The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Redoubling the Commitment to Safety

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted May 4, 2010

Editor's note: In a USA Today op-ed, API President and CEO Jack Gerard announced the oil and natural gas industry is forming two task forces "to review technologies and procedures to improve safety." Jack's comments on the tragic Deepwater Horizon accident are below:

This was a tragic accident; our thoughts and prayers go out to the workers and their families. The best minds in industry and government are working to stop the spill, contain the oil and clean up the environment. The accident is unprecedented, and so, too, is our response. We recognize our commitment to our neighbors along the Gulf Coast: the people whose communities are at risk.

Although an incident like this hasn't occurred in the United States in more than 40 years, it is clear we need to find out what happened and quickly fix any problems. Our industry recognizes that obligation. Our goal is zero incidents, zero injuries and zero fatalities. We owe it to the nation that has placed its trust in us to responsibly develop the oil and natural gas off our coasts.

The industry is expeditiously forming two task forces to review technologies and procedures to improve safety. They will continue the industry's longstanding efforts to improve offshore safety through technology, management practices, training, industry standards and regulatory oversight.

Developing our offshore oil and natural gas resources made sense many decades ago when the first well was drilled in the Gulf of Mexico. And, despite this accident, it still makes sense. Producing our own oil and natural gas, both onshore and offshore, means more U.S. jobs, greater energy security and many billions of dollars in revenue to government.

The nation needs to rely on all of its energy resources to keep its economy strong and growing. We'll consume 14% more energy in 25 years, according to estimates, and that means more energy of every type: fossil fuels and renewables. Oil and natural gas will continue to be an important part of that energy mix for decades to come. We need to rely on American sources of oil and natural gas, and that means developing our offshore resources, safely and responsibly.

The accident in the Gulf is a powerful call for our industry to redouble its commitment to safety and environmental stewardship. Improve we must and will, employing all of the innovation, planning and hard work that is necessary.

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Update on May 4, 2010: In the video below, watch Jack Gerard discuss the recent oil spill and cleanup efforts in the Gulf of Mexico on Morning Joe.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mark Green joined API after a career in newspaper journalism, including 16 years as national editorial writer for The Oklahoman in the paper’s Washington bureau. Mark also was a reporter, copy editor and sports editor. He earned his journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma and master’s in journalism and public affairs from American University. He and his wife Pamela live in Occoquan, Va., where they enjoy their four grandchildren.