Unleash America’s Energy Resources

The U.S. economy added 151,000 jobs in the month of August, roughly 30,000 less than the 180,000 jobs many economists predicted. The unemployment rate was essentially unchanged from July, remaining at 4.9 percent while wage growth slowed to 0.1 percent. Employment in the manufacturing and mining industries in particular suffered. This disappointing jobs report offers additional evidence of the failure of the current administration to enact pro-growth policies necessary for a full economic recovery.

A recent report from The Heritage Foundation shows that by reducing environmental regulation and expanding access to energy resources, the next administration can get our economy moving in a positive direction, faster. According to their report, the U.S. has about 1.442 trillion barrels of recoverable oil, but under direction from the Obama administration, the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have severely restricted the ability of private companies to access this abundant resource, despite that fact that doing so would have little, if any, environmental benefit.

The Heritage Foundation estimates that if the federal government opens access to energy exploration on federal waters and lands, prevents federal regulation of fracking, avoids global warming taxes and regulations, and expands free trade for energy sources, by 2035 the economy will add $700,000 jobs (many in the machinery and manufacturing industries), increase GDP by $3.7 trillion, and save American families $40,000 in home energy costs.

The economic benefits of reducing regulation to expand access to energy production make perfect sense. Everyone has to pay for electricity whether they run a business or simply need to heat their home. Expanding access to energy production means lower energy costs, which in turn lowers the cost of doing business, lowers the cost of powering a home, increases the competitiveness of U.S. businesses, and creates thousands of high-paying jobs.

At the very least, Congress should consider legislation that would help prevent environmental overregulation and increase congressional oversight of federal agencies as a good starting point to unleash America’s energy resources and get our economy headed in the right direction.

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