• 3 minutes Shale Oil Fiasco
  • 7 minutes "Leaked" request by some Democrats that they were asking Nancy to coordinate censure instead of impeachment.
  • 12 minutes Trump's China Strategy: Death By a Thousand Paper Cuts
  • 16 minutes Global Debt Worries. How Will This End?
  • 5 hours americavchina.com (otherwise known as OilPrice).
  • 4 mins Democrats through impeachment process helped Trump go out of China deal conundrum. Now Trump can safely postpone deal till after November 2020 elections
  • 8 hours Forget The Hype, Aramco Shares May be Valued At Zero Next Year
  • 23 hours Natural Gas
  • 1 hour Iraq war and Possible Lies
  • 13 hours Joe Biden, his son Hunter Biden, Ukraine Oil & Gas exploration company Burisma, and 2020 U.S. election shenanigans
  • 1 hour POTUS Trump signs the HK Bill
  • 2 days Wallstreet's "acid test" for Democrat Presidential candidate to receive their financial support . . . Support "Carried Interest"
  • 2 days Everything you think you know about economics is WRONG!
  • 4 hours READ: New Record Conoco Eagleford Vintage 5 wells, their 5th generation test wells . . . Shale going bust . . . LAUGHABLE
  • 18 hours My interview on PDVSA Petrocaribe and corruption
  • 1 day Aramco Raises $25.6B in World's Biggest IPO
  • 2 days 2nd Annual Great Oil Price Prediction Challenge of 2019
  • 1 day Winter Storms Hitting Continental US
Alt Text

The Best And Worst Oil Majors Of 2019

2019 has been a tough…

Alt Text

Six Oil Stocks To Survive The Shale Bust

The U.S. shale patch is…

Alt Text

Lower Oil Prices Fail To Stop U.S. Shale Growth

U.S. shale growth doesn’t appear…

Jen Alic

Jen Alic

 

More Info

Premium Content

Energy Independence Equals Jobs across the Environmental Divide

With jobs set to be a key vote-winning point in US November presidential elections, the debate is being framed along the polarized lines of whether renewable energy or a revival of gas and oil production at home will create more jobs. The truth is that both are engines for economic growth and job creation and they are working in tandem to increase America’s energy independence.

The mainstream media has a knee-jerk tendency to view energy jobs from a polarized perspective, focusing singularly on either job creation potential in the renewable energy sector or in the fossil fuels sector. This issue needs to be reframed for public consumption, with the understanding that it is the drive for energy independence that is paramount to new job creation in both sectors.

At a time when the US’ energy reality is in a state of metamorphosis, both renewable energy and increased efforts towards domestic production of oil and gas are important. While renewable energy will in the long term become the dominant sector, this transformation must necessarily be a gradual one.

The result of this transition period is a much-needed boom in job creation in both sectors. So how does this work in terms of vote-buying on the political scene? Supporters of the Republican campaign are want to convince the public that job creation is stronger in the domestic oil and gas sector, while the Obama administration focuses on jobs created in the renewable energy sector. This breaks the debate down into terms that the public can easily digest, but it is a red herring. As the incumbent, Obama could capitalize on this debate by more strongly pointing out what should be obvious: the drive for energy independence creates jobs across the energy sector, befriending both fossil and renewable proponents.

With that in mind, let’s look at the prospects for energy jobs at a time when the national unemployment rate is about 8.2% and millions of Americans remain without jobs and with dwindling if not completely exhausted unemployment benefits.  

From a global perspective, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) said the off-grid electricity industry alone is poised to create 4 million jobs alone in accordance with the United Nation’s goal of providing sustainable energy for all by 2030. Currently, renewable energy companies worldwide employ an estimated 5 million people. Germany alone forecasts it will employ over half a million people in the renewable energy sector by 2030, while currently over 380,000 people work in the sector. Worldwide, between 2007 and 2011, the number of jobs in the renewable energy sector doubled.

According to the UN, renewables are poised to have a better job-creation rate than oil and gas sector in the longer term.

In the US, the solar industry in particular has seen a massive job boom. According to the National Solar Jobs Census 2011, employment growth in the solar sector was nearly 10 times higher than the average national rate last year, translating into over 100,000 solar jobs for Americans and a forecasted increase of 24% for 2012. And these figures are said to reflect the bare minimum. In the State of California, for instance, despite two major recessions, job creation in the renewable energy sector has outpaced job growth in any other sector, according to the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF).

But that’s the longer term, in the immediate term, domestic production of oil and natural gas in the US is also contributing to a job boom. The “shale revolution” which has seen a massive increase in domestic production of oil and natural gas has created thousands of jobs for Americans and stands to create thousands more as this also is leading to an increase in manufacturing sector-wide.

According to the New York Times, the US experienced a larger increase in oil production than any country outside of OPEC in 2011. This necessarily translates into job creation. While the Obama administration has in fact pointed out that shale gas development succeeded in creating some 600,000 new jobs in 2010 alone, this is usually overshadowed by the administration’s stronger focus on the renewable energy sector, as well as the media’s penchant for willfully polarizing the jobs issue.

The bottom line is that the future of job creation should be viewed from an “energy independence” perspective, not from the front lines of the renewable vs. fossil showdown. While there are necessarily elements of a showdown, the objective reality is that both must play a significant role in this energy transition period, and both will contribute to much-needed job creation in the immediate future.

It is important that as Americans prepare to head to the polls they do not feel their vote is cast along these frontlines. Despite the rhetoric designed for vulnerable public consumption, both camps recognize the nuances of a transition to energy independence, and both appreciate the roles played by renewable energy and domestic oil and gas production.

By. Jen Alic of Oilprice.com

Jen Alic is a geopolitical analyst, co-founder of ISA Intel in Sarajevo and Tel Aviv, and the former editor-in-chief of ISN Security Watch in Zurich.




Download The Free Oilprice App Today

Back to homepage



Leave a comment
  • brother kenny on June 13 2012 said:
    Jobs are the issue huh? I have never found it difficult to find someone to pay me so that they can take the benefit of my labor. Wealth comes from labor, but seldom if ever does the working person receive a fair share for their efforts. Keep your jobs, they typically suck anyway. I'll just stop consuming things I don't need, and I'll bet I can make it fairly well on a part time job. Of course you can't do that if you've been hooked into the debt slavery thing.

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News
Download on the App Store Get it on Google Play