While there is no guarantee that increased investment in achieving energy independence will solve all of America’s unemployment problems, the results so far have demonstrated that it will definitely help the cause. Under President Obama's watch, such increased investment has so far created 1.5 million jobs and has demonstrated the potential to create many more.
After a four-decade decline in oil production, the U.S. is now producing enough oil to serve more than half of our oil needs. This has the potential to free us from our addiction to foreign-sourced barrels, particularly if we utilize our dramatically larger and cheaper reserves of natural gas, which now costs the equivalent of less than $15 per barrel, versus the $100-plus per barrel of oil we import from the Middle East. The money saved by increased use of natural gas has helped in greater investments and has created more than 75,000 jobs domestically.
Moreover, the president’s policies have motivated companies to invest more in clean energy to the extent that American companies make over 75% of all venture investments in clean technologies. Overall, because of U.S. public and private investments in clean energy—including renewables, efficiency, transportation, and infrastructure—the clean economy grew by 8.3% from 2008 to 2009, even during the depths of the recession. Even though several technologies, such as solar power, are still not as cost-competitive as imported oil, expanding these clean-energy investments is good economics as they will help preserve and expand America's middle class, because energy investments are a particularly effective method of "insourcing" manufacturing jobs, which in turn spur jobs in invention, installation, and maintenance.
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