NEI report reveals how the energy renaissance strengthened America’s economy

Published on September 28, 2016 by Robert Moore

A second reported filed on Thursday in the New Energy Institute’s (NEI’s) Energy Accountability Series (EAS) found that America’s economy would currently be much weaker had oil and natural gas resources not been developed during the energy renaissance.

The report delved into what would happen had energy proposals from anti-energy production candidates and special interest groups been adopted. Inspired by the “Keep it in the Ground Movement,” candidates including Hilary Clinton and their allied have pledged to cease using fossil fuels and make hydraulic fracturing challenging.

Titled “What if America’s Energy Renaissance Had Not actually Happened?,” the NEI report utilized data from 2009 to 2015 to project how the American economy would look had the energy revolution not occurred. The report estimates that without the energy renaissance, American would have lost approximately 4.3 million jobs and $548 billion in annual gross domestic product (GDP). Growth and development within the oil and natural gas industry prevented electric prices from increasing approximately 31 percent, and motor fuels from increasing approximately 43 percent.

“The ‘Keep it in the Ground’ movement completely ignores the vast benefits to our nation’s economy that the energy renaissance has brought to us,” President and CEO of the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy Karen Harbert said. “For instance, lower electricity and fuel prices spurred a comeback in manufacturing that alone is responsible for nearly 400,000 jobs. It costs consumers less to drive a car and heat their homes today. And all the while, our nation has been decreasing its energy imports and lowering emissions.

“From Pennsylvania’s paper industry, to iron and steel in Ohio, to petrochemicals in Texas, to cheese manufacturing in Wisconsin, the energy renaissance has been responsible for the preservation and growth of industries across America. This is not just about the oil and gas industry—this is about the investment that has taken place and would continue to take place in virtually every sector of the economy if we are able to take of advantage of our abundant, inexpensive energy supplies.”

The report highlighted four states that experienced massive benefits from expanding energy development, finding that Pennsylvania and Ohio would have incurred GDP losses of approximately $13 billion and $10 billion respectively. Texas would have lost approximately 675,000 jobs, while Wisconsin would have lost approximately 46,000 jobs.

The NEI reported that other sectors would have experienced little growth and limited job creation had the energy renaissance not occurred. The expansion of oil and gas production in the U.S. has contributed to national job growth and economic expansion since its implementation in 2009.