SANTA BARBARA, CA - JULY 21:  California brown pelicans fly near offshore oil rigs after sunset on July 21, 2009 near Santa Barbara, California. After months of partisan bickering over how to close the $ 26.3 billion deficit and begin paying the state SANTA BARBARA, CA - JULY 21: California brown pelicans fly near offshore oil rigs after sunset on July 21, 2009 near Santa Barbara, California. After months of partisan bickering over how to close the $ 26.3 billion deficit and begin paying the state's bills again, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and legislative leaders reached a tentative budget deal this week to keep one of the world's largest economies from falling into insolvency. Within the budget agreement, Gov. Schwarzenegger succeeded in having a proposal to expand oil drilling off the Southern California coast for the first time in more than 40 years. In 1969, the Santa Barbara Oil Spill from Union Oil Co. undersea drilling platform caused 200,000 gallons of crude oil to spread over 800 square miles of ocean and beaches and created a massive public outcry against drilling off the state's coast. During the 2008 presidential election, Republicans and Conservatives began pushing for renewed offshore drilling. The budget plan contains massive cuts in state spending and social services. Lawmakers can vote on the deal as soon as this week even as cities and conservation groups gear up to sue the governor and Legislature over emerging details that they disapprove of. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)  

Oil trade groups: Drilling deregulation could create 190,000 jobs

Almost 190,000 jobs could be created by 2013 if offshore drilling returns to pre-spill levels, according to a study sponsored by two oil trade groups, the National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) and the American Petroleum Institute (API).

The study, conducted by Quest Offshore Inc., found that if permits for exploration and drilling returned to historic levels, and if backlogged requests were granted, 400,000 jobs could be supported across the United States with a GDP increase of $45 billion by 2013.

“The president says he wants ideas for putting Americans back to work right now,” said Jack Gerard, API president, during a conference call today. “So we urge him, again, to take a look at policies that will encourage oil, and domestic gas development.”

The offshore oil and natural gas industries suffered losses in 2008 due to the economic recession, the moratorium on deepwater drilling, and slowdowns in permits issued for drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. The study’s authors claim tens of thousands of jobs have been lost due to the downturn.

Gerard echoed the study’s conclusions, saying the United States has the opportunity to increase employment and secure “as much as 92 percent of [its] oil needs from North American resources.”

Both Gerard and NOIA president Randall Luthi agreed the industry needs the ability to explore newly identified petroleum deposits everywhere, including in East- and West-coast waters. Currently only 15 percent of the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf is available for exploration. (New border gun rules a distraction from Fast and Furious scandal, Issa says)

“We’ve got to get out there and have the opportunity to look,” Gerard said, “and the industry needs some insurance that this is serious — that there’s a leasing process in place to eventually commit the resources to go find what level of resources are available, and then to develop it at that point. So given those opportunities, I can guarantee you the industry will spend its money wisely. But you need to have the opportunity.”

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  • barbiegirl ny

    ….And getting rid of Obama will garner millions more [jobs].

  • flips

    On hell no.

    After what they did to the Gulf. We should have much tighter restrictions on oil drilling not less.

    Criminals asking for handouts.

    What a joke.

    • centexan

      If you believe what you write, I really feel sorry for you. In all the wells in all of the gulf, there has been one major spill. As bad as it was, the gulf survived quite well.

      • Whit

        Right. This was not a failure in technology but a failure in human management that cut deep into the margin of safety that was a know quantity. Follow that with foot dragging in the shutdown and it was another fast and furious boondoggle to shut down drilling just as the other is to take our guns. Underhanded and dishonest.

    • thephranc

      What crime exactly? And exactly how bad was the spill? The press stopped reporting on it quickly after it was found out not to be as dire as he government or the environmentalists claimed. What exactly were the regulations that would have kept the rig from having a leak?

  • Jess81

    Take this message to the air; take it to the streets.

    Obama is the reason for the misery. He’s tossed our passed, stolen our present and will turn our children into slaves.

    • flips

      When Obama wins another term it will be fun to watch the heads of the Tightie Righties explode.

      This country is no longer as conservative, racist, uptight, fundamentalist or billionaire worshipping as you imagine it.

      We are now a brown, progressive country. And you Archie Bunker types will learn to adjust or die angry.

      • adastra2005

        And being a “brown progressive” country is a good thing according to you? There are plenty of them to chose from . . . all failures. Why don’t you pick one and go there? You are frightening.

      • thephranc

        Actually this country is more racist than ever. And not in the way you think.

        I don’t think you understand Archie Bunker if you are trying to use it as an insult.

        You show just stupid you are every day.