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Encouraging US energy: Part 1

Oilfield Technology,

American Petroleum Institute President and CEO, Jack Gerard gave a speech on October 9 2014 at the North Carolina Coast Energy Summit. Below are some of the highlights.

‘North Carolina’s voters are fortunate in that a true all of the above approach to energy policy is embraced by most of your congressional delegation and by Governor McCrory who is a steadfast advocate for responsible energy development. Your elected leaders understand that energy is so fundamental to our nation that it cannot be the province of one political party. They understand that all domestically produced energy from wind and solar, to nuclear to fossil fuels has an essential role to play in ensuring that we have the energy to power our homes, businesses and schools. They also understand that increased energy production leads to greater job creation and economic growth.’

Oil and gas economic support

‘Nationally, America’s oil and natural gas industry supports approximately US$ 1.2 trillion in US gross domestic product and provides US$ 85 million a day to the federal government in the form of royalties, bonuses paid at lease sales and taxes, and the industry supports 9.8 million jobs or 5.6% of total US employment. Here in North Carolina, according to an API member vendor survey released either this month, the upstream sector of the oil and natural gas industry contributes US$ 12.5 billion to the state’s economy and supports the employment of 146 100 North Carolinians.

‘And a report by consulting firm Wood Mackenzie, the US Supply Forecast and Potential Jobs and Economic Impacts, estimated that the number of jobs supported in North Carolina by just one sector, upstream, would grow from a little more than 4800 in 2010 to more than 49 000 by 2025 with the right energy policies. Further, with the right energy policies the industry could support as many as an additional 1 million American jobs in seven years and more than 1.4 million by 2030 in the oil and natural gas and petrochemicals industries.’

Political holdbacks

‘While we appreciate President Obama’s fine speeches on energy policy, and we are proud of the gains we’ve made during his time in office, unfortunately, too often, this administration has been an obstacle when it comes to energy development and production. An ongoing reality for the energy sector that contradicts President Obama’s repeated attempts to take credit for America’s rise as an energy superpower and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. The fact is it has been the actions of the companies and men and women of the oil and natural gas sector who have created America’s greatly improved energy outlook.’

‘Too much of our nation’s energy resources are off limits because of short sighted federal government policies, outdated assumptions or political agendas that have nothing to do with American energy security or global energy leadership, but everything to do with short term electoral politics.’

‘On private and state lands, where development does not need permission from the federal government, oil production is up 61% and natural gas production is up 33%. And where development is possible in federal areas, permitting and leasing is a slow and cumbersome process. That’s not only bad politics; it’s bad policy and it is an unnecessary drag on a still shaky economy. What’s more we are not only producing more oil and natural gas we are doing it in a more environmentally friendly way. Thanks to the abundance of cleaner burning natural gas America’s CO2 emissions are at their lowest levels in nearly 20 years.

‘Further, since 2000, the oil and gas sector has spent more on low and zero carbon technologies than the federal government and nearly as much as all other industries combined. In fact, one out of every six dollars invested in non-hydrocarbon technologies came from the oil and gas sector. Since 1990, the industry has invested US$ 252.8 billion toward improving the environmental performance of its products, facilities and operations. All of which makes the president’s claims that his administration is behind America’s significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and our rise as a global energy leader dangerous.

‘And while it is true that the Obama administration has evolved, somewhat, from their original hostile and ill informed position that fossil fuels were a social ill that needed to be solved, the plain fact remains that his administration’s energy policies have, on balance, dampened our nation’s energy outlook.’

‘The reality is that the oil and natural gas industry has a strong record of safety and is continually looking to squeeze the last bit of risk out of the energy development and production process.’

Read Encouraging US energy: Part 2

Edited from speech by Claira Lloyd

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