API: Public Policy Can Change Energy Costs

Energy costs have been down overall, but commonsense public policy changes can help put further downward pressure on costs to help American families, API Chief Economist John Felmy told reporters on a conference call Thursday:

“The recent surge in domestic energy production on state and private lands – brought about by hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling – has helped put downward pressure on prices for gasoline, diesel and natural gas. But production on federal lands – where the administration has control – has fallen dramatically. 

“With the right government policies that open up federal lands and waters for responsible development while speeding up the permitting process, we can do more to help consumers. Increasing oil production would add supplies that could help put additional downward pressure on gasoline prices. And it would mean more jobs and more revenue to our government to help pay for education and hospitals.

“We also have concerns that government regulations threaten to increase costs.  One major concern is ever increasing biofuel mandates under the Renewable Fuel Standard. These mandates could drive up gasoline costs by 30 percent and the cost of diesel by 300 percent by 2015, according to a study by NERA. EPA’s recent proposal to trim next year’s mandate is a welcome stopgap, but ultimately Congress must repeal these ever increasing biofuels mandates to protect consumers in the long run.

“Also, duplicative new federal regulations being considered for hydraulic fracturing could jeopardize the shale energy revolution. States are already regulating effectively; adding another layer of regulation is unnecessary and counterproductive.”

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