The untold jobs boom: Non-green edition

posted at 6:15 pm on November 27, 2011 by Jazz Shaw

The economy stinks. Employers aren’t hiring. The big money is staying on the sidelines. We hear these stories every day, and it’s certainly depressing. But as the Wall Street Journal notes, there is one exception to this rule which is providing some hope and relief in a number of areas across the country. If you got all of your information from White House press releases, you might think it’s in the “green economy,” and the development of solar panels, organic roof tiles or bovine flatulence inhibitors. (Go ahead… click on the link. I dare you.)

But no… the boom in jobs and opportunity isn’t coming from “green.” It’s being found in “brown” – the same old reliable energy sources we’ve been dealing in for decades. Yep.. oil land natural gas.

So President Obama was right all along. Domestic energy production really is a path to prosperity and new job creation. His mistake was predicting that those new jobs would be “green,” when the real employment boom is taking place in oil and gas.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported recently that the U.S. jobless rate remains a dreadful 9%. But look more closely at the data and you can see which industries are bucking the jobless trend. One is oil and gas production, which now employs some 440,000 workers, an 80% increase, or 200,000 more jobs, since 2003. Oil and gas jobs account for more than one in five of all net new private jobs in that period.

The ironies here are richer than the shale deposits in North Dakota’s Bakken formation. While Washington has tried to force-feed renewable energy with tens of billions in special subsidies, oil and gas production has boomed thanks to private investment. And while renewable technology breakthroughs never seem to arrive, horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing have revolutionized oil and gas extraction—with no Energy Department loan guarantees needed.

Which state has the lowest unemployment rate in the nation right now? South Dakota. (At 3.5%) And they’re pumping oil at more than 200 rigs, with more waiting to come on line. There are currently more than 16,000 job openings posted, many of them in the above $100K range.

Pennsylvania and Ohio aren’t far behind, though the majority of those jobs are in the natural gas industry. This is mostly from the staggering resources available in the Marcellus and Utica shale plays. And yet, as the WSJ editors note, Washington somehow seems to continue pursuing policies which inhibit growth in these areas while flushing more taxpayer dollars we don’t have into technologies which routinely fail to bear economically viable fruit.

What can you do? That part is easy. Get to work. If it’s in your area of ability, jump in and grab one of those jobs. And even if you can’t, let others know that this is going on. We’re not talking about fuzzy, future possibilities which may or may not pay off in the latter half of this century. These jobs are here now. And to be clear, I think we will continue to explore and expand research into future technologies, many of which may pay dividends down the road. But we need jobs now. And they’re out there.

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It could be far greater should the threat of Federalie intervention be removed, and it’s lands be opened up for exploration and production.

As I type, and for at least several months now, new manufacturing facilities are being designed for states like Ohio, Pennsylvania & West Virgina, along with other states. The facilities would utilize the No. 1 RAW material, hydrocarbons at a low and stable rate for the next decade to justify such large capital investment.

Thus far only one candidate has provided in his plans what is necessary to cause such construction to be put into effect. Many of the permanent jobs would likely be old line AFL-CIO type jobs. Down here in Louisiana non-union hourly workers get paid between $75K and $100K+ annually for such jobs.

Kermit on November 27, 2011 at 6:24 PM

I am in the Gulf of Mexico right now on an oil platform. It has been a long time since I was out here, but I am still employed. If the idiots in the administration would give us some permits, we would really be busy. I predict that come August the permits will be issued so that Obama can say “See! Look at all of the jobs I have created!” The closer to the election, the more offshore drilling.

DAT60A3 on November 27, 2011 at 6:24 PM

DAT60A3 on November 27, 2011 at 6:24 PM

My nephew has been on constant rotation, as a mud engineer, since last year at this time in GoM. Mostly at Amberjack where a self erecting rig is on the production platform.

Kermit on November 27, 2011 at 6:26 PM

“Which state has the lowest unemployment rate in the nation right now? South Dakota. (At 3.5%)” Um living is SD, I am pretty proud of our unemployment rate, but the truth of the matter is that I think you are talking about north Dakota. It happens a lot.

duggersd on November 27, 2011 at 6:31 PM

It’s things like this that really really make me ask, what on Earth happened to all the thinking Democrats? Is the new ideology so strong that the majority of working class Democrats can’t see this works (immediately) and wind and solar are nothing but sinkholes?

I honestly just can’t understand how anyone, no matter how liberal, can deny the most common sense “in your face” undeniable real life working example of jobs, growth and ancillary employment.

Seriously, how can they be so stupid?

Tim Zank on November 27, 2011 at 6:37 PM

Seriously, how can they be so stupid?

Tim Zank on November 27, 2011 at 6:37 PM

Indoctrination brings teh stoopid.

predator on November 27, 2011 at 6:44 PM

My employer sells to the oil industry and sales are WAY up!

There is a lot of growth in West Texas; I didn’t see it mentioned here.

mad scientist on November 27, 2011 at 6:46 PM

Energy.

Without it, there is nothing.

Basic law of physics.

You’ve just been fed.

BobMbx on November 27, 2011 at 6:50 PM

mad scientist on November 27, 2011 at 6:46 PM

I worked in the patch back in the late ’70s, early ’80s. If I needed a gig, I’d damn sure consider going back. I’m sure it’s changed a lot in 30 years, and I’m almost 60, so that could be a problem.

But any young buck with half a brain, some gumption, and seeking some adventure and cash? Git on up thar! *or out thar, in your case mad-sci*

predator on November 27, 2011 at 6:54 PM

i just saw this:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financialcrisis/8919470/IMF-drawing-up-517bn-package-to-save-Italy-Spain-and-the-euro.html

IMF going to bailout Italy and Spain. I sorta assumed that they’d have to be bailed out by the IMF. So let’s do the math. 600B euros equal about 800B dollars and we throw in about 17 percent of that…or more or less 200B of US tax dollars

r keller on November 27, 2011 at 7:04 PM

Energy.

Without it, there is nothing.

Basic law of physics.

You’ve just been fed.

BobMbx on November 27, 2011 at 6:50 PM

It really is that simple.

darwin-t on November 27, 2011 at 7:13 PM

It’s things like this that really really make me ask, what on Earth happened to all the thinking Democrats? …
 
Tim Zank on November 27, 2011 at 6:37 PM

 
The bad (as in actually evil and dictatorial) will readily self-identify as “progressive”. I’m going to start asking local and state representatives if they use that term for themselves.

rogerb on November 27, 2011 at 7:15 PM

bovine flatulence inhibitors

Actually, I’d like to see a bovine excrement inhibitor used on this administration.

realitycheck on November 27, 2011 at 7:22 PM

The kicker is if the administration would release those contracts that are sitting gathering dust in the DOE the Gulf Coast would be booming, enough to solve some of the woes with unemployment.

But it goes against the Ayers playbook, that says you should punish your enemies.

The trouble with this is, he’s punishing the whole country.

itsspideyman on November 27, 2011 at 7:26 PM

The trouble with this is, he’s punishing the whole country.

itsspideyman on November 27, 2011 at 7:26 PM

That’s because he considers the whole country his enemy. At least the productive part, who are the ones that keep the “whole country” working.

predator on November 27, 2011 at 7:29 PM

It should read North Dakota, not South Dakota.
Also, it should be pointed out that the reason the Bakken play is blowing and going so strong in the state is that over 95% of the drilling is occurring on either Indian or private lands. If this play occurred on federal lands, well lets just say “forget about it”.

nodaky on November 27, 2011 at 7:37 PM

I happen to have a good job… in the oil field… and have had one for 20 years now. But hearing about the boom in ND just makes me jumpy and wishing I was 18 again with no ties looking at all the cash, adventure and opportunity available in that state right now.

Koa on November 27, 2011 at 7:48 PM

The trouble with this is, he’s punishing the whole country.

itsspideyman on November 27, 2011 at 7:26 PM

That’s because he considers the whole country his enemy. At least the productive part, who are the ones that keep the “whole country” working.

predator on November 27, 2011 at 7:29 PM

And he and his party have openly declared themselves as the enemy. Through their actions. And they will realize the consequences of their choice in 2012.

LAND. SLIDE.

Landslide.

Key West Reader on November 27, 2011 at 7:57 PM

KWR,

I pray to God that you are right, and I remain optimistic.

predator on November 27, 2011 at 8:03 PM

I pray to God that you are right, and I remain optimistic.

predator on November 27, 2011 at 8:03 PM

You should and will remain optimistic. This is a choice between socialism and America. This is a choice between communism and America. This is a choice between Fascism and America. This is a choice between Marxism and America.

The funny thing is that Obama brings a pie of socialism, communism, fascism and marxism. And he fully expects us to choose from his evil pie chart of idiocy.

I’ll take a big slice of Freedom, thank you.

Obama….. gone in a landslide. Like a turd in a one gallon flush toilet. EPA approved.

Key West Reader on November 27, 2011 at 8:09 PM

Yep.. oil land natural gas.

Small typo here, I think…

massrighty on November 27, 2011 at 8:14 PM

Although there are much more highly qualified people on this thread (I’m talking to you, Kermit;) I’ll offer, once again, my poor one note rendition: Massrighty’s plan for energy independence:

1. Drill/mine/extract all our resources, wherever they are.
2. Build refineries; stop moving unprocessed petroleum, in order to process it, and move it again to the point of sale/distribution (bonus! free new construction and permanent jobs!)
3. Any alternative energy plan (wind/geothermal/solar/water/whatever) gets fast tracked – reduce and streamline the processes for approval and implementation.
4. Nuclear
5. Any aid to any OPEC country shall henceforth be based on, and offset by, negotiated discounts in oil prices.

massrighty on November 27, 2011 at 8:23 PM

Oh snap. Now that the WSJ ran that article, Obama is going to tell the EPA to put a stop to this crazy private-sector foolishness. The source of jobs, in Obamaland, is the Federal government, and the Obama energy policy is to do what cap and tax couldn’t–drive up the price of conventional energy, to make green energy appear viable. Anticipate the clampdown.

smellthecoffee on November 27, 2011 at 8:43 PM

Seriously, how can they be so stupid?

Tim Zank on November 27, 2011 at 6:37 PM

The environmental damage and health hazards that come along with it are expensive and dangerous.

ernesto on November 27, 2011 at 9:10 PM

massrighty on November 27, 2011 at 8:23 PM

Good start but still missing the petrochemical and downstream jobs. Remember that lots of small and large plastics compounding plants and component manufacturing left the Midwest around 1999/2000 for the Far East.

Presently, plastics compounders and component manufacturers are starving for primary resins and additives (all come from oil/NGL/Nat Gas).

Kermit on November 27, 2011 at 9:14 PM

The environmental damage and health hazards that come along with it are expensive and dangerous.

ernesto on November 27, 2011 at 9:10 PM

The OWS groups have done more environmental damage, and proved to have much greater actual dangerous health hazards, than any drilling project ongoing in North Dakota. Those groups also caused or were involved in more outbreaks of law breaking, private property damage, and actual physical harm to occupiers. You are full of crap.

Yoop on November 27, 2011 at 9:21 PM

Here are some of the companies that will lead our nation’s future:

Amazing new super-hydrophobic material coating.

Fracking company extraordinaire.

No mention of stimulus funds or DoE’s Chu, either.

fred5678 on November 27, 2011 at 9:22 PM

Energy and JOBS, is this another Palin thread? Ya,I hope she becomes the combo Interior and Energy Secretary.

tim c on November 27, 2011 at 9:26 PM

Jazz’s post is not quite right in one sense, the EPA has killed one NG operation in Ohio, and is probably plotting to kill any others that crop up.

They say it’s ‘environmental concerns’ but I say that someone is doing their level best to insure that a Republican Governor doesn’t get the credit for bringing back the state’s economy.

A prosperous state has no need for Federal largess, and the iron chains that come with that largess. And that includes government subsistence checks and food stamps.

And to anticipate your question… South Dakota is 3 electoral votes, Ohio has 20. Dear Leader doesn’t give a rip about SD going red, Ohio… do I have to say it?

And so it will go with any other state that isn’t safely ‘blue’.

See Boeing in SC for further details.

Grand speeches and ‘economic & job’ councils not withstanding, NO ONE will be allowed to break out of the unemployment gulag until after the 2012 election… maybe.

If he wins.

CPT. Charles on November 27, 2011 at 9:56 PM

Presently, plastics compounders and component manufacturers are starving for primary resins and additives (all come from oil/NGL/Nat Gas).

Kermit on November 27, 2011 at 9:14 PM

Agreed; some of this is covered under provision #1; but, what can we propose to ease this starvation?

massrighty on November 27, 2011 at 10:19 PM

The environmental damage and health hazards that come along with it are expensive and dangerous.

ernesto on November 27, 2011 at 9:10 PM

Prove this.

massrighty on November 27, 2011 at 10:21 PM

Rigs don’t pump oil….. Pumping units pump oil, but, I’m pretty sure the wells in the Dakotas are mostly flowing wells so no pumping necessary.

Jussayin’.

Dopavash on November 27, 2011 at 10:32 PM

Jazz, you said South Dakota. I think you meant North Dakota. Here in South Dakota, we’re having enough trouble just getting the Union County refinery built…and last I heard, South Dakota had the third-lowest unemployment rate in the nation, somewhere in the low fours.

gryphon202 on November 27, 2011 at 10:34 PM

The environmental damage and health hazards that come along with it are expensive and dangerous.

ernesto on November 27, 2011 at 9:10 PM

Ernesto, you commie ignoramus. I hope you’re doing well. Haven’t found a brain yet I see.

rcl on November 27, 2011 at 10:37 PM

gryphon202 on November 27, 2011 at 10:34 PM

I believe you’re right, but that doesn’t ruin my point… ND is also 3 electoral votes.

CPT. Charles on November 27, 2011 at 10:40 PM

Drilling might be the only way to balance the budget without triggering a depression.

Pythagoras on November 27, 2011 at 11:16 PM

The environmental damage and health hazards that come along with it are expensive and dangerous.
ernesto on November 27, 2011 at 9:10 PM

The sad and scary thing about ernesto’s comment is that there are millions of Americans who believe that crap. I know decent people who are so indoctrinated with the media mantra about hurting the environment, they really believe there is a overwhelming danger. Pitiful.

jarhead0311 on November 27, 2011 at 11:56 PM

We’re about 3 or 4 budgets away from a major depression…

This FEDERAL spending madness needs to end NOW…

Drilling and fracking will help, in the long run…

Khun Joe on November 28, 2011 at 12:20 AM

Actually, I’d like to see a bovine excrement inhibitor used on this administration.

realitycheck on November 27, 2011 at 7:22 PM

: )

listens2glenn on November 28, 2011 at 1:29 AM

he truth of the matter is that I think you are talking about north Dakota. It happens a lot.

Well, from here they DO look alike…

oldleprechaun on November 28, 2011 at 7:48 AM

The energy industry is booming. I expect Obama knows that. Someone needs to explain this to Biden.

seven on November 28, 2011 at 8:58 AM

Actually, it was T Boone Pickens who was right all along.

manwithblackhat on November 28, 2011 at 9:08 AM

2. Build refineries; stop moving unprocessed petroleum, in order to process it, and move it again to the point of sale/distribution (bonus! free new construction and permanent jobs!)

massrighty on November 27, 2011 at 8:23 PM

Good start but still missing the petrochemical and downstream jobs. Remember that lots of small and large plastics compounding plants and component manufacturing left the Midwest around 1999/2000 for the Far East.

Presently, plastics compounders and component manufacturers are starving for primary resins and additives (all come from oil/NGL/Nat Gas).

Kermit on November 27, 2011 at 9:14 PM

Exactly!!! I never was into oil and gas production, but did process design engineering on refineries and petrochemical plants, and would gladly go back to that. There hasn’t been a new refinery built in the USA since 1983 (due to EPA rules and NIMBYism), but we DO NEED THEM! Why is this country, the home of Exxon-Mobil and many other refining companies, IMPORTING refined petroleum products instead of refining crude oil ourselves? While Obummer imposes new EPA regulations on refinery emissions of…carbon dioxide???

Steve Z on November 28, 2011 at 9:49 AM

What does our country run on?
How to cure our economic woes?
Drill, Baby Drill!
Oh darn, Sarah’s right again!

Herb on November 28, 2011 at 10:21 AM

We’re about 3 or 4 budgets away from a major depression…

This FEDERAL spending madness needs to end NOW…

Drilling and fracking will help, in the long run…

Khun Joe on November 28, 2011 at 12:20 AM

Democrat haven’t passed a budget in 3 years so that pushes the date of reckoning to about 2116.

Herb on November 28, 2011 at 10:25 AM

Its only a matter of minutes until the Emperor Zero issues a proclamation banning that oil and gas production or stripping their permits to operate.

That’s how he operates.

dogsoldier on November 28, 2011 at 10:29 AM

One of the difficulties in this recession has been housing’s role as an anchor. People lose their jobs, but are still tied to their mortgage, with no buyers in sight. That makes relocation for jobs difficult.

Of course, with the victim mentality that liberals push, it’s easier to sit and complain than it is to get off your butt and move to a state with hard work, high-pay jobs.

hawksruleva on November 28, 2011 at 10:30 AM

The environmental damage and health hazards that come along with it are expensive and dangerous.

ernesto on November 27, 2011 at 9:10 PM

Do you have any objective proof of your claim? Provide links.

dogsoldier on November 28, 2011 at 10:37 AM

The environmental damage and health hazards that come along with it are expensive and dangerous.

ernesto on November 27, 2011 at 9:10 PM

Once again, you prove that you are a willfully-blind troll.

The damage and hazards from LACK OF ENERGY far outweigh any of your phantom “environmental” fantasies. Oil means food, clothing and shelter. Without it there are no hospitals or advanced medical devices, no oxygen, no medicines, no refrigeration, no grocery stores, no lumber or stone, no communication, no Internet, etc., etc.

GET REAL!!!

My “ideal environment” is FREEDOM!!! We’ve seen yours at OWS camps.

landlines on November 28, 2011 at 10:39 AM

The environmental damage and health hazards that come along with it are expensive and dangerous.

ernesto on November 27, 2011 at 9:10 PM

That’s what we’ve heard. But not what we’ve seen. Cold and hungry is much more dangerous than warm and well-fed. You would prefer us to return to a Stone Age economy- no transportation of food, no fossil fuels, no nuclear, and no jobs because there’s no energy to power production. I guess we should just live in the dark until the miracle of green energy comes to pass.

hawksruleva on November 28, 2011 at 10:43 AM

Why is this country, the home of Exxon-Mobil and many other refining companies, IMPORTING refined petroleum products instead of refining crude oil ourselves? While Obummer imposes new EPA regulations on refinery emissions of…carbon dioxide???

Steve Z on November 28, 2011 at 9:49 AM

One reason we leave refining offshore is that the EPA rules make it too expensive to do here. Never mind that our refining is cleaner and more efficient than the processes in those other countries. EPA regs make the world dirtier by moving work to countries with lower standards.

hawksruleva on November 28, 2011 at 10:45 AM

That’s what we’ve heard. But not what we’ve seen. Cold and hungry is much more dangerous than warm and well-fed. You would prefer us to return to a Stone Age economy- no transportation of food, no fossil fuels, no nuclear, and no jobs because there’s no energy to power production. I guess we should just live in the dark until the miracle of green energy comes to pass.

hawksruleva on November 28, 2011 at 10:43 AM

You never read anything along this line of reasoning, ever!

You don’t even need to read it though….drive by a poorer section of anytown USA and it’s a dump….and more dangerous.

Progressives continually ingnore human nature in their vision of “utopia”

Ditkaca on November 28, 2011 at 11:15 AM

We’re about 3 or 4 budgets away from a major depression…

This FEDERAL spending madness needs to end NOW…

Drilling and fracking will help, in the long run…

Khun Joe on November 28, 2011 at 12:20 AM

They’ve already figured out how to prevent that disaster. They haven’t dared to pass a budget in three+ years, so nothing can go wrong…

Freelancer on November 28, 2011 at 12:11 PM