Posted August 17, 2010
(Editor's note: API President and CEO Jack Gerard announced a series of rallies being scheduled in several cities in September, giving Americans a forum where they can voice their concerns about jobs and the economy. A portion of his prepared statement appears below.)
"I am officially announcing that API will host additional citizen rallies starting early next month in conjunction with other local and national groups. We'll be taking the lead on the rallies, but we are partnering with local energy and business groups in every location. We're kicking off the program with three rallies in Texas on September 1st, and we are now finalizing plans for rallies in Ohio, Illinois, Colorado and New Mexico.
"The focus of the rallies will be jobs and the economy. U.S. unemployment is high, and there are growing concerns over the economic recovery. This is a critical time. Americans want to know the government is working on constructive solutions to the challenges we all face. But, from an energy perspective, we don't think that's happening.
"The rallies will mobilize our members and our allies...to emphasize our energy and economic reality: oil and natural gas power economic growth and job creation. New taxes on the energy industry will hinder economic growth and erode our energy security.
"We have major concerns about both...Lifting the cap on spill liability is one of the most harmful. It would force most oil and natural gas companies out of the Gulf of Mexico because of the unavailability of insurance. This would jeopardize hundreds of thousands of American jobs and substantially reduce energy production from the Gulf.
"Neither bill takes appropriate action on the deepwater moratorium, which is already costing thousands of Gulf jobs and will cost more. Most Americans support more offshore development. A recent Wall Street Journal/NBC poll puts the number at 57 percent.
"And the Senate bill would impose a new layer of federal regulation on hydraulic fracturing, potentially costing thousands of jobs and slowing development of domestic supplies of clean-burning natural gas.
"Raising taxes on the industry also has been part of the energy discussions and is likely to come up again. Tax hikes would slow investment in new energy production and hamper creation of new jobs. Most people oppose raising taxes on the industry. API polling conducted last month in ten key states showed voters oppose higher taxes on our industry by a 2-to-1 margin. Voters fear the tax increases will hurt them and don't make sense during an economic recession.
"Our goal is to take messages on jobs, taxes and energy on the road and in a big way call on Congress to focus on the one thing on everyone's mind - putting unemployed Americans back to work...."
API has developed a new website about the rallies called rallyforjobs.org.
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.