Industry officials were disappointed in President Obama’s jobs speech Thursday, saying their pleas for him to make oil and natural gas the “centerpiece” of his jobs-creation effort fell largely on deaf ears.

“The president missed an opportunity to pick the low-hanging fruit of job creation,” said Jack Gerard, CEO of the American Petroleum Institute (API), which represents major oil and gas producers. “Allowing the responsible development of more of America’s…domestic oil and natural gas resources could generate more than one million new jobs in just seven years, with thousands of shovel-ready jobs that could be created almost immediately.”

Gerard cited a study by Wood Mackenzie that showed more than 1.4 million new jobs, $800 billion in additional Treasury revenue and 10 billion bbl of additional oil and gas production could be added by 2030 with more flexible federal rules (see Daily GPI, Sept. 8). The study was commissioned by API.

During the address Obama signaled that repeal of tax incentives for oil and gas was high on his agenda. “Should we keep tax loopholes for oil companies?” he asked.

“Raising taxes on an industry that already contributes more than $86 million every day to the federal government takes us in the wrong direction,” Gerard said. “It could put American jobs at risk, decrease oil and natural gas production, harm millions of retirees who rely on income from energy companies and actually reduce revenue to the government over time.”

Gerard said the oil and gas industry actually created jobs in August, when there were zero net jobs created in the overall economy, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The Natural Gas Council (NGC), which represents five major gas associations (the American Gas Association, America’s Natural Gas Alliance, the Independent Petroleum Association of America, the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America and the Natural Gas Supply Association), also decried Obama’s speech.

The NCC called on Obama to take several steps to support continued natural gas job creation and revenues:

“Despite the clear economic, jobs and energy benefits provided by one of the few expanding American industries, the president again proposed to strip sway 25% of the capital used to develop America’s essential natural gas,” the NCC said. Independent producers especially are concerned that a host of tax incentives for oil and gas will be on the chopping block: intangible drilling costs, percentage depletion, Section 199 manufacturing tax credit and marginal well tax credit.

©Copyright 2011Intelligence Press Inc. All rights reserved. The preceding news reportmay not be republished or redistributed, in whole or in part, in anyform, without prior written consent of Intelligence Press, Inc.