Byline: Thomas J. Pyle, SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES
When it comes to putting Americans back to work, President Obama has two distinct alter egos. One acts to systematically dismantle one of the most productive sectors in the economy while the other speaks passionately in favor of job creation.
Despite the fact that the oil and gas industry supports more than 9 million domestic jobs and adds more than $1 trillion to the American economy each year, Mr. Obama continues to wage all-out war against the American energy industry now with the American Jobs Act. The president's jobs plan is to implement a $40 billion national energy tax on Americans.
In North Dakota, the Obama administration is actively seeking to obstruct new natural gas production using advances in the technology of hydraulic fracturing. This roadblock to new energy production is threatening one of the biggest job bonanzas in the state's history. In Louisiana, Mississippi and other Gulf states, a prolonged slowdown of offshore drilling permits has put an estimated 155,000 Americans out of work, according to an independent study by Louisiana State University finance professor Joseph Mason. Even in states far from the Gulf, suppliers are reeling from lost business. Many offshore drilling rigs and the good-paying jobs that go with them have relocated to other countries and will not return for years, if ever. In Alaska, the administration is stifling job creation by imposing new restrictions on existing public-lands permits despite the billions of dollars invested there already.
Massive new taxes on energy producers proposed by the administration pose a further threat to good-paying jobs. A new study by Mr. Mason concludes that the additional tax burden on the industry would trigger 155,000 fresh job losses at the cost of $68 billion in lost wages. A recent analysis by the energy research and consulting firm Wood Mackenzie concludes the higher taxes on the industry would cost about 170,000 direct and indirect jobs by 2014 while costing billions in lost revenue and slashing domestic production by 700,000 barrels per day.
While the president takes a wrecking ball to the job market, his alter ego talks of a nation that must focus on putting America back to work. The president points to the green jobs market as a feature of his government-induced job-creation program.
Previous government attempts to convert taxpayer dollars into the green-energy sector can only be described as colossal, wasteful failures. …