Oil and Gas - Key to America's Energy Security and More
Energy security can be defined as “the uninterrupted availability of energy sources at an affordable price.” (International Energy Agency)
And thanks to remarkable advances in technology, we are now able to access stores of oil and natural gas right here in the North Americas that have been previously inaccessible to us. That means we are decreasing our reliance on imported energy from foreign sources who may be in unstable regions or don't necessarily share America's best interests.
But many people do not realize how the industry affects our country’s economic security.
Oil and natural gas supply over 60% of our energy needs. And the U.S. Energy Information Administration expects that percentage to remain through at least 2040, even with aggressive development in alternative sources.
The oil and natural gas industry currently supports 9.8 million U.S. jobs and 8 percent of the U.S. economy, while producing 67 percent of all the oil and petroleum products Americans consume.
Every day, the industry fills state and federal government coffers with more than $85 million in taxes, fees and royalties. All while investing more than $2 trillion in U.S. capital projects to advance all forms of energy, including alternatives.
There is no question—a thriving domestic oil and gas industry is vital to America’s energy and economic security. With the right policies in place, the industry can contribute even more.
So in addition to powering America with reliable supplies of energy, in 2010 alone, the industry delivered benefits to the U.S. economy roughly equivalent to 60 percent of the government's 2009 stimulus package—$476 billion in industry benefits, compared to $787 billion in planned government stimulus expenditures.
$266 billion in new U.S. capital project investment, $176 billion in wages and $35 billion in 2010 dividends also spur growth in manufacturing, transportation, technology, accounting services and in the larger U.S. economy.
The oil and gas industry also contributes to retirement security for millions of Americans. A 2011 study found that, on average, oil and gas stocks comprise 4.6 percent of state pension fund assets, yet provide 15.7 percent of the returns—a ratio of 3.4 to 1.
So in short, remeber the oil and natural gas industry goes beyond energy. It is also a powerful engine to providing America with economic and national security as well.