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STUDY: Shale Energy Production Could Support 3.5 Million Jobs by 2035

Oct 23, 2012

Unconventional oil and gas production could support up to 3.5 million jobs by 2035 according to a new study released today by IHS Global Insight. This new study, America’s New Energy Future: The Unconventional Oil and Gas Revolution and the Economy, complements previous IHS research on the economic impacts of unconventional oil and gas production made possible by hydraulic fracturing technology. In addition to its job creation potential, the report finds shale energy production will help boost government revenues, reduce chronic deficits, and help revive American manufacturing.  

In today’s Wall Street Journal, Daniel Yergin, Vice Chairman of IHS, highlights the report’s findings and explains that the impacts of the U.S. energy revolution are only just beginning to be understood. Yergin writes, "The rapid growth of oil and natural gas production represents a major opportunity for the U.S. Without these energy resources, the disappointing economic picture would look worse, and so would the jobs numbers. Instead, the energy revolution is helping revitalize the economy and make the U.S. more competitive in the global marketplace."

America’s shale energy revolution has also opened the door to the possibility of North American energy independence. With the right policies in place, enough new domestic energy supplies can come online to help eliminate the need for imported oil from hostile countries overseas. House Republicans have worked to advance energy independence and job creation by pursuing solutions under the American Energy Initiative to help ensure the energy industry realizes its full economic and production potential.

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Daniel Yergin: The Real Stimulus: Low-Cost Natural Gas
The Wall Street Journal

The impact of the U.S. energy revolution is only beginning. It is already providing a foundation for a domestic renaissance in manufacturing.

An unconventional oil and gas revolution is under way in the United States, but its full ramifications are only beginning to be understood. The basic facts are clear enough. Half a decade ago, it was assumed that the U.S. would become a large importer of liquefied natural gas; now the domestic natural gas market is oversupplied, thanks to the ability to produce shale gas through hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling technologies.

Shale gas alone is now 10% of the overall U.S. energy supply. And similar technologies to recover so-called tight oil trapped in rock formations are largely responsible for boosting U.S. oil production by 25% since 2008—the highest growth in oil output of any country in the world over that time period.

So far more than 1.7 million jobs are the result, according to a report titled "America's New Energy Future," released Tuesday by my research firm, IHS. These jobs include people working on rigs in Pennsylvania or North Dakota, manufacturing equipment in Ohio or Illinois, and providing information-technology services in California or legal services to royalty owners nationwide. The number of jobs could rise to three million by 2020. The energy revolution will add an estimated $62 billion to federal and state revenues this year. …

Read the full editorial online here.