oil or natural gas. It’s not a real answer to our biggest long-term challenges.

bayam on October 6, 2011 at 12:48 PM

“We can’t drill our way out of this.” Senator Barack Obama (D-IL), US Senate, 2008 Democrat Nominee for President of the United States

Thanks for spouting the lefty talking points as usual, tool.

fossten on October 6, 2011 at 1:20 PM

That’s my Congressman!

He’s got it right but comes short by not mentioning that Nebraska is also a “Right to Work” state!

We have really great governor also…. I guess our only shame is Ben Nelson…..

rabidamerican on October 6, 2011 at 1:23 PM

Energy + Freedom = Prosperity

It’s a simple equation, and it works every time.

But it’s math, and liberals don’t do math.

ZenDraken on October 6, 2011 at 2:05 PM

US natural gas reserves, by the way, are so massive that supply can easily outstrip demand, leading to a suppression of new drilling projects. While this is great for the US over the long term, until CNG powered vehicles become more prevalent and more coal-fired power plants are replaced by natural gas powered ones, this country’s great natural gas resources won’t be fully realized.

bayam on October 6, 2011 at 12:48 PM

I assume that CNG means “compressed natural gas”, but natural-gas-powered vehicles will not be the major consumer, and vehicles powered by liquid fuels (gasoline, diesel oil) will continue to dominate for many years. A car or truck powered by liquid fuel needs a relatively small fuel tank at atmospheric pressure to obtain a range of 300 to 500 miles, and untrained consumers can safely refuel them (how much expertise is needed to insert a nozzle and squeeze a lever)?

Filling a tank with compressed natural gas requires specially-designed nozzles and seals to prevent leaks and depressurization, which could lead to explosions if an ignition source is nearby, and trained personnel are needed to handle pressurized and potentially explosive gas. While this may be feasible for a municipal bus system (such as Nashville) where all buses are refueled at a central location by trained employees, it could be dangerous for untrained people at a self-serve natural gas station.

But if America’s natural gas reserves are very abundant, bringing them into production will reduce the price of natural gas relative to coal and oil, giving an incentive for homeowners to switch from oil-fired to gas-fired furnaces, and power companies to switch from coal-fired to gas-fired power plants (which plays into the global-warming lobby, since natural gas generates half as much CO2 as coal for the same energy produced).

Drilling and production are not the only jobs that can be created by exploiting newly discovered natural gas reserves. North Dakota and Nebraska are not densely populated, but other more densely-populated areas such as New England and California need the gas. There would also be new jobs created by building pipelines required to transport the gas from where it is produced to where it is needed, including in states WITHOUT natural gas underground.

Steve Z on October 6, 2011 at 2:12 PM

So simple even a rightwing ding dong fascist could understand it (that would be all of you).

Bishop on October 6, 2011 at 12:40 PM

Dang. You are so right. I just reported myself to Attack Watch.

In light of this analysis, I think we should surrender in Iraq.

fossten on October 6, 2011 at 12:43 PM

Report me, too. And I am going down to the local police station to surrender my guns and ammunition. For the children.

Jaibones on October 6, 2011 at 2:42 PM

You’re not going to broadly relieve unemployment by drilling for more oil or natural gas. It’s not a real answer to our biggest long-term challenges.

bayam on October 6, 2011 at 12:48 PM

Cheap energy certainly is, dumbfu*k.

Jaibones on October 6, 2011 at 2:43 PM

They are not real jobs unless they are union jobs./

tommer74 on October 6, 2011 at 3:01 PM

bayam on October 6, 2011 at 12:48 PM

Two problems with CNG. Portability and btu value as fuel for internal combustion engines.

Coal is even less expensive to fuel boilers for electric power generation.

What it does in fact do is bring natural gas prices to the levels they were before Clinton’s energy policy screwed up the balance and forced those prices to increase and make GE’s gas turbine generators the favorite son of electric power generating stations.

With lower natural gas prices we can in fact replace all the lost petrochemical plants which provide basic and intermediate chemicals required for modern products. This allows us to regain much of the business lost to overseas competition. That would mean a great many additional permanent and fixed jobs.

Kermit on October 6, 2011 at 3:16 PM

Oh yeah, it’s all wonderful goodness until the EPA steps in and shuts it down in your state.

woodNfish on October 6, 2011 at 11:25 PM