Reports Compare Jobs To Result From Dem, Republican Energy Plans

March 21, 2002
12:00 AM
Sen. Jeff Bingaman, chairman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and Sen. Jack Reed, chairman of the Joint Economic Committee, have released two reports comparing job creation in the Democratic energy bill and the Republican energy proposals. "Research shows that the policies outlined in The Energy Policy Act of 2002 would create up to 1.5 million new American jobs by 2010," Bingaman said. "That’’s nearly seven times greater than the number of new jobs that experts say would result under the Republican plan." The report found: ✔ The Alaska natural gas pipeline provision alone would create approximately 400,000 new jobs for steelworkers, construction workers, truckers, welders and pipefitters. Moreover, at a time of concern for the U.S. steel industry, the new pipeline would require more than 5 million tons of steel -- much more than was required for the TransAlaska pipeline. ✔ The renewable fuels provision in the Democratic energy bill would create 224,000 new jobs. ✔ Increasing diversity in power generation through renewable energy and efficiency improvements throughout the system would create between 700,000 and 830,000 new jobs. Sen. Reed’s report examined the employment, economic and security gains which have been projected if the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is opened for drilling. Specifically, many proponents claim that drilling in the Refuge would yield 735,000 jobs and greatly help our nation achieve independence from foreign oil. That number is based on a study that uses unrealistic assumptions to greatly inflate the number of jobs created by drilling in the Refuge. "In short, our study found that drilling in the Arctic Reserve would provide few benefits to the nation as a whole," Reed said. "Democrats support a comprehensive, balanced and forward-looking energy policy that reduces our dependence on foreign oil and creates far more jobs than any of the GOP proposals." The study shows that instead of creating 735,000 new jobs, drilling in the Refuge would provide no substantial new employment for the next 10 years and would generate modest employment gains in the long run, peaking at an estimated 65,000 new jobs nationwide in 2020 --- fully 93 percent less than touted and an increase in projected employment of less than one-tenth of one percent. Sen. Reed's report also debunks some of the myths regarding drilling in the reserve on our energy interdependence. For example, it shows that it will be a decade before any oil comes out of the Refuge -- meaning no short-term impact on prices or import levels as well as jobs -- and that even in the long run, drilling in the Refuge would increase our share of world oil supply by less than 1 percent by 2020. Energy Committee Report Joint Economic Committee Report # # #