The White House spent the better part of August marketing last night’s speech as THE “Jobs Speech.” Given the amount of hype leading up to last night and partisan nature of this Administration, it is not surprising that the Obama’s speech fell flat. Instead of proposing novel, meaningful ideas that cleavages of both parties support, like repatriation of foreign earnings, the President advocated for many of the failed policies of the past.
Similarly puzzling is Obama his Party’s fixation with raising taxes on oil and natural gas producers—some of America’s most adept job creators. Instead of acknowledging these companies as some of the largest employers and creators of wealth in the country, Democrats propagate the notion that oil and natural gas companies are greedy and exploitative, and must be taxed even more. While this sentiment is widely held by those on the Left, it is telling that Obama couldn’t help but demonize an industry employing 9.2 million Americans.
And you wonder why unemployment is still above 9 percent?
Let’s look at some of the investments oil and natural gas companies have made transforming sleepy North Dakota and Pennsylvania communities into bustling commercial regions. Almost entirely due to oil and natural gas companies’ investment in the state, North Dakota has the lowest employment rate in the country at 3.8 percent.
In western North Dakota, there are currently 19,000 workers directly employed by oil producers. This number is expected to rise 8 percent in 2011 as companies look to extract the 3.0-4.3 billion barrels of oil in the Bakken Formation.
Similarly, the discovery of the Marcellus Shale natural gas reserve has proved to be a boon for Pennsylvania and parts of West Virginia. Natural Gas producers have already invested $4 billion in Pennsylvania creating 44,000 thousand jobs in 2009 and an estimated 89,000 jobs in 2010.
Extrapolating the North Dakota and Pennsylvania case studies, a Wood Mackenzie study found that full development of America’s oil and natural gas reserves would likely create 460,000 jobs by 2020 and 530,000 jobs by 2025.
Instead of encouraging oil and natural gas companies to continue investing, producing, and creating wealth Democrats have consistently advocated for job killing tax increases. If Democrats successfully eliminated standard, longstanding tax deductions employed by the oil and natural gas industry, these job creators would be unable to recover many of their costly investments resulting in 170,000 job losses.
Explicitly encouraging these understood job losses, Obama has left struggling Americans in limbo waiting for green shoots.