A new report redoubles calls by oil and gas interests for the federal government to speed up permitting of offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.
The report, issued Thursday by IHS Global Insight and sister energy research firm IHS CERA, says that oil and gas companies are ready to invest, and that faster approvals by the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement could create 230,000 jobs nationwide in 2012. The report also warns that continued slow permitting will reduce domestic oil and gas production and could drive energy companies to shift their investments to other countries, permanently shrinking the American oil industry.
Environmentalists question whether the economic gains of faster permitting outweigh potential ecological and economic harm of additional oil spills. And the report may miss progress that has been made since spring. The study ended April 10, and federal officials have since approved a number of permits.
...A new report projects that the offshore oil and gas industry could create 230,000 jobs in 2012 if permitting is speeded up. Here's a look at jobs projected to be created in the top 11 states:
1. Texas 73,944
2. Louisiana 68,319
3. California 14,292
4. New York 8,809
5. Florida 7,497
6. Illinois 6,069
7. Mississippi 5,440
8. Pennsylvania 5,214
9. Ohio 4,539
10. Georgia 3,975
11. Alabama 3,353
Source: IHS Global Insight and IHS CERA
The report says 3,400 jobs could be created in Alabama, 11th-most among the states, and 5,400 jobs could be created in Mississippi, seventh-most. About 60 percent of jobs would flow to Louisiana and Texas, where the offshore drilling industry is concentrated. However, the authors emphasized that employment benefits would spread nationwide.
Well, geez, things are going so swell right now that we don't even need any more damn jobs!
Cause we've got green jobs for everyone and free Obamacare! We've got peas in every pot and a Chevy Volt in every carport!