Energy Security

Oil and Gas: The Key to America’s Energy Security

The domestic oil and natural gas industry supports 9.2 million American jobs and 7.7 percent of the U.S. economy, while producing 51 percent of all the oil and petroleum products Americans consume. Every day, the industry fills state and federal government coffers with more than $86 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.

And did you know that, with the right policies in place, the industry can contribute even more? In fact, U.S. and Canadian supplies can provide 100 percent of our liquid fuel needs by 2030 with the implementation of two straightforward policies—(1) accessing U.S. oil and natural gas reserves that are currently off-limits; and (2) partnering with our friendly neighbor to the north, Canada, in the development of the Keystone XL pipeline.

A recent study found that U.S. State Department approval of the pipeline expansion could bring an extra 830,000 barrels of oil per day—equal to about half of what is currently imported from the Persian Gulf. Canada has long been a vital partner in delivering American energy security. It currently supplies 25 percent of U.S. oil imports—more than any other country in the world.

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 Sonecon 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.