Ahead of President Obama’s upcoming State of the Union (SOTU) address, American Petroleum Institute (API) President and CEO Jack Gerard discussed ways for the president to take a leadership position on the oil and gas industry in the United States.
The energy industry has gone from scarcity in the 20th century to abundance early in the 21st century, generating billions in tax revenue, creating millions of new jobs and providing a boost to manufacturing, Gerard said, thus necessitating a new way of thinking about energy. The change also offers the country an opportunity to achieve a level of energy security that would have seemed unimaginable in the past.
Amid the fracking boom that produced an energy renaissance, net petroleum imports “are at their lowest level since 1994,” Gerard noted, and gas prices are nearing six-year lows. However, because of supply disruptions in the Middle East and North Africa, crude oil could cost $150/bbl or more, were it not for the rise in domestic production races, according to figures from the Energy Information Administration (EIA).
Americans are pro-energy, and support economic policies that lead to economic growth and job creation.
“An election-night poll of mid-term election voters showed that 90 percent agreed that increased production of domestic oil and natural gas resources could lead to more U.S. jobs, and 86 percent recognized that [oil and gas production] stimulates our economy,” Gerard said. “Voters of all parties … are prepared to hold lawmakers accountable for getting energy policy right. Sixty-six percent of voters are likely to support a candidate who supports producing more oil and natural gas.”
Regarding the Jan. 20 SOTU address, Gerard said that it will likely “include a mix of rhetoric” claiming credit for energy achievement, while also outlining policy proposals that will undermine the industry.
“We need policies based on fact and science. The administration has let politics decide far too many energy policies,” he said.
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