"US Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue made energy the lead item in his jobs agenda for 2012, calling for speeding oil and natural gas permitting and quickly approving the Keystone XL pipeline to boost the economy.
'Our nation is on the cusp of an energy boom that is already creating hundreds of thousands of jobs, revitalizing entire communities and reinvigorating American manufacturing,' Donohue said, in his annual 'State of American Business' speech on Thursday.
The chamber is the US' largest business group, representing about 3 million businesses.
Donohue cited development of shale gas and unconventional oil resources as potentially creating about 1 million jobs over the next few years adding hundreds of billions to federal coffers, offering North Dakota's energy boom as an example.
"To tap our energy resources we've got to speed up permitting," Donohue said.
"Instead of handpicking a few technologies we must harness all of our resources, traditional and alternative, while expanding nuclear power and driving greater efficiency," he continued later.
Asked at a news conference following the speech if exports of new oil and gas resources could hurt the US economy, Donohue said exports should remain small and the benefits of gas production, in particular, would attract companies to the US.
'I think over time we're going to keep a lot more [oil and gas] here and we're sure going to attract a lot of companies to come back here, primarily, for starters, in the chemical business because they use natural gas as their seed corn,' Donohue said."