Opinion

A better way to create jobs

Photo of David Holt
David Holt
President, Consumer Energy Alliance
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      David Holt

      David Holt is president of the non-profit organization, Consumer Energy Alliance. Consumer Energy Alliance was formed to help support the thoughtful utilization of all domestic energy resources to improve domestic energy security and reduce consumer prices. The mission of Consumer Energy Alliance is to improve consumer understanding of our nation's energy security, including the need to reduce reliance on imported oil and natural gas, maintain reasonable energy prices for consumers, and continue efforts to diversify our energy resources.

      As part of its efforts to build dialogue between consumers and the energy sector, Consumer Energy Alliance played a key role in the recent Mineral Management Service’s (MMS) Five Year Plan for the Outer Continental Shelf. Working with an expansive coalition of energy and consumer groups, CEA helped deliver tens of thousands of public comments in support of thoughtful offshore oil & gas development – including the areas offshore Alaska and Virginia.

      Consumer Energy Alliance now has more than 115 consumer and energy groups as part of its Alliance. Through its various activities, CEA works to continue to expand dialogue and develop joint messaging among the energy and consuming sectors.

This week as Congress debates a $15 billion jobs bill aimed at getting more than 15 million unemployed Americans back to work, there is this story out of Janesville, Wis.: An autoworker was so desperate to hold onto his job that he followed it when it moved to another state 500 miles away.

Desperate times do, indeed, call for desperate measures, and after two straight years of jobs loss, many people can think of worse things than a 1,000-mile-per-week commute that, after hours on the road, leads to a paycheck.

You have to applaud Congress for its attention to the very severe jobs crisis the country faces. But any reasonable person also has to wonder if there isn’t an easier way.

The Heritage Foundation made the same point earlier this month when it outlined research showing how increasing domestic oil production by 2 million barrels per day could create 270,000 jobs.

The best thing about these jobs is that they would be easy to find. Ever since July of 2008, when then-President Bush lifted a 10-year-ban on offshore drilling, there has been pent-up demand from Florida to California, Texas and even Virginia to begin exploratory drilling in the nation’s outer continental shelf.

It’s going on two years since that historic milestone, which might have created more of the well-paying jobs we need. And yet, we’re all still waiting. That’s because there seems to be a de-facto ban in place, with layers of red tape, despite an overwhelming show of support by the American public in favor of increasing the responsible production of domestic oil and gas.

  • parisda

    This piece has such a narrow scope that my only thought is that Mr Holt is some how in collusion with the domestic oil suppliers. 270,000 jobs is no where near enough to justify increased off-shore drilling. We must balance the positives with the negatives (such as the potential for catastrophic environmental damage) when we are looking at high risk solutions. All I’m saying is… there’s got to be a better way than this!

  • rainmaker1145

    The resistance has the beneficial side benefit of making energy more expensive. The more expensive they can make energy the more practical the green energy movement starts to become. After all, Spain provided a 500% subsidy to their green energy sector (later reduced to 300% when 500% didn’t work) to try and make it work for them and it did work. It cost 2.2 private-sector jobs for every green job and put nearly 20% of the Spanish workforce out of work, making them completely dependent upon the government for support. Great outcome if you are an authoritarian socialist. Everyone else? We’ll just eat cake.

  • sandra3dee

    This administration won’t support offshore drilling until they pass cap and trade. That way, they can capitalize on it, better yet, end up owning it.

  • apberusdisvet

    Obama will use every means at his disposal to stop offshore drilling; it isn’t in his agenda of destroying our economy, a conclusion I’ve reached by examining every piece of legislation either already passed or proposed. Not one actually strengthens our economy. NOT ONE!!! In fact just the opposite,