Published: January 05, 2012
Domestic energy development should be a top campaign issue in 2012, Jack Gerard of the American Petroleum Institute said today, a sentiment with which we entirely agree.
Gerald, president and CEO of API, gave a “The State of American Energy” address (prepared text, news release) at the Newseum, highlighting the potential of domestic energy development to create jobs, stimulate the economy and ensure national energy security.
API also announced a nonpartisan Vote 4 Energy campaign designed to elevate energy as a campaign issue. The website is http://vote4energy.org/.
America has the potential to become energy sufficient if the federal government embraces the opportunity, eschewing over-regulation, Gerard argued. Perhaps the American public doesn't appreciate that potential, which Gerard led his speech with.
It’s a vision defined by opportunity.
Where does this vision come from? It comes from three key facts: First, from the knowledge that we are an energy-rich nation. We have more oil and natural gas than anyone thought possible even 20 years ago: more potential energy than many oil-exporting nations in the Mideast, and more than most countries in the world.
And if you consider oil and natural gas—as well as our other fossil fuels like coal—the United States has the largest energy resources in the world. More than Saudi Arabia, more than Russia, more than China, Venezuela, Brazil, and more than Iran – Iraq – Libya – and Kuwait combined.
When we look at all our domestic energy options – fossil fuels, nuclear energy, renewable and alternative energy sources such as biofuels – we see a nation with an abundance of opportunity for growth.
Fact 2: Energy is proven driver of economic growth. The oil and gas industry accounts for more than 9 million jobs in the United States and produces millions of dollars of revenue for the government every day through royalties, leases, bonus bids and corporate taxes, Gerard said.
Fact 3: Domestic energy development also reinforces national security. Gerard explained, "As The New York Times reported, energy geopolitics are rebalancing and the Western Hemisphere, with the U.S., Canada and Brazil, is at the front. This is not a vision of America at
the mercy of other oil-producing regions, but of an America that holds the reins to her energy security."
Gerard followed his remarks with a 45-minute news conference, heavily attended by both the energy trade press and major media outlets. (Kudos to API's media team for figuring out that Wednesday would be a good day for a news event. It's quiet in the nation's capital, although President Obama's questionable decision to make recess appointments to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau -- good Cato.org piece on the appointment -- and the National Labor Relations Board stirred things up this afternoon.)
Reporters repeatedly asked about President Obama delaying a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline. The pipeline should certainly be approved on its merits, and indeed, The State of American Energy report asserts, "Developing Canadian oil sands and creating sufficient pipeline capacity, including expansion of the Keystone XL pipeline could create more than 500,000 U.S. jobs by 2035." Which leads us back to energy development as a campaign issue. If jobs are a priority, the Keystone XL pipeline should be expedited, not delayed. As Gerard said, "Clearly, the Keystone XL pipeline is in the national interest. A determination to decide anything less than that I believe will have huge political consequences."