Press call on new API study showing U.S. natural gas and oil infrastructure could support over 1 million jobs.
Press call statement
Robin Rorick, Kyle Isakower
May, 3 2017
Good morning, and thank you for joining us.
API is releasing a study today that reveals the full scope of economic opportunity available if the United States permits investments in the infrastructure necessary to keep pace with America’s 21st century energy resurgence. We’ll share those impressive numbers shortly. But first, I’d like to discuss the community benefits of energy infrastructure, which extend far beyond the construction period.
Examining just one state, Virginia, illustrates the vital role energy infrastructure plays in reducing consumer costs and creating an attractive climate for businesses. Natural gas use in Virginia has increased more than 50 percent between 2004 and 2014, and falling natural gas prices saved consumers $193.4 million compared to five years before, while industrial consumers saved $57.5 million. Schools and government facilities are also saving. In Carroll County, the administration building switched from fuel oil to natural gas and saves more than $40,000 a year. When fully implemented, Virginia Tech’s ongoing transition to natural gas as the school’s source of energy will cut an estimated $1 million per year from the university’s annual budget of approximately $6.5 million. Without energy infrastructure, these improvements and cost savings simply would not be possible.
Affordable, reliable energy can save and attract jobs. When Virginia’s Mohawk Industries considered relocating to Alabama in 2009, access to a natural gas transmission pipeline helped the state retain this key employer with 154 employees, and it has also helped attract two additional companies with a total of 255 employees.
Along with affordable energy, pipelines can deliver cleaner air. The United States leads the world in carbon reductions thanks primarily to greater use of natural gas. Carbon emissions from power generation have plunged to nearly 30-year lows, and more than 60 percent of those reductions from 2005 to 2016 have been the result of switching to generation from clean-burning natural gas.
Eighty percent of American voters support increased development of our national energy infrastructure, and I’ll now turn it over to API’s Vice President for Regulatory & Economic Policy, Kyle Isakower, to share new study findings that confirm energy infrastructure is a valuable investment in America’s future.
Thank you, Robin.
The United States leads the world in the production and refining of oil and natural gas, and our status as a global energy leader presents major opportunities for economic growth and job creation.
Keeping pace with new production trends requires updating the energy infrastructure network, including pipelines, storage, processing, rail and maritime resources. Expanding our pipeline system will generate well-paying jobs and ensure we move energy efficiently, maximizing our economic and environmental advantages.
To better understand the scope of opportunity, API contracted with ICF to investigate the amount of oil and natural gas infrastructure development likely in the U.S. through 2035. The results confirm energy infrastructure as a leading catalyst for economic growth.
Thanks to technology advances and efficiency improvements in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, natural gas and oil production are expected to remain strong. The study finds that rapid infrastructure development is likely to continue for a prolonged period of time, generating between $1.06 and $1.34 trillion in private investment from 2017 through 2035. That translates to $56 to $71 billion per year.
The impact on job opportunities is significant, with infrastructure development supporting an average of 828,000 to 1,047,000 American jobs annually, not only within states where infrastructure development occurs, but across ALL states because of indirect and induced labor impacts.
These are good-paying, middle class-sustaining jobs that do not rely on taxpayer dollars.
ICF also projects that infrastructure investment will contribute $1.50 to $1.89 trillion to U.S. GDP, or between $79 and $100 billion annually.
The study, which is available on our website, breaks down these advantages to the state level. In Ohio, energy infrastructure investment could support on average over 48,000 jobs per year and bring in over $95 billion to the state’s GDP through 2035, while in New York, energy infrastructure investment could support an average 40,000-plus jobs per year and add over $85 billion in GDP growth.
Infrastructure investment can also build on the economic benefits oil and natural gas development is already delivering. Reliable access to energy has helped drive down utility, product and other energy-related costs for families, contributing to a $1337 boost to the average American household budget in 2015. U.S. industrial electricity costs are 30-50 percent lower than those of our foreign competitors, giving manufacturers – including producers of steel, chemicals, refined fuels, plastics, fertilizers and numerous other products – a major competitive advantage.
Of course, maintaining and expanding these far-reaching, economy-wide benefits is dependent on regulatory approvals of infrastructure projects. The most recent data show that both liquid pipelines and natural gas pipelines transported crude oil, petroleum products and natural gas at a safety rate of 99.999 percent – making pipelines one of the safest, most efficient ways to transport the energy families and businesses need.
With state and federal policies that provide regulatory certainty, and facilitate transparent and timely project review, we can ensure the economic and environmental benefits of oil and natural gas are delivered to families and businesses nationwide.
Thank you, and now Robin and I will be happy to take your questions.