HOUSTON (CBS Houston/AP) – A recent study has found that, since 2011, over 600,000 jobs have been created in America by the oil and gas industry.

Two years ago, 9.8 million jobs already existed in these two industries, the Oil & Gas Journal is reporting.

PricewaterhouseCoopers, a professional services firm with offices in Houston as well as other parts of Texas and throughout the United States, conducted the study, which was commissioned by the American Petroleum Institute.

“If we get our policies right, we can create hundreds of thousands more,” Jack N. Gerard, the president of the Institute, said. “That’s the message we’re taking to members of Congress as they go home for the August recess.”

The study was said to have looked at jobs – both full- and part-time – that were not only directly created by the oil and gas industry, but those that were indirectly created through its supply chain, and those that were induced from household spending on the oil and gas industry.

The boom in jobs accounts for 5.6 percent of all employment in the United States, the Journal learned.

The study was released just days after President Barack Obama revived debate about the number of jobs that would be created by the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada to Texas.

The 1,700-mile pipeline would carry oil from tar sands in Alberta to refineries in the Houston area, passing through Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma.

During a jobs speech Tuesday in Tennessee, Obama downplayed the pipeline’s effect on jobs, calling it a “blip” compared with the overall economy. He also made that point in an interview with The New York Times last week.

Gerard cited Obama’s recent statements, calling them “not factually accurate” and adding to the magazine that he finds it “so disappointing seeing the president’s conversation acting so cavalierly about these jobs.”

“The Mount Rushmore monument was built with temporary jobs. So was the U.S. Capitol. The great irony was as the president was pooh-poohing [sic] these jobs, he was also talking about the need to improve our national infrastructure,” he said. “I hope we get past this distraction and resume serious conversations about this important project.”

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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