The Wall Street Journal

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The Non-Green Jobs Boom
The Wall Street Journal

So President Obama was right all along. Domestic energy production really is a path to prosperity and new job creation. His mistake was predicting that those new jobs would be « green, » when the real employment boom is taking place in oil and gas.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported recently that the U.S. jobless rate remains a dreadful 9%. But look more closely at the data and you can see which industries are bucking the jobless trend. One is oil and gas production, which now employs some 440,000 workers, an 80% increase, or 200,000 more jobs, since 2003. Oil and gas jobs account for more than one in five of all net new private jobs in that period.

The ironies here are richer than the shale deposits in North Dakota’s Bakken formation. While Washington has tried to force-feed renewable energy with tens of billions in special subsidies, oil and gas production has boomed thanks to private investment. And while renewable technology breakthroughs never seem to arrive, horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing have revolutionized oil and gas extraction—with no Energy Department loan guarantees needed.

Mr. Obama nonetheless keeps talking about « green jobs » as if repetition will conjure them. He’d do more for the economy if he dropped the ideological illusions and embraced the job-creating, wealth-producing reality of domestic fossil fuels.