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Energy jobs key to addressing poverty, wage stagnation

Reid Porter | | 202.682.8114

WASHINGTON, June 7, 2016 – API Executive Vice President Louis Finkel today welcomed a report from Speaker Ryan’s Task Force on Poverty, Opportunity and Upward Mobility and underlined the role the American energy renaissance can play in addressing poverty in America and other economic challenges in the United States.

“Pro-energy policy is the best starting point for any plan to reduce poverty in America and turn our still-struggling economy around,” said Finkel. “With average salaries $50,000 higher than other industries and job opportunities across a range of skills and education levels, the oil and natural gas industry offers obvious solutions to disappointing job growth and wage stagnation.

“A recent IHS report projects 1.9 million job opportunities in the oil, natural gas and petrochemical industries through 2035, including many for women and minorities. Pro-energy policies that remove the barriers to energy development and infrastructure construction, along with proper education and job training, can help lift Americans out of poverty and create millions of jobs.  

“We were especially pleased to see the task force report mention the importance of career and technical training.  API stands ready to work with leadership to enact legislation to further these goals.  We support H.R. 4583, legislation that has been passed by voice vote by the House of Representatives and is included in the House amendment to S. 2012, which would require DOE to prioritize energy and manufacturing jobs and collaboration with states and educational institutions to spread the word about available jobs in the energy and manufacturing sectors.”

The IHS report, Minority and Female Employment in the Oil & Natural Gas and Petrochemical Industries, 2015-2035, projects 1.9 million job opportunities in the oil, natural gas and petrochemical industries by 2035. Of those 1.9 million job opportunities:

• 707,000 positions—38 percent of the total—are projected to be held by African American and Hispanic workers
• More than 290,000 – 16 percent – are projected to go to women
• 57 percent are projected to be in blue-collar occupations -- indicating great opportunity for workers with high-school diplomas and some post-secondary training 
• 32 percent are projected to be in management and professional fields -- including engineering, geoscience and finance

API is the only national trade association representing all facets of the oil and natural gas industry, which supports 9.8 million U.S. jobs and 8 percent of the U.S. economy. API’s more than 650 members include large integrated companies, as well as exploration and production, refining, marketing, pipeline, and marine businesses, and service and supply firms. They provide most of the nation’s energy and are backed by a growing grassroots movement of more than 30 million Americans.

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