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Economic benefits of oil and gas industry far outstrip earnings

WASHINGTON, July 25, 2011 - The economic benefits provided to the nation by America's oil and natural gas industry far outstrip its earnings - and even rival the dollar value of the administration's 2009 stimulus package, said API's Vice President for Regulatory & Economic Policy Kyle Isakower in a media briefing today.

"The power of this bedrock industry to create jobs and spur economic growth needs to be understood when people start talking about earnings," Isakower said. "Last year, the industry delivered benefits to the U.S. economy roughly equivalent to 60 percent of the government's 2009 stimulus package – $476 billion in benefits from the industry versus $787 billion in planned stimulus expenditures by the government. That $476 billion is America's energy industry at work. It goes to new job-creating investment, wages for millions of Americans, and income to millions of retirees and other investors. It's three to four times what the industry earns in a year."

The benefits – $266 billion in new investment in U.S. capital projects, $176 billion in wages, and $35 billion in dividends in 2010 – also spur growth in manufacturing, transportation, technology, accounting services and in most of the rest of the economy. "We make lives better in every city and county in every state in the union," Isakower said. "When our industry does well, so does America."

It's not just important to put earnings in context, Isakower continued. It's also important to understand that with sound energy policy the industry could do even more to support jobs, grow the economy, and improve the finances of millions of Americans. "If we simply allowed America's oil and natural gas companies the access they need to responsibly produce at home more of the energy we consume, we could increase the benefits we provide by many billions of dollars a year. Unfortunately, too many policymakers are focusing on counterproductive tax increases on the industry rather than taking advantage of its capacity to create more jobs and produce more revenue for our government," Isakower said.

API represents more than 470 oil and natural gas companies, leaders of a technology-driven industry that supplies most of America's energy, supports 9.2 million U.S. jobs and 7.7 percent of the U.S. economy, delivers more than $86 million a day in revenue to our government, and, since 2000, has invested more than $2 trillion in U.S. capital projects to advance all forms of energy, including alternatives.

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