The Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council) this week released a new report showing liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports will benefit the U.S. economy and spur job creation. The report highlights how the natural gas industry has helped stimulate employment and small business growth across the country in recent years, especially in those states with expanded production. Looking at the vast economic benefits natural gas production has brought to our economy, the report asserts that increasing LNG exports will expand opportunities for small businesses to grow and create jobs.
According to the report, "Looking ahead, the opportunity exists for exporting liquefied natural gas (LNG), given the large differential in natural gas prices in the U.S. versus elsewhere in the world, and rising global demand Expanded demand for U.S. natural gas internationally will be a net positive, resulting in greater U.S. natural gas production, increased investment, enhanced GDP growth, rising incomes, and more jobs."
SBE Counci's data show that the oil and gas industry has been a rare bright spot in our nation's struggling economy. While total U.S. employment declined 3.7 percent from 2005 to 2010, employment in the oil and gas extraction sector rose by 27.6 percent, while it rose by 38.5 percent in the support sector for oil and gas, and by 62 percent in the oil and gas field machinery and equipment manufacturing sector. Many of these jobs were created at small businesses that employ less than 20 workers, with dramatic job growth occurring in 10 states where natural gas production has increased - Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
"The dramatic growth in natural gas production over the last decade has completely transformed our energy landscape and our economy. In the midst of a recession, Texas actually experienced employment growth thanks to this energy renaissance," said Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Emeritus Joe Barton (R-TX). "Increasing natural gas exports and expanding the market for America's abundant energy resources will allow our economy to continue to thrive and bring more jobs and businesses to America."