Just days ago, President Obama unveiled the American Jobs Act, a proposal that is expected to cost between $300 billion and $400 billion and contain a mix of tax cuts and infrastructure projects.
In an attempt to undercut Obama’s jobs plan, the American Petroleum Institute released a report outlining Big Oil’s own jobs plan: A promise to create over one million jobs in the next decade in exchange for free license to drill for oil anywhere they want, on land or at sea.
Oh, and they’ll need to expand tar sands oil production too.
But a new report by the Democratic staff of the Natural Resources Committee challenges the claim that oil and gas companies are dedicated to American job creation and helping American consumers and the country emerge from its fiscal crisis.
The report, “Profits and Pink Slips: How Big Oil and Gas Companies Are Not Creating U.S. Jobs or Paying Their Fair Share” includes these major findings:
- Despite generating $546 billion in profits between 2005 and 2010, ExxonMobil, Chevron, Shell and BP combined to reduce their U.S. workforce by 11,200 employees over that time.
- Just in 2010 alone, the top five oil companies (the above four, plus ConocoPhillips) reduced their global workforce by a combined 4,400 employees, while making a combined $73 billion in profits.
- Even with these job losses, the top five companies paid their senior executives a total of nearly $220 million in 2010.
- Taxpayers will hand out nearly $100 billion in tax breaks and loopholes to oil and gas companies in the coming decades.
The report reveals the true nature of the fossil fuel industry: selfish. These statistics show that in addition to eliminating jobs in the past few years, Big Oil’s warm and fuzzy proposition would only accomplish one thing: stuffing more taxpayer money into its own already-overflowing pockets.
Instead of ravaging the Earth for the last batch of toxic oil and gas she contains, why not focus on making a product that will help America create a more secure energy future?
Consider these findings from a truly independent economic study published earlier this year:
- Though modest in size, the clean energy and tech industries already employ more workers than the fossil fuel industry; some 2.7 million jobs spread across a diverse group of industries.
- Overall, today’s clean economy establishments added half a million jobs between 2003 and 2010, expanding at an annual rate of 3.4 percent.
- Roughly 26 percent of all clean economy jobs lie in manufacturing establishments, compared to just 9 percent in the broader economy.
- The clean economy offers more opportunities and better pay for low- and middle-skilled workers than the national economy as a whole.
“Obama’s challenge now is to stand up to the fossil fuel industry and its supporters in Congress who are misleading the American public by insisting that regulation kills jobs, and that a clean-energy future isn’t viable. That’s the “race to the bottom” the president mentioned in his speech,” writes Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club.
“In the end, the whole “jobs versus environment/public health” argument is nothing but a rhetorical crutch for polluters. The sooner we (and the media) call them on their B.S., the sooner we can win the “race to the top” for all Americans,” Brune continues.
I couldn’t agree more.
Image Credit: Flickr - linh.m.do