House Small Business Subcommittee on Agriculture, Energy and Trade, under the chairmanship of Rep. Scott Tipton (R-CO), today held a hearing on the potential economic and employment benefits of increased domestic oil and natural gas production, due to new technologies, for the nation and specifically for small businesses.
Recent changes in technology and market fundamentals now make it more economical to produce vast amounts of oil and gas from unconventional petroleum deposits, such as shale gas and tight oil. The increased production of oil and natural gas has the potential to supplant a significant portion of oil and gas imports, contribute up to $111 billion in new federal, state and local tax revenues, while creating upwards of 3 million new associated jobs, including up to 1 million manufacturing jobs. A significant number of these new jobs will be created by small businesses.
"The United States contains tremendous energy reserves from unconventional sources," said Chairman Tipton (R-CO). "Safely using our abundant energy resources will not only make America less dependent on foreign oil but also provide an economic boost for thousands of small businesses directly and indirectly. Our resources also provide more export opportunities for our domestic companies. A robust "all-of-the-above' energy strategy, carried out responsibly, is a win-win all the way around -- more jobs, lower energy costs, strengthened domestic energy security, and more exports."
Chuck Grobe, Commissioner of Moffat County in Craig, CO said, "Despite the good news of jobs and new revenues on the horizon, the promise of prosperity for rural Western Colorado is obstructed by a very dark cloud. Regulatory uncertainty, unnecessary federal regulations, frivolous lawsuits, and the lack of political courage by the current administration to allow development of these new oil and gas sources, puts our jobs potential in jeopardy. Quite often political will, rather than facts, dictate whether or not to develop particular energy projects. Unfortunately, this misguided approach has had numerous consequences for small businesses and our economies across the region. Regulatory uncertainty for the oil and gas industry has a negative impact on small businesses."
John Larson, Vice President of Economics and Country Risk at IHS Global Insight in Washington, DC said, "The United States is in the midst of an unconventional revolution in oil and gas that, it becomes increasingly apparent, goes beyond energy itself.
"What is now becoming clear is that the exploration and production industry contributions to the economy and the lower costs of energy brought about by this abundant growth in supply is helping to stimulate a manufacturing renaissance and improve the competitive position of the United States in the global economy--further stimulating job creation in the United States."
Simon Ormerod, CEO of Ajax Rolled Ring & Machine in York, SC said, "It is easy to see the immediate effect on job creation in the towns and states where shale gas extraction is actively being conducted. It is a logical next step to consider the increased jobs that suppliers to the oil & gas industry, like Ajax, have been enjoying as a result of this increased gas exploration and extraction activity."