March 11, 2014 10:13 am | Categories:
Addressing the 2014 legislative conference of the North American Building and Construction Trades Department – one of the operational arms of the AFL-CIO – ExxonMobil Chairman and CEO Rex Tillerson outlined “an extraordinary growth opportunity” for the American economy that is tied to domestic energy development. One key, Rex suggested, is for policymakers to act responsibly:
With sound energy policies, we could see up to 452,000 new U.S. jobs flow from LNG exports by 2035 … 500,000 new U.S. jobs supported by new oil sands development within 20 years … and, in the upstream industry alone, 166,000 jobs for African-American and Hispanic/Latino workers between the years 2010 and 2020. In short, by 2030, sound energy policies that enable increased development of our domestic energy resources could increase government revenue by $800 billion and create 1.4 million new jobs.
What is keeping this from happening is Washington. As Rex noted, “All we need is the green light to proceed.”
That’s the case with everything from energy exports to the Keystone XL pipeline to unlocking access to offshore deposits of oil and natural gas. In each instance, our industry is waiting on action from Washington policymakers to remove obstacles to energy-related economic opportunity and growth.
Rex praised the Building Trades for working with companies like ExxonMobil to communicate the importance of America’s energy revolution to policymakers at the federal as well as state and local levels. Organized labor has offered one of the most effective voices in America’s energy policy discussions in recent years.
Rex’s address heralded a level of partnership between the petroleum industry and labor groups to meet the challenges of the coming decades, most notably with regard to filling the jobs of the future.
The U.S. workforce is aging and baby boomers are retiring just when the surge in domestic energy production is offering new opportunities for our economy, particularly in petrochemical manufacturing.
Rex discussed how industry can work with groups such as the Building Trades to develop new models for training the workers needed to take advantage of the economic opportunities offered by the country’s shale energy revolution.
The cooperation displayed by organizations such as the Oil and Natural Gas Industry Labor Management Committee – which Building Trades president Sean McGarvey chairs and on whose board Rex sits – provides a critical framework for meeting job training and other challenges.
Rex had a lot more to say than that. You can read his whole address here.