In light of the U.S. Labor Department’s release today of its December jobs report – yet another analysis showing Americans still face a double-digit unemployment rate – energy expert Jack Rafuse, principal of the Rafuse Organization, released the following statement:
“Today’s new jobs report illustrates once again that we need to find new and innovative ways to get Americans back to work. Luckily, one of the best solutions lies just right off our coasts.
“Unlike other stimulus plans that rely on tax dollars, the benefits of increased offshore activity wouldn’t depend on taxpayer funding. By utilizing the more than over 440 trillion cubic feet of natural gas located right of the U.S. coast, domestic energy companies would create tens of thousands of well-paying, long-lasting job opportunities while contributing billions to our economy.
“But, unfortunately, policymakers on Capitol Hill, at the Interior Department and elsewhere continue to block access to the abundant and affordable natural gas reserves we have here right at our door. If these valuable resources were not locked away offshore under federal control, they would enable our energy companies to employ thousands of people in what continues to be the harshest employment climate since the Great Depression.
“The Labor Department’s report shows that our economy shed another 85,000 jobs last month. This news brings the total number of job losses to more than 8 million since the recession started in 2008. Therefore, I urge policymakers to remember that blocking access to our domestic natural gas resources means blocking job growth. And that’s something now that America’s families simply cannot afford.”