The March jobs report showed employers created 120,000 jobs last month – that is half of what was created in February and a far cry from the 205,000 private economists had anticipated.
While the numbers were disappointing, we did not need another jobs report to tell us this economy is failing the American people. What it highlights, though, is the fragility of the meager signs of recovery we have seen lately.
One of the biggest barriers to job creation are government policies that prevent American energy development and drive up gas prices. While gas prices are already higher than ever for this time of year, the Oil Price Information Service predicts they could reach $4.25 by the end of April!
Gas prices have more than doubled on the President’s watch, going from $1.85 on the day he was sworn into office to a national average of $3.94 today. Already, 10 states are struggling with gas prices in excess of $4 and another 13 are within a dime of that price.
Despite publicly pledging support for an “all-of-the-above” energy platform, President Obama has continued fighting against just that. Not only did hepersonally lobby Senate Democrats to vote against job-creating the Keystone XL Pipeline, he also advocated energy tax legislation which the non-partisan Congressional Research Service says would increase energy prices.
So while families struggle with rising gas prices the President is only making things worse.
When he claims energy production is increasing on his watch, he is taking credit for production on state and private lands. In fact, oil production on federal lands has decreased 14% over the past year.
President Obama’s de facto moratorium on offshore energy production has put 97% of the Outer Continental Shelf off limits to energy exploration. That moratorium alone is killing an estimated 1.2 million jobs according to a professor at Louisiana State University.
While the President might be insulated from rising fuel costs, working families are not. When we see the price go up at the pump, that increases the price of absolutely everything else we consume like groceries and clothing.
In the House, we have worked to address this situation. As part of the American Energy Initiative, we have passed dozens of bills to implement an ‘all-of-the-above’ energy policy only to see them stalled in the Senate. All of these bills have passed with bipartisan support and many were backed by the President’s own jobs council.
By implementing these proposals and harnessing America’s energy potential, we can literally empower businesses to expand and create new jobs. By failing to do so and allowing energy prices to continue to rise, we risk wiping out what little recovery we have seen.
What do you think? Do you think the President's policies have lead to increased gas prices? Do you support the Keystone XL pipeline? What about energy production on federal lands? Weigh in by taking my online poll.