Forbes | June 14, 2016 | Robert Bradley, Jr.
Despite the divisiveness of this election season, Americans from both parties share common ground. As polls show, voters want the next president to inject life into our sluggish economy.
The nation created only 38,000 jobs last month, according to the Department of Labor. Economists had expected 162,000. This continues the lackluster economic climate that has now marked most of the present century.
To turn around the U.S. economy, the next president will need to embrace free-market, consumer-driven, pro-taxpayer, policies. And when it comes to energy, that means the market’s preference for oil, natural gas, and coal. Candidates and voters take heed: the 2016 presidential contest is a referendum on energy.
A New Energy Blueprint
Ronald Reagan reversed the damaging energy policies of Jimmy Carter eight days after taking office in early 1981. The next president should promptly undo the current President’s anti-energy agenda.
A good start would be to reverse the decision to reject the Keystone XL pipeline. This project would have transported oil from Western Canada to America’s Gulf Coast,creating 42,000 jobs in the process.
“Gateway to Health and Wealth”
Fossil fuels are the lynchpin of the American economy. The oil and gas industry supports 9.8 million jobs across the country and contributes over $1.2 trillion to the U.S. economy every year. The recent shale energy revolution has saved American families and businesses an average of $1,200 a year for electricity, and $550 annuallyat the pump. But there is much more that can be accomplished.
In their new book, Fueling Freedom, Stephen Moore and Kathleen Hartnett White discuss the great untapped riches of energy resources on federal lands (including in offshore waters) that await a stroke of the presidential pen for exploration and development.
This “gateway to heath and wealth,” in their words, concerns estimated recoverable reserves of 1.5 trillion barrels of oil and three quadrillion cubic feet. At current prices, these resources represent $50 trillion dollars (yes, that is a ‘t’ and not a ‘b’). For comparison, all the gold in Fort Knox — approximately 150 million ounces — is worth less than a quarter-trillion dollars, less than 1 percent, of the nominal value of untapped energy on federal lands.
Read the full op-ed here.
Robert L. Bradley, Jr. is the founder and CEO of the Institute for Energy Research.