The International Energy Agency defines energy security as the uninterrupted availability of energy sources at an affordable price.
Such reliable energy is crucial because we are wholly dependent on energy to power our lives. We use energy for powering and heating our homes and businesses; transporting our children to schools and our first responders to emergencies; manufacturing goods and transporting them to markets; constructing and maintaining our homes, bridges and buildings; and defending our country. We also use inputs from energy resources like natural gas and oil as a foundation for nearly every product we use on a daily basis, from clothing, automobiles, makeup, to cellphones, personal protective equipment, medical equipment, and medicines.
We need all forms of energy, but we are still dependent on natural gas and oil and will be for decades to come.
Natural gas and oil supply more than two-thirds of our energy needs. And the U.S. Energy Information Administration expects that percentage to remain roughly the same through at least 2040, even with a stronger energy demand and aggressive development in alternative sources. Although renewables remain a critical part of our energy mix, the EIA projects that they will meet less than 20%% of our energy needs.
Fortunately, thanks to remarkable advances in technology, we are now able to access stores of oil and natural gas right here in the North Americas that have been previously inaccessible to us. That means increasing the availability of energy to meet our needs, and making energy more affordable for Americans.
Developing our rich natural gas and resources is also generating jobs and economic prosperity.
The oil and natural gas industry currently supports more than 11.3 million total jobs, or 5.6 percent of total U.S. employment and nearly $1.7 trillion to U.S. gross domestic product, accounting for 7.9 percent of the national total. This activity represents $892.7 billion in labor income, or 6.8 percent of the U.S. national labor income. And these are well-paying jobs that are often twice the average salary of other non-industry jobs in a state.
Every day, the industry fills state and federal government coffers with tens of millions of dollars in taxes, fees and royalties – over $100 billion annually. All while investing hundreds of billions more in U.S. capital projects to advance all forms of energy, including alternatives.
And a strong oil and natural gas industry is a vital part of the retirement security for millions of Americans. If you own mutual funds, pension funds, IRAs, you’ve probably benefitted from owning some shares in the oil and gas industry. Our energy abundance is also decreasing our reliance on energy imported from foreign sources in unstable regions or who don’t share America’s best interests. So in addition to powering America with reliable, affordable supplies of energy and generating economic prosperity, natural gas and oil are securing America’s national security.