Booming oil production boosted GDP estimate, White House advisers say

Two of President Obama’s top economic advisers are crediting increasing petroleum production with the rosier estimate for second quarter economic performance announced this week. 

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“This is yet another reminder that the President’s focus on increasing America’s energy independence is not just a critical national security strategy, it is also part of an economic plan to create jobs, expand growth and cut the trade deficit,” Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Jason Furman and National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling wrote in a blog post on Thursday.

The United States petroleum trade deficit hit a record low in June as booming domestic oil production displaced imports and exports of refined petroleum products increased.

That played a significant role in revising U.S. gross domestic product growth in the second quarter to 2.5, up from 1.7 percent, said Furman and Sperling.

The economists noted that U.S. oil production is at its highest level in 17 years. They also said increased biofuel production and fuel efficiency standards will have a positive impact on the petroleum trade deficit.

Republicans and industry contend the Obama administration can do more on the supply side by opening federal onshore and offshore land to more drilling.

They say that would provide jobs and enhance energy security. Sperling and Furman noted the oil and gas industry has added more than 35,000 jobs in the past four years.

The Obama administration, though, contends that it already makes most of the recoverable offshore deposits available for drilling.

And as a matter of geology, a bulk of the shale plays that have provided the wealth of newfound oil and gas are located on private and state lands — not federal.

— This story was updated at 2:20 p.m.