Tags: Romney | natural | gas | shale

Two Simple Words Give Us the Answer of Why Obama Won

Thursday, 08 Nov 2012 07:50 AM

By Jacob Wolinsky

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Mitt Romney lost the presidential election to Barack Obama. There are many reasons why he lost, and blame is being pointed at various quarters. I pointed out a in an article several weeks ago, that Romney could win based on energy policy. Sadly, he did not stress it enough in the debates.

This argument would resonate even more over the past few weeks, as major gas shortages have hit New Jersey and New York. Although the two states always vote Democrat, people from around the country are surely scared it could happen to them. On the flip side, one of the big reasons why Obama won has to do with energy, and that’s where he gets incredibly lucky.

The job creation under Obama has been tepid to say the least. On the whole, employment has grown by 194,000 since he took office, or about 49,000 jobs per year, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, without an unlikely ally it would have been far worse and likely have cost him the election.

According to the American Enterprise Institute, over the past two years, employment in the oil and natural gas industry for drilling-related jobs has increased by 23 percent to 195,500 jobs in July, which is the highest level for those jobs since 1988. Some of the biggest states that are beneficiaries are North Dakota, Texas and Pennsylvania. The first two states were strong Romney states, while Pennsylvania has not voted for a Republican since 1988.

Obama did not get votes in specific states because of shale gas, but it was one of the biggest contributors to jobs under Obama. Additionally, shale gas has helped the sluggish economy grow. According to Bank of America Merrill Lynch, the shale-gas boom is adding $1 billion to the economy every single day. That equals over $1 trillion of actual stimulus money over the course of the Obama presidency.

Since shale gas is being found in large quantities, the price of the commodity has tumbled. Oil is at least 30 times as expensive as natural gas (the ratio was as high as 52 times just a few months ago). These low gas prices saved U.S. companies and consumers $566 million per day.

Throughout the debates, Obama kept discussing green energy and other multibillion wastes of tax subsidies. Obama was never a fan of natural gas even though it emits half the amount of carbon dioxide as oil does. However, natural gas saved the Obama presidency.

While the pundits will debate why Romney lost, the real answer can be summed up in two words: natural gas.

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