Washington, D.C. – In response to President Obama’s address to the nation Thursday evening, in which he called for a $447 billion package of tax cuts and spending as a way to create more jobs and stimulate the economy, members of the Natural Gas Council, representing the thousands of companies that produce, transport and deliver clean, affordable natural gas throughout the United States, issued the following statement:
We ask that President Obama’s plan recognize that the domestic energy industry will create thousands of jobs and help put our economy back on track.
The natural gas industry has long been a leader in economic development and job creation. Even during the recent recession, companies that comprise the natural gas industry supported over a million jobs: 622,000 jobs through production, transportation and delivery of natural gas, along with an additional 723,000 jobs in industries that provide goods and services to the natural gas industry.
Critical to our industry’s success is an adequate supply of natural gas and the maintenance, modernization, and expansion of our industry’s 2.4 million miles of pipeline infrastructure. Our industry’s investor-owned companies raise $7 billion in capital every year and infuse local economies with millions of dollars while creating stable jobs nationwide.
In addition to our industry’s contribution to job growth and improved air quality, American consumers have benefited from the tremendous growth in domestic natural gas supply, including the rapid expansion of shale gas, which has kept prices stable and enhanced America’s energy security.
Despite the clear economic, jobs and energy benefits provided by one of the few expanding American industries, the President again proposed to strip away 25 percent of the capital used to develop America’s essential natural gas.
We call upon the President and Congress to take the following steps to support continued natural gas job creation and revenues:
1. Reduce regulatory barriers impeding the expansion and improvement of the natural gas pipeline delivery system.
2. Expand access to onshore and offshore resources, including those on federal lands, and encourage the continued state oversight of responsible development of our domestically abundant shale resource.
3. Streamline costly environmental permitting processes to eliminate regulatory redundancies that unnecessarily impede investment and frustrate job creation.
4. Reject proposals that single out natural gas companies for higher taxes.
The Natural Gas Council includes the American Gas Association, America’s Natural Gas Alliance, the Independent Petroleum Association of America, the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America, and the Natural Gas Supply Association.