The U.S. would have bled millions of jobs and the economy would have contracted by $548 billion were it not for explosion in oil and gas development, according to a report by an energy industry group.
An analysis by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce found that the natural gas revolution generated more than 4.3 million jobs and injected nearly half a trillion dollars into the economy. It also determined that all those jobs would have been lost had the so-called “Keep it in the Ground” movement succeeded in suffocating the oil revolution.
The group compared data from 2015 to similar data in 2009, when the public first began to notice a massive uptick in energy production. Analysts used models comparing capital investments, energy prices, among other key indicators, to estimate the “multiplier” effects of dramatic energy sector growth.
“The ‘Keep it in the Ground’ movement completely ignores the vast benefits to our nation’s economy that the energy renaissance has brought to us,” Karen Harbert, Chamber of Commerce CEO, said in a press statement Thursday.
She added: “It costs consumers less to drive a car and heat their homes today. And all the while, our nation has been decreasing its energy imports and lowering emissions.”
The group’s analysis also broke down the effects the uptick in energy production has had on battle ground states leading up to the national election.
Ohio, for instance, would have lost nearly $10 billion in state GDP, $6 billion in wages, and 114,500 jobs, according to the group’s report, had anti-oil activists like Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Bill McKibben found a way to wipe out the expansion in domestic energy.
Anti-fracking activists in the Buckeye State suffered a series of crippling legal defeats on Sept. 19 when Ohio’s Supreme Court refused to place anti-fossil fuel measures on the ballot in November, and blocked attempts by local governments to ban fracking.
The court’s decisions should not come as a shock, as similar bans have been struck down in other states across the country.
Recent polling from Ohio show Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump outperforming his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, in Ohio. The former secretary of state weathered a flurry of controversy earlier this year in Ohio when she suggested her policies would “put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.”
She eventually qualified her comments, but not before the Democratic presidential nominee’s comments caught fire in the media.
The analysis is part of the Chamber of Commerce’s Energy Accountability Series, which thumbed through troves of data to determine how much domestic energy production has affected the U.S. economy.
The group’s first report, published in August, found that the U.S. will lose 380,000 oil and gas sector jobs if anti-fossil fuel rhetoric espoused during the campaign season becomes policy.
A successful “keep it in the ground” movement, which was kicked off by well-heeled environmentalists like billionaire hedge fund manager Tom Steyer, would cause the loss of nearly a quarter of the nation’s current production of coal, oil and natural gas, according to the report.
It would also result in the loss of more than $11.3 billion per year in annual royalties and rental fees for federal and state governments. It would almost certainly threaten $70 billion in annual U.S. GDP.
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