September 12, 2016

Editorial Board Blasts Negative Impacts Of Extreme “Keep It In The Ground” Movement On Southwest


In Texas and other states along the Gulf Coast, the economic and job impacts from the extreme “Keep It In The Ground” fossil fuel campaign would be severe. According to a recent U.S. Chamber study, a ban on oil and gas production on federal land and waters – as promoted by the “Keep It In The Ground” activists, would kill more than 100,000 jobs and cost $24.2 billion in GDP:

The U.S. portion of the Gulf of Mexico, which, for this analysis, comprises Texas, Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi, is responsible for supporting 39,300 direct jobs owing to offshore oil and gas development, with an additional 27,700 indirect jobs and 43,200 induced jobs. Total labor income impacts total $9.4 billion. Of the $24.2 billion in GDP impacts, Texas is responsible for half that amount.

This weekend, the editorial board of neighboring New Mexico’s Albuquerque Journal, wrote that the “Just Say No” and “Keep It In The Ground” fossil fuel campaigns were “deceptively appealing”:

So the deception behind the “Keep it in the Ground” movement is that it ignores how a country that freaks out when there’s no cellphone service will react when hospitals don’t have power and people don’t have jobs.

The editorial board further detailed the far-reaching impact of what leaving it in the ground would have on state governments and jobs:

A U.S. Chamber of Commerce study says ending all fossil fuel production on federal lands – nearly 25 percent of America’s oil and gas production – would turn off about $11.3 billion in annual royalties for federal and state governments and up to 380,000 jobs.

As fossil fuel development in New Mexico brings in $496 million in revenues and supports as many as 24,300 jobs, prominent state Democrats have eschewed the extreme movement of the Environmentalist Left.

The “Keep It In The Ground” movement has even drawn criticism from top energy officials in the Obama Administration. Obama’s top science advisor, Dr. John Holdren and Interior Secretary, Sally Jewell, have both been critical of the movement, calling it “unrealistic” and “naïve.” John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign chair has called it “completely impractical.”

Today the “Keep It In The Ground” forces are mounting a well-funded, well-coordinated campaign to stop oil and gas production in Texas – and it’s helpful to be reminded that tens of thousands of jobs and billions in economic activity are at stake.