The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Obama Speaks in Copenhagen

Jack Gerard

Jack Gerard
Posted December 18, 2009

President Obama today addressed attendees during the final hours of the Copenhagen climate summit, stressing the need to act "boldly and decisively" on climate change. Following his speech, I issued the following statement:

We agree with President Obama on the importance of addressing global climate change. However, Congress's leading proposals could destroy millions of jobs, drive up fuel prices and, by shifting much of our refining capacity abroad (along with refinery greenhouse gas emissions), substantially increase our reliance on foreign supplies of gasoline, diesel and other petroleum fuels. Worse, the president's own Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is poised to issue an expansive regimen of climate regulations that could cripple business growth and job creation, dimming employment hopes for 15 million now out-of-work Americans.

Often overlooked is the U.S. oil and natural gas industry's leading role developing green technology. Between 2000 and 2008, the industry invested more than $58 billion in greenhouse gas mitigation projects, more than either the federal government or the rest of the private sector combined. These investments will pay off in emission reductions as they already have in new jobs.

Public support for government climate change proposals has waned. It's time for all stakeholders to come together to craft a fair, efficient, market-based climate change strategy that minimizes the burden on consumers and jobs.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jack N. Gerard is president and CEO of the American Petroleum Institute (API), the national trade association that represents all aspects of America’s oil and natural gas industry. He also has served as the president and CEO of trade associations representing the chemical and mining industries. Jack understands how Washington works. He spent several years working in the U.S. Senate and House, and co-founded a Washington-based government relations consulting firm. A native of Idaho, Jack also is very active in the Boy Scouts of America, a university graduate program on politics, and his church’s leadership. He and his wife are the proud parents of eight children, including twin boys adopted from Guatemala.