In last week’s debate, Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney suggested that America would see approximately four million new jobs in the oil and gas sector.  With Colorado being a major hub of oil and gas activity, we wondered how many of those new jobs might be coming our way.

According to a study by Edward Morse, a Citi industry analyst, there exists great potential for the U.S. to be energy independent.  According to his presentation, “Energy 2020: North America, the New Middle East”, “North America has become the fastest growing oil and gas region in the world, and is likely to remain so for the rest of the decade and into the 2020s, with the main obstacles as political rather than geological or technological.”

His analysis also outlines the economic boost that a positive regulatory environment would offer the United States:

  • An additional two to three percent of real GDP
  • The addition of 2.7 to 3.6 million net new jobs
  • Narrowing of the deficit by 2.4% of GDP
  • U.S. dollar appreciation in real terms of 1.6 to 5.4%


Graph from Western Energy Alliance’s “Blueprint for Western Energy Prosperity”

The Western Energy Alliance also published a study called the “Blueprint for Western Energy Prosperity” that outlines the impact that a positive regulatory environment would have on the Colorado economy, which has suffered disproportionately under the Obama regime. One of the most significant western oil discoveries has been the Niobara discovery, which sits under Colorado and Wyoming.  It has been estimated that this discovery could produce 286,000 barrels of oil and condensate by 2020. By 2020, Western Energy Alliance predicts: “Robust job growth is expected in Colorado and Utah as well, where the energy sectors are projected to grow by 26,000 (16%) and 5,700 jobs (7%) respectively.”

Graph from Western Energy Alliance’s “Blueprint for Western Energy Prosperity”

But, this isn’t solely an economic issue for Coloradans or for the United States.  Those 286,000 barrels produced by 2020 represent nearly the same amount currently imported from Iraq.  Further, the largest oil discovery is North Dakota’s Bakken formation, which has skyrocketed from 2,000 barrels per day to an average of 289,000 barrels per day in 2010.  According to Western Energy Alliance, “the Bakken and Three Forks Sanish formations could generate more than 650,000 barrels of oil a day by the year 2020, an energy payload so large that it is equivalent to 65% of all current oil imports from Venezuela.”That equates to energy independence from Iraq and from much of Venezuela.  And, that’s with just the known resources in three states.

This seems like a winning option for all Americans.  The real question is why this administration and some on the left are so hell-bent on the West not achieving its potential.It wouldn’t be because their supporters are pushing bankrupt and fraudulent green energy companies like Solyndra would it?