NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


October 20, 2008

Politicians, especially Democrats, bemoan America's loss of manufacturing jobs.  Yet most Democrats refuse to support two initiatives that would create hundreds of thousands of highly skilled, well-paying U.S. manufacturing and construction jobs: a new push for nuclear power plants and more oil and gas exploration and production, says Forbes.

Sen. McCain (R-Ariz.) supports the construction of 45 new nuclear reactors over the next two decades and Congress has authorized $18.5 billion in loan guarantees to restart the building of nuclear power plants.  However, Obama has done nothing, even though, a renewed nuclear power program would create some 700,000 jobs in building and operating the new nuclear reactors, says Forbes.

Currently, most of the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf is off-limits to oil and gas exploration and production, even though there are upward of 100 billion barrels of oil and immense amounts of natural gas estimated to be there, says Forbes:

  • The technology exists to get the oil and gas out with minimal chances of spills; there were virtually no spills when Hurricane Katrina blew away offshore oil rigs in 2005.
  • Britain and Norway have successfully pumped oil from the turbulent North Sea for decades.

Every country that thinks it might have oil offshore is going after it:

  • Cuba has contracted with China and others to drill only 60 miles off the coast of Florida.
  • Brazil recently discovered an offshore field estimated to hold some 33 billion barrels of oil.
  • Removing barriers to exploration and drilling would create tens of thousands of new jobs.

Sensible policies on nukes and oil exploration would have a positive impact on national security by making us less dependent on imports, and we would no longer be sending hundreds of billions of dollars to terrorist-supporting regimes, says the Journal.

Source: Editorial, "Real Jobs," Forbes, October 13, 2008.

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