Total U.S. oil gas extraction employment was just starting to come back over the last few years, after collapsing from its peak in the early 1980’s, as shown below. Most recently, there had particularly been a boom in oil and drilling employment within the U.S. gulf region, though this boom was partially reversed by the recent financial crisis. (not shown)
Given the recent rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico, and the vast environmental damage it has incurred due to uncontrolled oil pouring out of the rig’s damaged well, it is now far more feasible that America could get cold feet in its effort to expand offshore oil and gas exploration. For example, when asked about her reaction to offshore drilling after the new Transocean spill, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano responded that “Everything is on the table,” according to CBSNews reporter Mark Knoller.”
Let’s just say that if offshore oil and gas exploration efforts are curtailed, then A) it will be a lot more difficult for U.S oil and gas drilling employment to continue rising as it had over the last few years and B) we could even be in for a new down-leg in this graph should onshore employment opportunities prove insufficient to compensate.
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