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United States energy policy

By promoting free markets, free trade, and the rule of law, policymakers can foster an atmosphere in which citizens and businesses identify and pursue new innovations and opportunities, invest and build, and achieve unprecedented success by adding value across the nation.

Government policies most conducive to energy abundance, reliability, and affordability are not focused on micromanaging or manipulating energy markets, but on establishing basic parameters and allowing free markets to work.

With stable and unbiased public policies supporting open, competitive free markets, the energy industry and companies like ExxonMobil can help lead an economic resurgence with disciplined investments in new projects, new technologies, and new jobs that will help ensure reliable energy for the U.S. economy.

U.S. jobs and GDP

 The oil and natural gas industry delivered $476 billion in benefits to the U.S. economy in 2010 – more than three times the amount it earned – and is one of the few U.S. industries that have added a significant number of jobs in recent years. A study by Wood Mackenzie shows that oil and natural gas policy changes could create more than $1.4 million new jobs and $800 billion in additional government revenue.

According to a recent study by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), direct employment in the oil and gas industry exceeded 2.5 million in 2011. These jobs – drillers, engineers, construction workers – have a multiplier effect on employment.  This PwC study estimated that each direct job in the U.S. oil and gas industry supports almost three jobs elsewhere in the economy.  All told, PwC estimates that the entire U.S. oil and gas industry supported 9.8 million jobs and that the total economic "value added" by the industry was $1.2 trillion, or 8% of U.S. GDP in 2011 (the latest year available).

Revenue and royalties

The U.S. oil and natural gas industry is a major contributor of jobs and economic growth, both in the U.S. and abroad. Additionally, it is one of the world’s largest taxpayers, supporting local, state and federal government spending on programs and services that benefit millions. A study by Wood Mackenzie (September 2011) has shown that opening access to resources currently off-limits would create as much as $800 billion in government revenue by 2030.

In fiscal year 2012, the Department of the Interior’s Office of Natural Resources Revenue (ONRR) disbursed more than $12 billion in royalties from energy and mineral production. While the U.S. Treasury received $6.6 billion, more than $2.1 billion was distributed to 34 states, and American Indian Tribes and individual Indian mineral owners received $717 million.  In addition to the disbursements to states, American Indians, and the U.S. Treasury, the Land & Water Conservation Fund received $897 million, $1.6 billion supported Reclamation Fund water projects, and the Historic Preservation Fund received $150 million.