With Obama Calling for More Jobs, It’s Time to Secure North Carolina’s Energy Future
President Obama recently called upon Congress to renew their focus on creating jobs for the middle class. The labor market continues to stagnate with unemployment being stuck in the high 7% range. Undoubtedly, America is looking to its leaders in Washington, to develop ideas that will navigate a path towards a more prosperous America.
Job creation should be at the top of the agenda. Senator Kay Hagan and Senator Richard Burr have the chance to vote for sensible tax policies on the oil and gas industry. An industry that, if taxes are kept at a reasonable level, is expected to create 45,232 new well-paying jobs in North Carolina by 2030.
The oil and gas industry has been a constant economic booster throughout this recession, and will continue to be a source of major job growth in America if it is allowed to flourish and expand.
Conversely, if energy taxes are raised, we can expect the loss of tens of thousands of jobs at a time when unemployment is still very high. And that’s not to mention the loss of billions in government revenue needed for cash-strapped local, state, and federal coffers.
In America, we have the chance to lead this technology-driven industry that supports 9.2 million U.S. jobs and 7.7 percent of the U.S. economy, delivers more than $86 million a day in revenue to our government, and, since 2000, has invested more than $2 trillion in U.S. capital projects to advance all forms of energy, including alternatives.
Here in North Carolina, where 466,600 of our citizens are unemployed, we are ready to increase domestic energy production and thus increase jobs and government revenues, and help lower our gas prices.
According to a March 2012 poll by Public Opinion Strategies and Frederick Polls, 75 percent of North Carolina voters support more development of U.S. oil and natural gas resources, and more than 90 percent believe more oil and natural gas development would provide major benefits to the nation, including more American jobs.
Additionally, 82 percent believe more development would help reduce consumer energy costs and 86 percent believe it would increase our nation’s energy security. Seventy-two percent also support exploration and drilling off the coast of North Carolina to access oil and natural gas.
What would increased access to America’s rich stores of oil and gas mean? It would mean 1.4 million new jobs nationwide. It would mean more than 10 million barrels of oil per day produced by 2030. And it would mean more than $800 billion in new revenue added to government accounts by 2030.
This is not a divisive issue. The voters are clear about what they want and need. Now is the time for Senator Hagan and Senator Burr to represent the will of North Carolina’s citizens, as they were elected to do, and vote in favor of the policies we support to help us revitalize our state and our country, and invest in America’s energy future.
Algenon Cash is the managing director of Wharton Gladden, a Greensboro-based investment banking firm. He is also the State Chairman of the North Carolina Energy Forum and National Director for the America’s Energy Forum.