Monday, August 31 , 2015, 2:01 am | Fair 71.0º

Tom Donohue: Energy Development Equals Economic Growth; Just Ask North Dakota

By Tom Donohue |

When it comes to energy, Washington could learn a lot from North Dakota. Leaders in government and business have come together to safely and responsibly develop the state’s vast natural resources. As a result, North Dakota is at the epicenter of a shale energy boom and is reaping enormous economic benefits.

Oil production in the region has nearly quadrupled since 2005. Production in 2012 topped 700 million barrels per day. North Dakota has recently passed Alaska to become the second-highest oil-producing state behind Texas. The state also produces great quantities of coal, America’s most abundant natural resource.

According to a report sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Energy Institute and conducted by IHS-CERA, shale energy production in North Dakota supports 70,000 jobs and generates $4 billion in state and local revenue. Those numbers are expected to climb to 114,000 jobs and $6 billion in revenue by 2020. It’s no accident that the state has an unemployment rate of just 3.2 percent — the lowest in the nation.

North Dakota would also benefit from the Keystone XL Pipeline, which, if approved by the Obama administration, would help move oil from the Bakken formation to the rest of the country.

America needs to follow North Dakota’s example. Our nation has more oil, gas and coal than any other country. We are the largest single natural-gas producer in the world. Not only can we use these resources ourselves to displace energy we currently import from unfriendly nations, we can also begin to reduce our trade deficit by exporting energy to other markets.

The abundance of affordable natural gas is also attracting good manufacturing jobs back to America. Over the next 20 years, energy can create millions of additional jobs spread all across this country and generate trillions of dollars in government revenues.

To achieve these great benefits, we need to open up new areas to exploration. We’ve foolishly locked away too much of our resources onshore and off our coasts. We need a predictable and fair regulatory environment. The federal government shouldn’t pick winners and losers or subject energy projects to endless and duplicative reviews. We should stop the Environmental Protection Agency’s efforts to ban the production and use of coal. And we should continue with the next generation of nuclear power plants and develop alternative energy sources such as wind, solar and geothermal.

By fully embracing America’s energy opportunity, we can accelerate growth, create millions of new jobs, lessen our dependence on foreign sources and create huge new revenues for government.

North Dakota is leading the way on energy. Washington would be smart to follow.

— Tom Donohue is president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The opinions expressed are his own.

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» on 02.13.13 @ 08:52 AM

Donahue cheer leading for Keystone XL scam is a shameful misuse of his position.  Pumping toxic sludge through pipe built in India , across the heart of America , to the tax free export point in Houston , to be sold to China , creating few permanent American jobs. Now that’s a scam.

» on 02.13.13 @ 01:52 PM

Your comments don’t make sense.

You specified “pumping toxic sludge.” By that are you referring to oil, the fluid that powers virtually the entire industrialized world and provides power for hundreds of millions of human inhabitants? Toxic? Sludge?

You mentioned “pipe built in India.” Presumably you know where that the pipe is being constructed while I do not. But if it is in fact being constructed in India, then the reason is that Indian steel companies are able to sell their pipe at a lower price even including shipping costs. So that should tell us something about the economics of projects in our costly US economy.

You specified that the oil would be used for “tax free export (to) Houston, to be sold to China.” Again perhaps you have more information than I but why would the oil be trans-shipped from Houston when most shipments to China leave from the west coast thus not having to go through the Panama Canal and incur significantly more cost? It seems more logical that the proposed use of the pipeline oil is to support domestic production as stated.

You seem to have a pre-conceived notion that isn’t supported by the facts.

» on 02.13.13 @ 09:40 PM

Art , all good questions. This is not “oil” that will be pumped on down to Houston. It is a crude form of bitumen that has to be diluted with a toxic brew to make it flow. If the devasting plunder of Canada’s boreal forest isn’t enough to bother you , then the toxic glop they want to pump through the heartland should.  If you think buying the least expensive pipe ( foreign crap)  is smart , I would be wasting time trying to explain it to you. Toxic brew ,through cheap pipe ( never saw a pipe failure , huh?)passing through environmentally sensitive and populated areas,to end up as a tax free export to China is a major scam .  Here’s a link at you are at all interested in understanding why folks are upset about this thing.

» on 02.13.13 @ 11:07 PM

OK. Thanks for the update.
BYW do they use double walled pipes for this kind of pumping?

» on 02.14.13 @ 08:47 PM

Oh for love of Pete. Willie the XL Pipeline was a fraction of the article. What about the rest? By the way, what are you giving up so that demand for this crude goes down? Growing your own clothes on your own land with rain water you collect? Growing food on that same land with your own water that is hand pumped? Sheltered from the elements in your own hand built tent?

But wait, you tapped this hypocritical message out on your plastic key board and sent it through copper wires using integrated circuit technology built in factories that all use petroleum based products. Hmmmm, seems a bit phony to me arguing about “toxic brews” when you sir are part of the reason it’s done.

Its easy Willie, get off the grid, all the way off, live off your own land and rely on nothing made from or by our petroleum industrial complex then you can preach like your big fat lying Al “I sold my soul for petrodollars” Gore about environmental damage. Until then, your just another “big Al”, lying all the way to the bank. Oh and that goes for those dopy filthy rich lying hypocrite Hollywood types jet setting around the world to spread the word of “environmental responsibility”. Insufferable elitist pigs is what they are.

» on 02.14.13 @ 09:53 PM

An50 , today’s post is the last of yours I will ever read. Your disgraceful insults of anyone who differs in opinion with you is what the publisher wishes were out of his publication. Save your time because I will never read your rubbish again.
Art, there have been pictures taken from the inside of TransAmerica’s pipes in stockpiles showing daylight through the welds. The more you learn about this thing , the worse it gets.

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