Continue Smart Energy Policy for the Sunshine State and Our Nation

January 12, 2018

By Julio Fuentes, president and CEO of the Florida State Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Florida’s business community has a lot to look forward to this year, including the energy industry and the major economic growth it continues to produce.

Last year brought its challenges, particularly Hurricane Irma’s hard-hitting impact on Florida. Energy infrastructure played a crucial role in restoring power and rebuilding damaged communities. Florida also welcomed millions of Puerto Ricans seeking shelter from Hurricane Maria’s devastation to their communities, which is why it is more important than ever to ensure our state is energy secure.

Fortunately, last year also provided new opportunities. The new administration passed a sweeping tax reform package, promising more money in Americans’ paychecks while setting the stage for future energy innovation and growth.

Earlier this week, American Petroleum Institute CEO Jack Gerard issued his annual “State of American Energy” report. It is an exciting time for the energy industry and the business community as a whole, because America is currently in a position of global leadership when it comes to energy production.

According to projected statistics, nearly 2 million job opportunities in the oil and natural gas industry will be created by 2035. What’s even more exciting is that nearly 40 percent of those positions will likely be filled by women and minorities, such as Hispanics and African-Americans. And, the oil and natural gas industry offer salaries almost $50,000 more than the national average.

Currently, Florida consumes 27 million gallons of gasoline every day, making us the third largest consumer of gasoline in the nation. With this in mind, we should be doing everything in our power to promote innovative and environmentally conscious fossil fuel production here in our own state.

Environmental stewardship is a core value of energy development. The industry often invests in new ways to reduce carbon emissions and data show...

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